Last week, we heard the unfortunate news that Yoel Romero was outside of his UFC on ESPN 3 main event middleweight rematch with Ronaldo Souza, that himself was a replacement for Paulo Costa. At that point, it was uncertain that the UFC matchmakers would be able to call on short notice. Well, the matchmakers have found their man, and I’ll offer my thoughts on this new principal event below.
Ronaldo Souza vs. Jack Hermansson, UFC on ESPN 3
The new main event of UFC on ESPN 3 will be a five-round middleweight involving between”Jacare” and Jack Hermansson, who took the fight on short notice. The card takes place April 27 in BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. ESPN first reported that the matchup, noting that the UFC has promised”Jacare” will get a title shot if he be victorious over Hermansson.
Souza (26-6, 1 NC) is 9-3 overall in the UFC and he is coming off of a vicious KO win over Chris Weidman at UFC 230. Souza is arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history to have never fought for a name, but with a win here on Hermansson it would be challenging for the UFC to deny him again. Hermansson (19-4) is 6-2 overall in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight win series that includes a first-round submission over David Branch only last weekend at UFC on ESPN 2. He’s quietly become one of the very best middleweights from the Octagon but he just wants a chance to demonstrate that he’s an elite fighter. With a win over Souza, he certainly would do exactly that.
Even though Souza vs. Romero 2 would have become the ideal matchup, this really is a nice replacement bout considering the circumstances. Souza will definitely be favored here owing to his UFC experience and star-studded restart, Hermansson is a live dog in this fight and has a chance to win. Pay close attention to the gambling line when it comes out, because if the chances are great enough it may be well worth it to take a shot on Hermansson at plus cash.
Alexander Yakovlev vs. Alex da Silva Coelho, UFC Fight Night 149
Only a little update on to the forthcoming UFC Fight Night 149 card, which takes place April 20 at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Due to an injury to Teemu Packalen, Alexander Yakovlev will now face UFC newcomer Alex da Silva Coelho in a lightweight bout. Globo broke the news.
Yakovlev (23-8-1) is 2-4 at the UFC but has not fought since a 2016 entry reduction to Zak Cummings. He is actually on a two-fight losing skid right now and hasn’t won a fight since beating George Sullivan because 2016, so he desperately wants to find a win on his home turf here in Russia. Coelho (20-1). Has put together a tremendous record since making his pro MMA debut in 2014, albeit against a lower degree of rivalry in promotions like Brave CF. He does have the advantage of being far more active than Yakovlev, but given the experience of Yakovlev and his home-town advantage he will probably be favored here.
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