The UFC is planning on reserving an intriguing lightweight connection between top-15 wrestlers. My ideas on that new matchup plus a few new bouts added to Nashville in the current MMA odds and ends.
Kevin Lee vs. Gregor Gillespie, May UFC Event
The UFC is targeting a lightweight bout between Kevin Lee and Gregor Gillespie to headline a yet-to-be-announced event in May, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The fight is not finalized yet but is likely to be made soon. Lee (17-4) is 10-4 in the UFC and in his last battle missing a five-round choice to Al Iaquinta. Before the Iaquinta loss, Lee had set to a beatdown on Edson Barboza and even though a submission loss to Tony Ferguson earlier he remains one of the top lightweights in the game now. Gillespie (13-0) is a perfect 6-0 at the UFC and in his last fight picked up a TKO win over Yancy Medeiros. Lee is among those top-ranked lightweights from the UFC and is really the younger fighter in this matchup, but I really believe in Gillespie and think he has the capability to be a champion in this sport. It is likely to be a hard-fought struggle, but one I think Gillespie can triumph. I’m curious to find out what the gambling line is going to be with this one, however when Gillespie is a dog there will surely be value betting on him at plus money.
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Jesus Pinedo, UFC Fight Night 148
A fun lightweight bout between Chris Gruetzemacher and Jesus Pinedo will happen at UFC Fight Night 148, set for March 23 at Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Gruetzemacher (12-4) is currently 2-2 at the UFC and is coming from a brutal TKO win over Joe Lauzon. Pinedo (16-4-1) is riding a seven-fight win series and defeated Devin Powell by conclusion within his UFC debut. Pinedo is a very wonderful potential but Gruetzemacher has more expertise against a high degree of competition and based on the triumph over Lauzon he needs to be slightly favored here.
Eric Shelton vs. Jordan Espinosa, UFC Fight Night 148
An uncommon flyweight bout between Eric Shelton and Jordan Espinosa is place for UFC Fight Night 148. Shelton (12-5) is 2-3 in the UFC and is coming from a split decision win over Joseph Morales. Espinosa (13-5, 1 NC) is riding a four-fight win series including a knockout win in Dana White’s Contender Series last summer. Shelton has not been anything special from the UFC while Espinosa seems like he’s some solid potential. I would expect a snug line , with a little lean to the more dynamic Espinosa.
Chris Gutierrez vs. Ryan MacDonald, UFC Fight Night 148
Additionally at UFC Fight Night 148, bantamweight Chris Gutierrez will fulfill short-notice replacement Ryan MacDonald. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission reduction to Raoni Barcelos in his UFC debut but had won three consecutive fights prior to that. MacDonald (10-0) is an undefeated prospect who is coming off of a submission win in LFA. He’s carrying the fight on short notice for a wounded Martin Day. This should be a competitive fight but regardless of the brief notice, the fact that MacDonald hasn’t dropped could make him a small betting favorite at open here.
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