JOHN LINEKER VS CORY SANDHAGEN RE-BOOKED FOR UFC MIAMI

JOHN LINEKER VS CORY SANDHAGEN RE-BOOKED FOR UFC MIAMI

A couple new UFC bouts have been shown for upcoming fight cards, including a re-booking of an exciting bantamweight fight. Below are the newest matchups, along with my very first thoughts on these.
John Lineker vs. Cory Sandhagen, UFC on ESPN 3
The UFC has re-booked that a bantamweight bout between John Lineker and Cory Sandhagen for UFC on ESPN 3, which takes place April 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The bout, which was initially supposed to take place in the UFC 233 occasion, was first reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Lineker (31-8) is 12-3 overall from the UFC including a 6-1 mark because moving up fulltime to the bantamweight division. He’s coming from back-to-back wins over Brian Kelleher and Marlon Vera, with a reduction to TJ Dillashaw sandwiching his past win streak that included him getting his hand raised over John Dodson, Rob Font, Francisco Rivera and Michael McDonald. He’s always been one of the most exciting lighter-weight fighters in the UFC for decades and will always be in the hunt for a bonus on any card he fights on.
Sandhagen (10-1) is currently 3-0 at the UFC and is currently on a five-fight win streak overall that includes stoppage wins over Iuri Alcantara and Austin Arnett from the Octagon. He is beginning to resemble a top prospect at 135lbs and has made this matchup against Lineker, even though it won’t be an easy one to win by any means since Lineker is a superb test for him. I certainly think Sandhagen is a live dog worth a look as the younger fighter, but Lineker deserves to be the preferred here based on his body of work in the UFC.
Alexander Yakovlev vs. Teemu Packalen, UFC Fight Night 149
Also announced was a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 149 between Alexander Yakovlev and Teemu Packalen. The card occurs April 20 at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The bout was first reported by MMABetz. Yakovlev (23-8-1) is only 2-4 overall from the UFC and has not competed since a entry loss to Zak Cummings in November 2016. Before that, Yakovlev lost a choice to Kamaru Usman and it was thought by many that he had been retired at this point. Certainly that is not the case as he is booked for a different fight, but the fact he’s been away for nearly 3 years is obviously concerning. Yakovlev does hold noteworthy wins over Paul Daley and Gray Maynard, but overall he has been very inconsistent in the UFC.
Packalen (8-2) is just 1-2 in the UFC and has not fought as a KO loss to Marc Diakese in March 2017. All eight of Packalen’s career wins have come by finish, including a bonus-winning entry over Thibault Gouti from the UFC, but in general he’s been a small letdown in the Octagon. This is a fight between two guys who’ve been inconsistent at the UFC and who haven’t fought forever, so flip a coin here. I hope Yakovlev is going to be a tiny favorite here since the fight is in Russia, but he isn’t really someone you can trust with your money.
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