INITIAL UFC MIAMI CARD REVEALED

The UFC recently revealed the initial lineup for UFC on ESPN 3, which takes place April 27 in BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The rumored primary event between middleweight sluggers Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa was not officially declared, but the UFC did affirm a previously-reported light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, as well as a bantamweight bout between John Lineker and Cory Sandhagen. You can find my recently-posted ideas on those bouts via the hyperlinks. As for my ideas on another newly-announced bouts, you can read them below.
Carla Esparza vs. Livia Renato Souza, UFC on ESPN 3
The most notable of the new matchups declared is a women’s strawweight bout between Carla Esparza and Livia Renata Souza. Esparza (13-6) is 4-4 at the UFC and is a former winner, but she is coming from a beatdown TKO loss to Tatiana Suarez. Souza (13-1) is currently 2-0 at the UFC and is a former Invicta champion herself, now riding a four-fight win series overall. This is a winnable struggle for Esparza but that I don’t understand how anyone can have faith in her at this point. She might be a tiny popular here, but all the upside is with Souza.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Augusto Sakai, UFC on ESPN 3
Heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Augusto Sakai will fulfill with this card. Arlovski (27-18, 1 NC) is 6-8 in his latest stint at the UFC and is now riding a three-fight losing skid with a decision loss to Walt Harris his last time out. Sakai (12-1-1) is coming from a TKO win over Chase Sherman in his UFC debut and is on a three-fight win streak in general. Arlovski is an easy fade at this stage and I expect Sakai to bet a solid favorite here.
Jim Miller vs. Jason Gonzalez, UFC on ESPN 3
Lightweights Jim Miller and Jason Gonzalez are set to do battle. Miller (29-13, 1 NC) is 18-12, 1 NC all time in the UFC but has fallen on hard times as of late with reductions in five of his last six bouts. Gonzalez (11-4) is just 1-2 in the UFC and was completed in both his losses. Miller is going to be the favored here predicated on name value but I don’t know whether it’s possible to trust him at this stage.
Dhiego Lima vs. Court McGee, UFC on ESPN 3
There’s also a welterweight bout between Dhiego Lima and Court McGee. Lima (13-7) is only 2-6 in the UFC but is coming from a brutal KO win over Chad Laprise in UFC 231. McGee (19-7) is 8-6 in the UFC and defeated Alex Garcia via decision in his final struggle. I could see this one going either way, either Lima tests McGee’s fading chin or McGee takes down him and smothers him. Start looking for a close betting line here, with maybe a small lean to McGee.
Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel, UFC on ESPN 3
And lastly, women’s strawweights Jessica Penne and Jodie Esquibel happen to be re-booked for this event as their bout at UFC on ESPN 1 recently fell through following Penne hurt her ankle in warmups. Certainly, it was not a super-serious injury as she will be battling just over a month afterwards. Penne was a small favored before the struggle was pulled only hours before it was scheduled to occur, and I’d assume the new line is going to be put right where it left off.
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