Last week, we heard the unfortunate news that Yoel Romero was outside of his UFC on ESPN 3 main event middleweight rematch with Ronaldo Souza, that himself was a replacement for Paulo Costa. At that point, it was unclear that the UFC matchmakers would be able to call up on short notice. The matchmakers have found their man, and I will give my thoughts on this brand new principal event below.
Ronaldo Souza vs. Jack Hermansson, UFC on ESPN 3
The new principal event of UFC on ESPN 3 is going to be a five-round middleweight between between”Jacare” and Jack Hermansson, who took the fight on short notice. The card takes place April 27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. ESPN first reported that the matchup, noting that the UFC has promised”Jacare” will find a title shot should he be victorious over Hermansson.
Souza (26-6, 1 NC) is 9-3 overall at the UFC and he is coming off of a barbarous KO win over Chris Weidman in UFC 230. Souza is arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history to have never fought for a title, but with a win here on Hermansson it could be hard for the UFC to deny him once again. Hermansson (19-4) is 6-2 overall at the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight win series that includes a first-round submission over David Branch just last weekend in UFC on ESPN 2. He has quietly become one of the very best middleweights from the Octagon but he just wants a chance to demonstrate that he’s an elite fighter. With a win over Souza, he certainly would do exactly that.
Although Souza vs. Romero 2 would have become the ideal matchup, this really is a nice replacement bout considering the conditions. Souza will definitely be preferred here owing to his UFC expertise and star-studded restart, Hermansson is a live dog in this fight and has a opportunity to win. Pay careful attention to the gambling line the moment it comes out, since if the chances are great enough it may be well worth it to take a shot on Hermansson at and money.
Alexander Yakovlev vs. Alex da Silva Coelho, UFC Fight Night 149
Just a little update here to the upcoming UFC Fight Night 149 card, which takes place April 20 in Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Because of an injury to Teemu Packalen, Alexander Yakovlev will now face UFC newcomer Alex da Silva Coelho at a lightweight bout. Globo broke the news.
Yakovlev (23-8-1) is 2-4 at the UFC but has not fought as a 2016 submission loss to Zak Cummings. He is really on a two-fight losing skid right now and hasn’t won a fight since defeating George Sullivan since 2016, so he desperately needs to find a win on his home turf here in Russia. Coelho (20-1). Has collected a tremendous record since making his pro MMA introduction in 2014, albeit against a lower level of competition in promotions such as Brave CF. He has the advantage of being far more active than Yakovlev, but given the expertise of Yakovlev and his home-town advantage he will likely be preferred here.
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