MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: UFC 171 Card Gets More Additions

Jimy Hettes The UFC this week announced two more awesome matchups for the upcoming UFC 171 event this March in Dallas, TX, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my initial thoughts on both fights. Jimy Hettes vs. Dennis Bermudez, UFC 171 The first new matchup announced this week for UFC 171 is a featherweight tilt between grappler extraordinaire Jimy Hettes and the surging Dennis Bermudez. I’ve seen a lot of people say they don’t like this fight because they believe Bermudez deserves a top-10 opponent due to his five-fight win streak, but I think it makes a lot of sense stylistically and I can definitely understand why Sean Shelby booked it. Although Bermudez has five-straight victories, look at who they came against: Pablo Garza (cut), Tommy Hayden (cut), Matt Grice (controversial split decision), Max Holloway (controversial split decision) and Steven Siler. So, out of the five wins, two are controversial and two came over fighters no longer on the UFC roster. It seems like Shelby isn’t 100 percent a believer in Bermudez yet, and now he wants him to face a high-level grappler in Hettes to see what his ground game is really made of. With Hettes, he’s battled injuries throughout his UFC career but he’s still an incredibly talented ground fighter and he has a very good chance of submitting Bermudez if the fight hits the ground. If the fight stays standing, though, he will be in more trouble because his striking just isn’t up to par with the other featherweight contenders in the UFC, although it has definitely improved since when he first made his UFC debut back in 2011. Based on the hype behind Bermudez and based on the fact a lot of people are off the Hettes bandwagon, I’m guessing Bermudez opens as the favorite in this spot, perhaps around -200 or so, but we’ll have to wait until March to see what the actual line is. Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Andrade, UFC 171 The second new fight booked for UFC 171 is a women’s bantamweight contest between Julianna Pena and Jessica Andrade. I really like this fight and believe the winner will take a significant step up in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Pena, of course, won TUF 17 and looked great in doing so, first submitting Shayna Baszler in a shocker inside the house and then eventually making it to the finals, where she scored a dominant win over Jessica Rakoczy. Pena has incredible wrestling, and if she’s able to get any of her opponents to the ground she’s more than likely going to smash their faces in with her heavy ground and pound or lock in a submission. As for Andrade, she looked incredible in her three-round beating of Rosi Sexton at UFC Manchester in October, which was a big win for her after losing in devastating fashion to Liz Carmouche in her Octagon debut at UFC on FOX 8. Andrade is improving in all facets of the game, and if she’s able to stuff Pena’s takedowns and keep this fight standing, she has a very good chance of taking home the W. Based on the fact Pena won TUF and based on the lack of respect Andrade has received from bettors so far, I’m guessing Pena opens around -250 or so in this spot, and it will certainly be interesting to see if the public pushes that number higher or finally gives Andrade some respect.

Written by Adam Martin.

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