MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Injuries Wreck Havoc On Future Matchups

Derek Brunson Injuries have wrecked havoc on two future UFC fight matchups, although, thankfully, you should know right away neither of them are significant bouts. The first injury came to Antonio Braga Neto, who has been pulled from his upcoming bout against Derek Brunson at UFC Fight For The Troops 3 with an injury. In Braga Neto’s place will be Brian Houston, who will be making his UFC debut. Like many, I don’t know much about Houston and admit I have never heard of him until he signed with the UFC a few months go, but from what I’ve seen he has very powerful standup and he’s going to need to use it against Brunson, who has a tendency to take his opponents down and hold them on the ground for decision wins. I think if this fight stays standing you could see a Houston KO win, but the threat of a Brunson lay-and-pray type fight is too high for me to consider making a sizeable play against him. Again, this is just my initial thought, but I’m assuming the UFC veteran Brunson will open as a 2-to-1 fav in this spot, and we’ll see this November if I’m right. The next matchup that was affected by injuries is a lightweight bout between Anthony Njokuani and Al Iaquinta, which was set to take place at the upcoming UFC Manchester card. Well, it’s not happening any longer a Njokuani has been injured and forced to pull out of the fight and now Iaquinta has been left without an opponent just a week after taking this short-notice opportunity following an injury to Paul Taylor, who was originally set to fight Njokuani. first reported this lineup switch, and according to their story, it’s not yet known if Iaquinta will remain on the card or be pulled off of it as well. If I had to guess, the UFC will just pull Iaquinta off this card entirely since he did take it on short notice and just book him for one of the December cards instead (either UFC on FOX 9 or UFC 168). However, there’s the slight chance the UFC signs a British lightweight and puts him against Iaquinta, and I wouldn’t be totally against that, either. And finally, it’s not an injury but according to lightweight Nate Diaz, he has a high school reunion to go to on November 30 and he would prefer to fight Gray Maynard another night instead of at the TUF 18 Finale. UFC president Dana White was asked by reporters in Las Vegas yesterday about the tweet and said he had heard of it but had not read it himself, but said the UFC and Diaz would talk and figure out a solution. If I had to guess, the UFC will oblige Diaz’ request and move his fight against Maynard to either UFC on FOX 9 or UFC 168 instead. I doubt they’d do this kind of thing for any other fighter, by the way, but the Diaz brothers have always had a soft spot in White’s heart and if he’s truly going to his high school reunion that night then White may help him out in this spot.

Written by Adam Martin.

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