MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Bevy Of New Fight Matchups Announced

john-lineker The UFC has announced a number of new and exciting matchups over the last few days, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends, I’ve decided to give my quick take on all of these new fights. Ali Bagautinov vs. John Lineker, UFC 169 The first big fight announcement that I want to write about is a flyweight match at UFC 169 between Ali Bagautinov and John Lineker. In a shallow 125-pound division, look for the winner of this fight to be right up there as far as the title talks are concerned. This is going to be an excellent matchup, and I expect the betting lines to be very close when they open. That being said, if I had to pick a winner right now (and my mind may change by February), I’d have to favor Bagautinov ever so slightly, as I believe he is a bit more complete of a fighter at the current moment. That being said, Lineker is a nasty finisher and you can never count him out of any flyweight bout. Should be a great one, regardless. Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker, UFC 170 In a welterweight matchup that should be fireworks, top strikers Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Robert Whittaker square off at UFC 170. Although Whittaker is an excellent prospect, I do believe that Thompson is the better overall striker since he mixes his kicks in better and I favor him to win this fight after Whittaker was outstruck by Court McGee and even dropped by Colton Smith. Raphael Assuncao vs. Francisco Rivera, UFC 170 In a bantamweight bout with title implications, Raphael Assuncao will battle Francisco Rivera at UFC 170. This is an exciting match on paper, and I’m sure it will be in the running for Fight of the Night when it’s all said and done. Although Rivera is a hard hitter, I see some holes in his game and I believe Assuncao — who is the more well-rounded fighter of the two — can take advantage of them. That being said, there is a lot of hype behind Rivera right now after his string of knockout victories, but I am leaning towards Assuncao slightly here to get the win. Darrell Montague vs. Will Campuzano, UFC 171 In a flyweight bout, Darrell Montague will take on Will Campuzano at UFC 171. Although Montague was destroyed by John Dodson in his UFC debut and although Campuzano at least was competitive with Sergio Pettis in his last outing, I still think this is Montague’s fight to win or lose, and I’m guessing he will open as a small favorite in this spot. Luke Barnatt vs. Mats Nilsson, UFC London In a middleweight scrap, Luke Barnatt looks to remain undefeated when he takes on Mats Nilsson at UFC London. Although Nilsson is a solid prospect, Barnatt is a rising star in the UFC middleweight division, and after taking out Andrew Craig via stoppage in his last fight, I’m surprised he didn’t get a bigger name opponent. With that being said, look for him to open as a decent-sized favorite in this fight, as, from all accounts, it’s more or less a “hometown showcase” for the big Brit. Brad Scott vs. Claudio Henrique da Silva, UFC London And finally, the UFC announced a middleweight tilt between Brad Sc0tt and Claudio Henrique da Silva, who is making his UFC debut. This fight will take place at UFC London. I don’t know much about da Silva, but everything I’ve heard about him has been nothing short of positive. As for Scott, he looked great in submitting Michael Kuiper in his last outing so I would assume he’ll open as a slight favorite here.

Written by Adam Martin.

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