MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: End Of Week Fight Roundup

Shinya Aoki It was a busy week in the world of mixed martial arts — when is it not? — and with all the news this week there were a few odds and ends that slipped under the rug, so to speak. I’m talking about recent fight announcements, of course, so for today’s Odds and Ends I’ll take a look at the recent matchups that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet. Shinya Aoki vs. Cody Stevens, ONE FC 11 The first fight I want to highlight is a featherweight bout at ONE FC 11 between Shinya Aoki and Cody Stevens. Yes, that’s correct, Aoki is dropping down to 145, and I think he will be a dangerous, dangerous man at this weight. Look for Aoki to be a big favorite in this fight as he usually is in mismatches — and, if he wins, expect many to be calling for him to go to the UFC. Piotr Hallmann vs. Al Iaquinta, UFC Fight Night 30 The next fight that was announced is a lightweight bout between Piotr Hallmann and Al Iaquinta, which will take place at UFC Fight Night 30. Hallmann is a late-notice replacement for the injured Anthony Njokuani. I love this fight and I think it will be a fight of the night contender when it’s all said and done. I have to admit that Hallmann is tough as nails and really surprised me in his UFC debut against Francisco Trinaldo, but he got tagged hard in that fight and Iaquinta hits hard. Really hard. Therefore my initial thoughts are that Iaquinta should be a 2-to-1 favorite in this fight, but we’ll see next month if I’m right. Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Stephens, UFC Fight Night 32 The UFC also re-booked a featherweight fight between Rony Jason and Jeremy Stephens for UFC Fight Night 32 after both guys pulled out with injuries from UFC Fight Night 29. I quite like this matchup and I’m still going back-and-forth on it, which is likely a sign to pass unless I can get either fighter at +150 or so on fight day — something which may not happen as I see this as a dead-even Pick ’em-type fight. Dennis Siver vs. Manny Gamburyan, UFC 168 And finally, a featherweight match between Dennis Siver and Manny Gamburyan has been added to UFC 168. I don’t really like this matchup at all as Siver is ranked in the top 10 at 145 pounds while Gamburyan is a guy just clinging on to his spot on the UFC roster. But obviously the fact both are stocky, strong featherweights meant UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby had to put these two together at some point. I really like Siver — who fought competitively with Cub Swanson at UFC 162 — in this fight and I believe he should open up at at least -200 over Gamburyan, who snuck out a controversial decision win over Cole Miller in his last fight.

Written by Adam Martin.

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