The UFC is planning on reserving a fascinating lightweight connection between top-15 wrestlers. My thoughts on that brand new matchup and a few new bouts inserted to Nashville in today’s 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 occasion in May, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The fight isn’t finalized yet but is very likely to be made official soon. Lee (17-4) is 10-4 in the UFC and in his final battle missing a five-round decision to Al Iaquinta. Before the Iaquinta loss, Lee had put to a beatdown on Edson Barboza and even though a entry loss to Tony Ferguson earlier that, he remains among the top lightweights in the game today. 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 one of the top-ranked lightweights in the UFC and is really the younger fighter in this matchup, but I really think in Gillespie and believe that he has the capability to be a winner in this sport. It is going to become a hard-fought struggle, but one I believe Gillespie can triumph. I am curious to see what the gambling line is going to be with this one, but when Gillespie is a dog there would definitely be value betting on him 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 in Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Gruetzemacher (12-4) is currently 2-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a barbarous TKO win over Joe Lauzon. Pinedo (16-4-1) is riding a seven-fight win streak and defeated Devin Powell by conclusion in his UFC debut. Pinedo is a really nice potential but Gruetzemacher has more expertise against a high degree of competition and based on the win over Lauzon he has to be at least slightly favored here.
Eric Shelton vs. Jordan Espinosa, UFC Fight Night 148
An uncommon flyweight bout between Eric Shelton and Jordan Espinosa is set for UFC Fight Night 148. Shelton (12-5) is 2-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a split decision win over Joseph Morales. Espinosa (13-5, 1 NC) is riding a four-fight win streak including a knockout win in Dana White’s Contender Series last summer. Shelton hasn’t been anything special from the UFC while Espinosa looks like he’s some solid potential. I would anticipate a snug line here, with a slight lean to the dynamic Espinosa.
Chris Gutierrez vs. Ryan MacDonald, UFC Fight Night 148
Also at UFC Fight Night 148, bantamweight Chris Gutierrez will meet short-notice replacement Ryan MacDonald. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos in his UFC debut but had won three straight fights prior to that. MacDonald (10-0) is a undefeated prospect who is coming off of a submission win in LFA. He is carrying the fight on short notice for an injured Martin Day. This should be a competitive struggle but regardless of the brief notice, the fact that MacDonald has never lost could make him a small betting favorite at open here.
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