The UFC is thinking about booking a fascinating lightweight bout between top-15 wrestlers. My ideas on that new matchup plus a couple new spells inserted 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 event in May, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The battle isn’t finalized yet but is likely to be made soon. Lee (17-4) is 10-4 at the UFC and in his last fight lost a five-round decision to Al Iaquinta. Ahead of the Iaquinta loss, Lee had set to a beatdown on Edson Barboza and despite a submission loss to Tony Ferguson earlier that, he remains among the top lightweights in the game today. Gillespie (13-0) is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC and in his final fight picked up a TKO win over Yancy Medeiros. Lee is one of the top-ranked lightweights from the UFC and is actually 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 gambling line is going to be with this one, however when Gillespie is a dog there would definitely be worth 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 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Gruetzemacher (12-4) is 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 decision in his UFC debut. Pinedo is a really wonderful prospect but Gruetzemacher has more expertise against a high level of competition and based on the win over Lauzon he has to be slightly favored here.
Eric Shelton vs. Jordan Espinosa, UFC Fight Night 148
An uncommon flyweight bout between Eric Shelton and also 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 series such as a knockout win in Dana White’s Contender Series last summer. Shelton has not been anything special in the UFC while Espinosa looks like he has some solid potential. I would expect a snug line , with a little 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 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 struggle but regardless of the short notice, the fact that MacDonald hasn’t dropped may make him a little betting popular at open here.
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