The UFC was extremely busy over the past week, announcing several new bouts for upcoming fight cards. One of these cards is UFC 236, that takes place April 13 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out my ideas on the main event between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier here, and also my thoughts on the other newly-announced bouts are below.
Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree, UFC 236
Added to UFC 236 is an intriguing light heavyweight bout between Eryk Anders and Khalil Rountree. Anders (11-3) is only 3-3 in the UFC and is coming from a decision loss to Elias Theodorou. He’s chosen to make the move up to light heavyweight permanently and not cutting all that burden should help him. Rountree (7-3, 1 NC) is currently 3-3, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming from a KO loss to Johnny Walker. While Rountree has more expertise battling as a light heavyweight and is a known knockout artist, I still believe in Anders and think he’s more potential than what he is shown in the UFC so far. The opening line should be close to a Pick Celtics, however my ancient lean is towards Anders.
Paige VanZant vs. Poliana Botelho, UFC 236
Women’s flyweights Paige VanZant and Poliana Botelho will clash at this event. VanZant (8-4) is 5-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a submission win over Rachael Ostovich. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 at the UFC but dropped by entry to Cynthia Calvillo in her final fight. I’d definitely prefer VanZant to get the win here and predicated on her fame I would not be surprised if the lineup was massively skewed in her favor.
Wilson Reis vs. Alexandre Pantoja, UFC 236
At a rare flyweight fight, Wilson Reis takes on Alexandre Pantoja. Reis (23-9) is 7-5 in the UFC and defeated Ben Nguyen by decision in his final bout. Pantoja (20-3) is currently 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of two straight wins over Brandon Moreno and Ulka Sasaki. Reis is a good veteran but all of the upside here is with Pantoja and that I expect him to be a tiny favorite at open. Expect the failure of the struggle to be published because the UFC cuts almost every flyweight coming from a loss.
Ovince Saint-Preux vs. Nikita Krylov, UFC 236
In a rematch no one asked , Ovince Saint-Preux takes on Nikita Krylov in a light heavyweight bout. St-Preux (23-12) is 11-7 at the UFC and is coming off of a decision loss to Dominick Reyes. He is a gatekeeper in 205lbs and is no more a real title contender. Krylov (24-6) is 6-4 in the UFC and has been filed by Jan Blachowicz in his last bout. OSP and Krylov formerly fulfilled at UFC 171 at 2014, with OSP winning by entry. I am not exactly certain why the UFC believed this rematch was essential, but given their initial fight went and how awful Krylov’s entry defense is, I would favor OSP to overcome him once again.
Montel Jackson vs. Andre Soukhamthath, UFC 236
And finally, bantamweights Montel Jackson and Andre Soukhamthath meet. Jackson (7-1) lost a decision to Ricky Simon in his UFC debut but bounced back well with a submission win over Brian Kelleher. Soukhamthath (13-6) is only 2-3 from the UFC but conquer Jonathan Martinez by choice in his last struggle. Soukhamthath is too inconsistent to trust, and that I expect Jackson to be preferred here.
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