Two big fights have been booked for upcoming cards — one in Bellator, and one in the UFC — and I’ll give my thoughts on both of these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Brent Primus vs. Michael Chandler 2, Bellator 210
The rematch between Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus and Michael Chandler has been booked for an upcoming Bellator card on Friday, December 14 at an undisclosed location. ESPN.com broke the news of the rematch. Primus (8-0) has not competed since he won the title from Chandler back at Bellator NYC last June. If you remember that fight, Chandler suffered an injury and the referee had to stop the fight leading to Primus getting crowned the champion. Primus has overall looked great in Bellator with a 6-0 record, but the way he beat Chandler to get the belt makes a lot of people question his status as a champion, especially since he hasn’t defended it since. Chandler (18-4) has bounced back from the loss to Primus with back-to-back victories over Goiti Yamauchi and Brandon Girtz. Overall he’s won six of his last seven fights and has come a long way from the nasty three-fight losing skid he suffered in 2013-2014 that knocked him out of the picture for the best lightweight in the world. Despite the fact Primus won the first fight, I still think the betting line will be set with Chandler as a big favorite. I just don’t think many people believe in Primus as a champion. That being said, the first time these two fought the betting line was out of whack, and if Primus is a massive underdog yet again, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to take a stab at him to win the rematch.
Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa, UFC 232
A welterweight bout between Carlos Condit and Michael Chiesa has been added to UFC 232, which takes place Saturday, December 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chris Taylor BJPenn.com broke the news, which was confirmed by an ESPN report. Condit (30-12) is just a few years removed from being an elite welterweight, but he’s really fallen on hard times as of late. He’s lost four straight fights and was choked out in devastating fashion by Alex Oliveira in his last bout. His last win came against Thiago Alves in 2015. Chiesa (14-4) suffered through a brutal weight cut prior to UFC 226 and was submitted by Anthony Pettis via armbar in an upset. In his fight before that, Chiesa lost via technical submission to Kevin Lee, so he desperately needs to get back in the win column. The move up to welterweight should help him as he won’t be cutting as much weight to make his new division, though it remains to be seen how he will match up size and strength wise with the bigger welterweights. As good as Condit once was, it’s hard to pick him right now, especally against someone specializing in submissions like Chiesa. I’m expecting a competitive betting line here, but would definitely give consideration to Chiesa if he was a sizeable-enough underdog.