The UFC is planning on reserving an intriguing lightweight connection between top-15 wrestlers. My thoughts on that brand new matchup and a couple new bouts inserted to Nashville in today’s 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 fight isn’t finalized yet but is very likely to be made soon. Lee (17-4) is 10-4 at the UFC and in his last battle missing a five-round choice to Al Iaquinta. Before the Iaquinta reduction, Lee had set to a beatdown on Edson Barboza and even though a submission loss to Tony Ferguson earlier that, he remains among the top lightweights in the game now. Gillespie (13-0) is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC and in his last fight picked up a TKO win over Yancy Medeiros. Lee is one of those top-ranked lightweights in the UFC and is actually the younger fighter in this matchup, but I truly think in Gillespie and think he has the capability to be a champion in this game. It’s likely to become a hard-fought fight, but one I think Gillespie can win. I am curious to find out what the betting line will be for this one, but 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
A fun lightweight bout between Chris Gruetzemacher and Jesus Pinedo will take place at UFC Fight Night 148, set for March 23 in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Gruetzemacher (12-4) is 2-2 at the UFC and is coming off of a brutal TKO win over Joe Lauzon. Pinedo (16-4-1) is riding a seven-fight win series and defeated Devin Powell by conclusion within his UFC debut. Pinedo is a really nice prospect but Gruetzemacher has more experience against a high degree of competition and based on the triumph 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 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’s some good potential. I’d anticipate a close line here, with a slight lean to the more dynamic Espinosa.
Chris Gutierrez vs. Ryan MacDonald, UFC Fight Night 148
Also at UFC Fight Night 148, bantamweight Chris Gutierrez will fulfill short-notice replacement Ryan MacDonald. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission loss to Raoni Barcelos in his UFC debut but’d won three straight fights before that. MacDonald (10-0) is a undefeated prospect who is coming from a submission win in LFA. He is carrying the fight on short notice to get an injured Martin Day. This ought to be a competitive fight but regardless of the brief notice, the fact that MacDonald has never lost may make him a small betting popular at open here.
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