The UFC is thinking about reserving a fascinating lightweight bout between top-15 wrestlers. My ideas on that brand new matchup and a couple new bouts added to Nashville in the current 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 official 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 entry loss to Tony Ferguson earlier 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 the top-ranked lightweights in the UFC and is actually the younger fighter in this matchup, but I really believe in Gillespie and believe he has the capability to be a champion in this sport. It’s going to become a hard-fought fight, but one I believe Gillespie can win. I’m curious to see what the betting line is going to be with this one, however if Gillespie is a dog there will definitely be value 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 in 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 decision in his UFC debut. Pinedo is a really nice potential but Gruetzemacher has more experience against a high degree of competition and based on the win over Lauzon he needs to be at least slightly favored here.
Eric Shelton vs. Jordan Espinosa, UFC Fight Night 148
A rare flyweight bout between Eric Shelton and also Jordan Espinosa is place for UFC Fight Night 148. Shelton (12-5) is 2-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a split decision win over Joseph Morales. Espinosa (13-5, 1 NC) is riding a four-fight win series including a knockout win in Dana White’s Contender Series past summer. Shelton has not been anything special in the UFC while Espinosa looks like he’s some good potential. I’d expect a close line here, with a slight lean to the dynamic Espinosa.
Chris Gutierrez vs. Ryan MacDonald, UFC Fight Night 148
Additionally at UFC Fight Night 148, bantamweight Chris Gutierrez will meet short-notice replacement Ryan MacDonald. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission reduction to Raoni Barcelos in his UFC debut but had won three consecutive fights prior to that. MacDonald (10-0) is an undefeated prospect who’s coming from a submission win in LFA. He is carrying the fight on short notice to get a wounded Martin Day. This ought to be a competitive struggle but despite the brief notice, the simple fact that MacDonald hasn’t dropped may make him a small betting favorite at open here.
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