MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Even More New UFC Fight Announcements

Stipe-Miocic The UFC continued to announce more fights for the early 2014 schedule, including a superb heavyweight fight at UFC on FOX 10 between Stipe Miocic and Gabriel Gonzaga. This is the perfect matchup to make at the moment and I actually called for the UFC to book it as soon as Gonzaga KOed Shawn Jordan back at UFC 166. So I’m very happy the UFC decided to go this route, because I think it’s the right fight for both men. For Miocic, it’s a chance to continue to climb the ladder after his upset of Roy Nelson back at UFC 161. For whatever reason, the UFC has had him on the shelf for the whole second half of 2013, but he’ll be back in January to take on Gonzaga, who has went 4-1 since returning to the UFC in early 2012. Gonzaga has never looked as good as he has the last two years, and if he can defeat Miocic to up his winning streak to three in a row, he will jump into the top 10. This is a really good fight but you have to favor the younger, faster, and more mobile Miocic here. My initial thoughts are that he should open up around -200 with the comeback on Gonzaga around +150. It’s possible Miocic goes higher than 2-to-1 but considering how down the public was on him going into the Nelson matchup, I’m hoping we can get a good number on him here because, even though Gonzaga has improved, his chin is still suspect and I think Miocic has what it takes to knock him out. Silva vs. St-Preux Booked For UFC Fight Night 35 The UFC also announced the addition of a light heavyweight contest featuring Thiago Silva and Ovince St-Preux to the upcoming UFC Fight Night 35 card in Georgia in January. This is a strange matchup in my opinion as I see Silva higher up the ladder than St-Preux, but the UFC obviously wasn’t happy that Silva missed weight and looked awful in his fight against Matt Hamill at UFC Fight Night 29 and has matched him up with St-Preux, who doesn’t even crack my top 25. Still, it’s an interesting matchup and it should provide a pretty nice finish by either guy. The explosive St-Preux always gets a lot of respect from the betting public, so don’t be surprised if this line opens close to a Pick ’em, especially considering how mediocre Silva looked against Hamill in a fight that he should have easily won. I still lean Silva to get the win here, but it’s not a lock by any means. Brian Melancon Retires UFC welterweight fighter Brian Melancon yesterday pulled out of his UFC Fight Night 33 bout against Robert Whittaker and announced his retirement. According to Melancon, he has serious kidney issues stemming from cutting weight and his doctors recommended he retire from the sport. Melancon, who retires with a 7-3 MMA record as a pro, went 1-1 in the UFC, including a sweet KO win over Seth Baczynski at UFC 162, one of the most brutal knockouts of the whole year.

Written by Adam Martin.

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