UFC 230 got a late shakeup due to a late-minute injury to a top star, and a few other minor fights were announced over the weekend for upcoming cards. I’ll give my thoughts on all of them in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Chris Weidman vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, UFC 230
Due to an injury to Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman will now face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a pivotal middleweight contest at UFC 230, which is set for Saturday, November 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Brett Okamoto of ESPN broke the news. Weidman (14-3) is coming off of a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum that snapped a three-fight losing streak. Souza (25-6, 1 NC) lost a close split decision to Gastelum in his last fight but we all know how dangerous he is. I love this matchup and actually think it’s a better fight. As for who I’m favoring, it’s tough. A few years ago I would have said Weidman but he hasn’t impressed me much lately while I think Souza is still really dangerous. I’m expecting Pick ’em odds for what is a tough one to call.
David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier, UFC 230
With Souza being shifted out of his fight against David Branch, Jared Cannonier has stepped in on short notice to fight Branch at UFC 230. Branch (22-4) is coming off of a huge KO win over Thiago Santos and has won 12 of his last 13 fights overall with the lone loss in that time period coming to Rockhold. Cannonier (10-4) is just 3-4 in the UFC but is making the move down to middleweight for this bout. I don’t think this is a good debut opponent for him, though, as Branch is far more experienced and far more dangerous. I like Branch to get the win in this fight and expect him to be a sizeable favorite.
Beneil Dariush vs. Thiago Moises, UFC Fight Night 139
Due to an injury to Chris Gruetzemacher, Beneil Dariush will now take on Thiago Moises at UFC Fight Night 139, which takes place Saturday, November 10 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. MMABrasil had the news. Dairush (14-4-1) has been knocked out in two of his last three fights and no longer looks like the lightweight title contender he was a few years ago. Moises (11-2) is making his UFC debut after picking up a win on the Brazilian Contender Series. I’d have to favor Dariush due to his name but I will be keeping my eye out on Moises for a potential bet if the line gets too long.
Maycee Barber vs. Hannah Cifers, UFC Fight Night 139
Another injury to report on as Maia Stevenson is out of her UFC Fight Night 139 bout agains Maycee Barber and on short notice steps in Hannah Cifers. Our own James Lynch broke the news. Barber (5-0) is only 20 and emerged as one of the strawweight division’s top prospects with a knockout win on Dana White’s Contender Series. Cifers (8-2) has won five straight fights and is coming off of a TKO win over Kali Robbins. Although Cifers looks like a decent prospects, I’d expect Barber to be a huge favorite here due to all the hype.