The UFC recently declared its return to Sacramento, California, set for July 13 at Golden 1 Center. Quite a few fresh bouts are added into the card, and my initial thoughts on them are below.
Nicco Montano vs. Sara McMann, UFC Fight Night 155
Former UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano will return to the Octagon as she moves upward to the bantamweight division when she chooses on Sara McMann. Montano (4-2) won TUF 26 with a choice win over Roxanne Modafferi back in December 2017 but hasn’t competed since then as a result of some USADA breach and many issues making weight. She ran through the competition on TUF, but so far hasn’t done anything at the UFC. Maybe moving up in weight will help her out, but it is difficult to say now. McMann (11-5) 5-5 overall from the UFC and has not won a fight since a 2017 entry win over Gina Mazany. Ever since then she’s dropped back-to-back submission defeats to Ketlen Vieira and Marion Reneau and looks like a shell of her former self. This is fantastic matchmaking here and an intriguing style matchup, but with bettors definitely looking to fade McMann I’d expect Montano for a slight favorite in this one.
Ryan Hall vs. Darren Elkins, UFC 155
Featherweights Ryan Hall and Darren Elkins are set to fight. Hall (7-1) won TUF 22 and has since gone 3-0 at the UFC with wins over Artem Lobov, Gray Maynard, and in his last outing, a gorgeous heel hook submission win over BJ Penn.. He hardly struggles, but if he does he’s showed some great potential. Elkins (24-7) is 14-6 overall in the UFC but has lost back-to-back conflicts to Ricardo Lamas and Alexander Volkanovski. Still, he is one of the toughest fighters in 145lbs there’s. Although Hall is an excellent grappler, Elkins should have the ability to neutralize him, and awarded all of his success in the UFC he should be the favorite in this struggle.
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Livia Renata Souza, UFC 155
A fascinating women’s strawweight bout between Cynthia Calvillo and Livia Renata Souza is also set for this card. Calvillo (8-1) is 5-1 at the UFC and has won back fights over Poliana Botelho and Cortney Casey since her lone career loss to Carla Esparza. Souza (13-1) is currently riding a four-fight win streak and has won both of her UFC bouts over Alex Chambers and Sarah Frota. This is a really good battle between two of the best strawweights in the world. When I had to guess, Calvillo will be a tiny favored because of getting more UFC experience along with a bigger name, but Souza is a live dog to win this fight.
Benito Lopez vs. Martin Day And finally, bantamweight prospects Benito Lopez and Martin Day are set to battle. Lopez (9-1) is currently 1-1 at the UFC with a decision win over Albert Morales and a submission loss to Manny Bermudez in his final outing, the first loss of his MMA career. However, he is only 25 and remains a leading prospect in 135lbs. Day (8-3) lost a split decision to Pingyuan Liu in his UFC debut last year. Although dawn is a good fighter, Lopez has much more upside and should be the preferred here.
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