MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Two Middleweight Bouts Added to UFC 164

Jared-Hamman The UFC today continued to add to the upcoming UFC 164 card as the promotion confirmed two new middleweight bouts for the event. The first bout features a battle of chiseled 185ers as Derek Brunson takes on Yoel Romero in what promises to be an explosive fight, as UFC commentator Mike Goldberg would say. Brunson was supposed to fight Ronny Markes at the recent UFC on FUEL TV 10 event in Brazil but when his opponent was involved in a car accident the day of weigh-ins the fight was scratched and Brunson was given his show money and removed from the card. But thankfully the UFC was able to get him a fight quickly as he’ll step in this cage this August to take on Romero, who had an impressive UFC debut with a flying knee KO over Clifford Starks at UFC on FOX 7. This is an interesting matchup because Brunson will likely not be able to use his size, wrestling and athleticism against an Olympic-caliber wrestler in Romero and with the fight staying on the feet one would have to give a pretty big edge to Romero, who has displayed more power in his career. Plus, Brunson has a somewhat suspect chin so if Romero is able to connect with one of those flying knees he could win another “Knockout of the Night” award. But keep in might Romero’s chin isn’t the greatest either, as he was knocked out by Rafael Cavalcante in Strikeforce and he’s in his mid 30s compared to Brunson, who’s in his late 20s. I’d have to guess that Romero opens as the favorite, and I’d peg him around -200 with the comeback on Brunson being about +150. With both fighters having questionable cardio it’s possible this fight turns into a very sloppy striking fest it makes it to the third round but to be honest I don’t think it goes the distance as I think Romero clips Brunson and finishes him off in the first or second round. I definitely need to wait to see what the official lines are for the fight when they come out later this summer but if Romero is anything at -200 or under then I believe there is a play to be made on the Cuban. The second middleweight matchup pits Jared Hamman against Magnus Cedenblad. This is a fight that is likely to fly under the radar as neither guy has much of a fan following but let me tell you right now that I believe that Hamman is one of the toughest fighters on the entire UFC roster and you just have to go and watch his fights against Costa Philippou and Michael Kuiper to see why. Although Hamman leaves his chin up way too much and gets tagged more often than any fighter not named Roy Nelson or Mark Hunt, he has a ton of heart and never gives up unless he’s unconscious. The only concern I have with Hamman is that he’s been off for over a year recovering from injuries sustained in the Kuiper fight. But Cedenblad has been out for even longer and that’s something to keep in mind. He’s also surprisingly the same age as Hamman (31) and doesn’t have as much experience against top-level competition. So while I expect the majority of “sharps” to be fading Hamman here and making a bet on Cedenblad I’m actually going to do the opposite and go with “The Messenger” to come through the win. I’m guessing Cedenblad opens as a small favorite but if Hamman is available at any sort of plus money I’ll likely make a small play on him because I do believe he has what it takes to win this fight and I think he’s going to save his UFC career with a win. The UFC 164 card takes place August 31 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI, and the main event of the evening is a lightweight title bout between champion Benson Henderson and top contender TJ Grant.

Written by Adam Martin.

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