Last week, we heard the unfortunate news that Yoel Romero was outside of his UFC on ESPN 3 major event middleweight rematch with Ronaldo Souza, who himself was a replacement for Paulo Costa. At that point, it was uncertain who the UFC matchmakers would be able to call on short notice. Well, the matchmakers have found their guy, 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 between between”Jacare” and Jack Hermansson, who took the fight on short notice. The card takes place April 27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. ESPN first reported the matchup, noting that the UFC has assured”Jacare” will find a title shot if be victorious over Hermansson.
Souza (26-6, 1 NC) is 9-3 overall at the UFC and he’s coming from a barbarous KO win over Chris Weidman in UFC 230. Souza is arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history to have never fought for a title, but with a win here over Hermansson it could be hard for the UFC to deny him again. Hermansson (19-4) is 6-2 overall in the UFC and is now riding a three-fight win streak that includes a first-round entry over David Branch only last weekend in UFC on ESPN 2. He’s quietly become one of the top middleweights in the Octagon but he just needs a chance to prove that he’s an elite fighter. With a win over Souza, he surely would do exactly that.
Although Souza vs. Romero 2 could have been the perfect matchup, this is a nice replacement bout considering the circumstances. Souza will definitely be preferred here thanks to his UFC experience and star-studded resume, Hermansson is a live dog in this fight and has a opportunity to win. Pay close attention to the gambling line the moment it comes out, because if the odds are great enough it may be worth it to have a shot on Hermansson at plus cash.
Alexander Yakovlev vs. Alex da Silva Coelho, UFC Fight Night 149
Just 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. Because of an injury to Teemu Packalen, Alexander Yakovlev will now face UFC newcomer Alex da Silva Coelho in a lightweight bout. Globo broke the information.
Yakovlev (23-8-1) is 2-4 in the UFC but has not fought since a 2016 submission loss to Zak Cummings. He is really on a two-fight losing skid right now and hasn’t won a fight since beating George Sullivan since 2016, so he desperately needs to get a win on his home turf here in Russia. Coelho (20-1). Has collected a tremendous record since making his expert MMA introduction in 2014, albeit against a lower degree of competition in promotions such as Brave CF. He does have the advantage of being much more active compared to Yakovlev, but given the experience of Yakovlev and his home-town benefit he will probably be preferred here.
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