UFC FT. LAUDERDALE CARD UPDATES INCLUDING ALEX OLIVEIRA VS. MIKE PERRY
UFC Ft. Lauderdale is set to take place April 27 at BB&T Center, and the major event was anticipated to become a five-round middleweight bout between Yoel Romero and Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza. Regrettably, Romero has pulled out with trauma and the UFC is scrambling to get a new competitor for Souza. Some other bouts on the card also have seen changes happen, and I will give my initial thoughts on them below.
Alex Oliveira vs. Mike Perry, UFC on ESPN 3
An exciting welterweight bout between Alex Oliveira and Mike Perry will happen at UFC on ESPN 3. ESPN first broke the news that Perry is filling in on short notice for its wounded Li Jingliang.
Oliveira (19-6-1, two NC) is currently 9-4, 1 NC at the UFC and is coming from a brutal entry reduction to Gunnar Nelson in his final fight. He’s always in exciting struggles win-or-lose, but is lacking that signature success and has not yet proven he can take the next step in to contender status. Perry (12-4) has a 5-4 record at the UFC but has been filed by Donald Cerrone in his final fight. Most of us know he has knockout power, but he hasn’t shown much else apart from his hitting power. This one can go either way as both guys are offensively talented however defensively flawed. I would have to prefer Oliveira as he is better on the ground, but Perry is certainly live in this fight together with his KO power.
Carla Esparza vs. Virna Jandiroba, UFC on ESPN 3
Due to an injury to Livia Renata Souza, Carla Esparza will face Virna Jandiroba at a women’s strawweight bout. Combate broke the news. Esparza (13-6) is the former UFC women’s strawweight champion and has a 4-4 record overall in the Octagon, such as a TKO loss to Tatiana Suarez in her final outing. Jandiroba (14-0) was the Invicta women’s strawweight champion after going 3-0 in the promotion. Esparza will probably be favored because of having more UFC experience, but the unbeaten Jandiroba is absolutely a live dog in this fight.
Ben Saunders vs. Takashi Sato, UFC on ESPN 3
Additionally added to UFC on ESPN 3 is a welterweight bout between Ben Saunders and Takashi Sato. Asian MMA broke the news. Saunders (22-11-2) is just 2-4 in his third stint at the UFC, and is coming off of back-to-back stoppage losses to Lyman Good and Sergio Moraes. He looks to be on quite the decrease. Sato (14-2) is a Pancrase vet who won his last fight, but overall looks like a suspicious signing by the UFC. Given Saunders is from Florida, maybe the UFC thinks they are giving him a winnable fight here, but Sato could surprise and receive the knockout win.
Gilbert Burns vs. Eric Wisely, UFC on ESPN 3
Lightweights Gilbert Burns and Eric Wisely are set to meet. Combate had the news. Burns (14-3) is 7-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a decision win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Wisely (30-9-1) is making his return to the Octagon after going unbeaten over his last nine fights in the regional circuit. He had one previous stint in the UFC back in 2012, when he went 0-2. This is a weird fight, and the only thing I can think of is that nobody wanted to fight Burns, that I anticipate to be a huge favorite to conquer Wisely.
Roosevelt Roberts vs. Thomas Gifford, UFC on ESPN 3
And finally, lightweights Roosevelt Roberts and Thomas Gifford will fulfill at UFC on ESPN 3. Roberts (7-0) has completed all of his pro fights such as a submission win over Darrell Horcher in his UFC debut. Gifford (14-7, 2 NC) is making his UFC debut after going undefeated over his last five bouts on the regional circuit. Gifford seems like a good prospect but Roosevelt has proven he can win in the UFC and I expect him to be preferred quite heavily in this one.
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