The UFC was extremely busy over the last week, announcing a number of new bouts for upcoming fight cards. One of those cards is UFC 236, which takes place April 13 in State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out my ideas on the main event between Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier here, and also my thoughts on the other newly-announced bouts are below.
Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree, UFC 236
Added to UFC 236 is a fascinating light heavyweight bout between Eryk Anders and Khalil Rountree. Anders (11-3) is only 3-3 from the UFC and is coming from a decision loss to Elias Theodorou. He’s chosen to make the move up to light heavyweight permanently rather than cutting all that weight should help . Rountree (7-3, 1 NC) is currently 3-3, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming from a KO loss to Johnny Walker. While Rountree has much more experience battling as a light heavyweight and is a known knockout artist, I still believe in Anders and think he has more potential than that which he is shown in the UFC up to now. The opening line should be close to a Select Celtics, however my early lean is towards Anders.
Paige VanZant vs. Poliana Botelho, UFC 236
Women’s flyweights Paige VanZant and Poliana Botelho will clash at this event. VanZant (8-4) is 5-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a submission win over Rachael Ostovich. Botelho (7-2) is 2-1 in the UFC but dropped by submission to Cynthia Calvillo in her final fight. I would definitely prefer VanZant to get the win here and based on her fame that I would not be shocked if the lineup was hugely skewed in her favor.
Wilson Reis vs. Alexandre Pantoja, UFC 236
At a rare flyweight struggle, Wilson Reis takes on Alexandre Pantoja. Reis (23-9) is 7-5 at the UFC and defeated Ben Nguyen by choice in his final bout. Pantoja (20-3) is 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of two straight wins over Brandon Moreno and Ulka Sasaki. Reis is a good veteran but all of the upside is using Pantoja and that I expect him to be a small popular at open. Anticipate the loser of this fight to be published because the UFC cuts almost every flyweight coming from a loss.
Ovince Saint-Preux vs. Nikita Krylov, UFC 236
In a rematch no one asked for, Ovince Saint-Preux takes on Nikita Krylov at a light heavyweight bout. St-Preux (23-12) is 11-7 in the UFC and is coming from a decision loss to Dominick Reyes. He is a gatekeeper at 205lbs and is no longer a true title contender. Krylov (24-6) is 6-4 in the UFC and has been submitted by Jan Blachowicz in his last bout. OSP and Krylov previously met at UFC 171 in 2014, with OSP winning by submission. I’m not exactly sure why the UFC believed this rematch was necessary, but given their initial battle went and how awful Krylov’s submission defense is, I would favor OSP to beat him again.
Montel Jackson vs. Andre Soukhamthath, UFC 236
And lastly, bantamweights Montel Jackson and Andre Soukhamthath match. Jackson (7-1) lost a decision to Ricky Simon in his UFC debut but bounced back nicely with a submission win over Brian Kelleher. Soukhamthath (13-6) is only 2-3 in the UFC but beat Jonathan Martinez by decision in his last struggle. Soukhamthath is too inconsistent to trust, and I expect Jackson to be preferred here.
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