There have been three new UFC fight announcements for upcoming events. Firstly in the women’s bantamweight division where Marion Reneau and Macy Chiasson collide at an event scheduled for February 6th. In the men’s bantamweight division, Merab Dvalishvili and Raoni Barcelos (who replaces Cody Stamann) meet at UFC on ESPN 19. The biggest (literally) of these UFC fight announcements sees Thiago Santos and Aleksandar Rakic meet on the scheduled March 6th card.
#10 ranked Marion Reneau is without a win in her last three since defeating Sara McMann in 2018. The high school teacher holds a wealth of experience with 11 UFC fights including match-ups against two former champions and four former title challengers. At 9-6-1, if Reneau is going to win this one, she’ll likely do it via finish having notched eight finishes in her career. She returns after an injury that ruled her out of her UFC 253 scheduled bout.
Macy Chiasson is ranked #12 having enjoyed a strong 5-0 start to her career. When she stepped up in competition to face Lina Lansberg in 2019 she was shown that there are levels to this game. She bounced back well when she dominated Shanna Young, however. The Ultimate Fighter 28 winner certainly has a future in the division. At 5’9 she is certainly on the taller side of the division; if she can utilise her size it’ll pay off for her.
The winner of this one is set to position themselves much better in a shallow division at 135lbs.
Expect fireworks when Dvalishvili faces Barcelos. If you’re not tired watching Dvalishvili compete, how? The pace he sets is phenomenal. Currently enjoying a five-fight winning streak, the Georgian has impressed. Most recently he gained a unanimous decision victory over John Dodson. He has positioned himself well in the bantamweight division. Ranked #12 as it stands, with another win in this one, he won’t be far from the title picture.
Barcelos returns having only competed in at UFC on ESPN+ 40. On this occasion, he scored a unanimous decision victory over Khalid Taha. 5-0 in the UFC as it stands, Barcelos is undefeated since 2014. With three finishes already in his UFC career, the Brazillian is certainly a talent. Should he get taken down by Dvalishvili (which there is a good chance he will), he won’t be concerned. The BJJ black belt holds two submissions on his record, one of which we saw in the UFC.
The winner of this one will position themselves nicely in the top 10 of the bantamweight division. Don’t blink, these two are both fast and always look for the finish.
Men’s Light Heavyweight
This is a big one. Thiago Santos returns having lost in his main event slot last time out. A massively unimpressive performance, Santos struggled on the ground against Glover Teixeira. Coming off the back of an extremely impressive title fight performance against Jon Jones as well as holding a win over the current champion, Santos was looked at as a potential champion. Following this recent setback, he will be looking to bounce back in February.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 13, 2020
Aleksander Rakic is 5-1 in the UFC and recently bounced back from his first UFC loss himself. In this bout, he dominated Anthony Smith to a unanimous decision victory. Prior to this, despite losing a close split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir, Rakic was on a tear. A brutal KO of Jimi Manuwa as well as a finish over Devin Clark, showed how dangerous Rakic can be at 205lbs. The well rounded Austrian can jump into a title picture with a big win over Thiago Santos in what is a very exciting light heavyweight division.
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