MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR FRIDAY: OVINCE SAINT-PREUX VS. MISHA CIRKUNOV ADDED TO UFC 235
The light heavyweight division seems to have a resurgence in 2019 as yet another high-profile bout involving rated contenders will occur in the coming months. That, and the UFC has introduced another fighter, and you can read my thoughts about all of the news below in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Ovince Saint-Preux vs. Misha Cirkunov, UFC 235
The UFC announced an intriguing light heavyweight bout between top-15 ranked contenders Ovince Saint-Preux and Misha Cirkunov will happen at UFC 235, heading down March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Saint-Preux (23-12) is 11-7 overall from the UFC and has settled in to the role of gatekeeper in the light heavyweight division. OSP lost a clear choice to Dominick Reyes his out his time, but he submitted Tyson Pedro in impressive fashion his struggle before that. He is not far removed from a three-fight win streak that included a KO over Corey Anderson and Von Flue chokes against Yushin Okami and Marcos Rogerio de Lima, although that run might prove to be the high point of his MMA career. The Reyes battle was certainly a step backward, however, as was a entry defeat to Ilir Latifi that preceeded the Pedro win. OSP is a really solid gatekeeper, but his days as a title contender appear to be over.
Cirkunov (14-4) is 5-2 in the UFC and in his last expedition filed Patrick Cummins. He was pumped out by Volkan Oezdemir and Glover Teixeira his two fights before that, but the win over Cummins place him back on track and reminded us why the Latvian-Canadian was such an impressive prospect. Now that he’s living in Las Vegas, this is going to be a hometown fight of sorts for him. Although I am worried about Cirkunov’s chin allowing him down , I think he has what it takes to conquer OSP. I simply find OSP such a bothersome fighter to forecast how he is going to perform, while I think Cirkunov is a bit more steady. I’d anticipate a competitive line, but with a slight lean towards the younger fighter in Cirkunov.
Craig White Cut, Evidence With Cage Warriors
Former UFC welterweight Craig White has signed back with Cage Warriors, the promotion announced. Obviously, this usually means the UFC recently cut on him. White (14-9) had a rough go in the UFC after leaving Cage Warriors among its top welterweight contenders. He made his Octagon debut on very short notice and has been completed by top-10 rated Neil Magny, cutting upwards of 30lbs to make weight. The UFC gave him a favorable matchup against Diego Sanchez in his second battle, but it didn’t go his way. Despite entering that bout as a substantial favored, White was dominated by an aging Sanchez also it was the kind of loss that created the UFC wish to decrease ties with White. But he does have one saving grace here, and it is that Cage Warriors is on Fight Pass this year. A few endings for White and that he could well be signed back into the UFC, however he can fare better as a middleweight heading forward. White’s opponent for his return to Cage Warriors has not been announced yet, but he’ll struggle at Cage Warriors 102, which such as UFC 235 also occurs March.
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