MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Shogun/Te Huna, Faber/McDonald Among New Fight Annoucements

James Te Huna The UFC yesterday announced a number of new matchups, including a featherweight fight between former two-division world champion BJ Penn and former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, which I already wrote about in depth last night (click here to read). The next big fight the UFC confirmed is a light heavyweight bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and James Te Huna, which will serve as the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 33 this December in Brisbane, Australia. This is an excellent matchup between two of the most powerful strikers in the 205-pound division and it’s a winnable fight for both men, which is why I’m so intrigued by it. Although Rua is certainly on the decline, he definitely has the style that can beat Te Huna and deserves to be the favorite heading into this fight based on his resume. But at the same time, Te Huna is a guy who I consider on the rise and I believe he will give Rua a hell of a battle this winter. My initial thoughts are that Rua should open around -185, with the comeback on Te Huna at around +145 or so. I know that may seem low for Rua, but he has looked absolutely awful as of late and I have a feeling the public is going to like the Kiwi in this fight. As well, the UFC announced a huge bantamweight bout between Michael McDonald and Urijah Faber, which will be the co-main event for UFC on FOX this December in Faber’s hometown of Sacramento, California. This is an incredible matchup and it’s a fight the fans wanted to see, so kudos to the UFC for booking it. As far as how I see this one opening at the sportsbooks, I’d imagine Faber would be slightly favored at around -130 with the comeback on McDonald at +100. Again, that may seem like a low number on Faber to some, but the reality is McDonald is a heck of a lot younger and he’s looked absolutely phenomenal as of late outside of his submission loss to the top bantamweight in the world, Renan Barao. As well, a heavyweight scrap between Travis Browne and Stipe Miocic is expected to be added to a December fight card, either UFC on FOX 9 or UFC 168. This is a terrific fight and it should be close to a Pick ’em in the betting lines as both men have clear paths to victory in this one. And finally, the UFC is also rumored to be adding the Anthony Pettis/TJ Grant fight to UFC on FOX 9, provided both men are healthy. I don’t even want to give a lean here, because it’s so early, but I will say that I expect that one to be a hell of a standup fight.

Written by Adam Martin.

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