The UFC is planning on reserving a fascinating lightweight bout between top-15 wrestlers. My ideas on that brand new matchup and 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 occasion in May, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The fight is not finalized yet but is very likely to be made soon. Lee (17-4) is 10-4 in the UFC and in his final battle missing a five-round choice to Al Iaquinta. Ahead of 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 one of the top lightweights in the sport 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 one of those 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 potential to be a champion in this game. It’s likely to be a hard-fought fight, but one I think Gillespie can triumph. I’m curious to see what the betting line will be for this one, but when Gillespie is a puppy there will definitely be value betting on him at plus money.
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Jesus Pinedo, UFC Fight Night 148
An enjoyable lightweight bout between Chris Gruetzemacher and Jesus Pinedo will take place at UFC Fight Night 148, set for March 23 in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Gruetzemacher (12-4) is 2-2 at the UFC and is coming from a barbarous TKO win over Joe Lauzon. Pinedo (16-4-1) is riding a seven-fight win streak and defeated Devin Powell by decision in his UFC debut. Pinedo is a very nice potential but Gruetzemacher has more experience against a high level of competition and based on the win over Lauzon he needs to be at least slightly favored here.
Eric Shelton vs. Jordan Espinosa, UFC Fight Night 148
A rare 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 from a split decision win over Joseph Morales. Espinosa (13-5, 1 NC) is riding a four-fight win streak such as a knockout win in Dana White’s Contender Series last summer. Shelton has not been anything special from the UFC while Espinosa looks like he’s some good potential. I would anticipate a close line , with a slight 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 loss to Raoni Barcelos in his UFC debut but had won three straight fights before that. MacDonald (10-0) is an undefeated prospect who’s coming off of a submission win in LFA. He’s carrying the fight on short notice for an injured Martin Day. This should be a competitive fight but despite the brief notice, the simple fact that MacDonald has never dropped may make him a little betting favorite at available here.
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