MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Barao vs. Wineland Set As UFC 165 Co-Main

UFC-FUEL The UFC 165 card just got a whole lot sweeter. The promotion today confirmed that UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will take on Eddie Wineland in the co-main event of the upcoming UFC 165 card, which takes place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on September 21. This fight was already supposed to happen back at UFC 161 but an injury to Barao nixed it. Now, though, Wineland will still get his crack at the belt as UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz’ return from injury has obviously hit another snag and so Barao once again will defend the interim belt. Expect the line to be similar to where it was the last time it was booked, so Barao around -500 and Wineland around +400. I still like Barao to win the fight but obviously with him coming off an injury there’s another question mark to consider, but still, this really is his fight to lose. Other Fights Added To UFC 165 Barao vs. Wineland wasn’t the only new matchup that was added to UFC 165, as the UFC also added a lightweight bout between Mark Bocek and Michel Prazeres and a welterweight bout between Chris Clements and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson to the card. Bocek vs. Prazeres should be a pretty uneventful fight and I’m not really interesting in making a wager on it. I guess my lean would be Bocek due to his wrestling, but if he can’t get Prazeres down to the floor he’ll be in trouble. Since Bocek is fighting in his hometown, I’m guessing he’ll open around -200 or so with the comeback on Prazeres +150, but this is likely to be the worst fight on the whole card and I have no interest in placing my money on either of these fighters. Clements vs. Thompson, on the other hand, is a very interesting matchup between two great strikers. Obviously you have to give “Wonderboy” the edge in the standup because he has a more versatile attack but Clements has very dangerous hands and it wouldn’t shock me at all if he was the first man to stop Thompson with strikes. I’m guessing that this fight will be close in the betting odds although with the layoff for Clements being over a year I’d imagine Thompson will enter as a slight favorite. Alves Out, Pyle vs. Brown Now Set The UFC today announced that Thiago Alves has been forced to pull out of his upcoming fight against Matt Brown at UFC on FOX Sports 1 1 with an injury and his replacement will be Mike Pyle. Brown vs. Pyle is an excellent, tightly-contested matchup on paper and I expect it to play out that way in the cage as both guys can literally do it all in the Octagon. It’s an interesting fight because Brown has power and Pyle has a suspect chin, but Pyle is also an excellent BJJ fighter and Brown has holes in his sub defence. As such, I expect the fight to open as a Pick ’em and I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on how the lines move. My initial lean is Brown because he’s had a full camp, but I’ll never count Pyle out of a fight and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he put an end to Brown’s win streak.

Written by Adam Martin.

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