MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Lim vs. Saffiedine New UFC Fight Night 34 Headliner

Tarec Saffiedine After an injury to welterweight Jake Ellenberger, UFC Fight Night 34 has a headliner, as top prospect Hyun Gyu Lim has agreed to step up on short notice to fight former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine in the main event. Lim was originally set to fight Kiichi Kunimoto on the undercard in a three-round welterweight fight, but this fight against Saffiedine will remain for five rounds, according to the UFC News Twitter account. Although there were many fans disappointed that Ellenberger isn’t going to fight Saffiedine, I won’t like, I actually much prefer the Lim vs. Saffiedine fight and I think it’s going to be way more exciting. It’s actually a pretty similar matchup in some ways. With Ellenberger, you had a top wrestler who has ferocious punching power, but who also has a bad gas tank. With Lim, you have a top striker who can knock opponents out with any of his limbs (pardon the pun), but he’s got a poor gas tank as well. So, whether it’s either Ellenberger or Lim, basically it’s a technical striker in Saffiedine with tremendous cardio vs. a power striker with poor cardio in whoever he is facing. It makes for an interesting dynamic, and it should make for a very interesting fight. Again, while there are many people assuming this fight will be worse because Saffiedine isn’t facing a name, I actually think it will be better because I see Lim as a top-level prospect and believe he needs to be tested right now. That’s probably what UFC matchmaker Joe Silva was thinking, too, and that’s why this is the fight we are getting. Is it main event quality for a PPV card? Hell no it’s not. But for a fight night card that’s in Asia? It makes all the sense in the world, in my opinion. Oh, and if you think this isn’t a quality main event, better get used to it because I expect there to be many main events for fight night cards in 2014 to feature at least one fighter who no one believes should be in the main event. As far as the betting line for this fight goes, it’s interesting, because while I definitely feel that Saffiedine should be favored here, I actually lean towards Lim for the win here, as I believe he can knock Saffiedine out cold. And based on what I’ve seen on social media, many fans are agreeing with me, as most are are picking Lim by KO. In saying that, I’d expect Saffiedine to open up around a -200 betting favorite, which could end up being a steal if he’s able to out-technique Lim over the course of five rounds. But if I can get Lim at +150, like I think I might be able to, I’ll have to take a stab at him to emerge with the breakthrough win that pushes him into the top 10 of the division.

Written by Adam Martin.

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