MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Rumble Johnson Returns to Octagon, Faces Phil Davis At UFC 172

ufc 153 Rumble is back. UFC president Dana White today announced that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has returned to the UFC as a light heavyweight and in his first fight back with the promotion he will take on Phil Davis at UFC 172. This is an excellent matchup between two very athletic 205ers and the winner will be close to a title show in the shallow UFC light heavyweight division. Johnson definitely deserved a second chance in the UFC after stringing together six-straight wins in WSOF and on the regional circuit, while Davis is coming off a controversial decision win over Lyoto Machida and needs to get another big win to prove he’s a legitimate top contender. So to me this is a perfect match. As far as the betting line for this fight goes, I think it’s fair to favor Davis as he is the more established fighter at 205 pounds, but don’t sleep on “Rumble” in this spot. I don’t think Davis should be anything over 2-to-1 here, and I think that Johnson has a good chance of earning an upset victory. This should be a fantastic fight and UFC 172 looks better and better everyday. Rockhold vs. Boetsch Also Added To UFC 172 Additionally, a middleweight bout between Luke Rockhold and Tim Boetsch has also been added to UFC 172. I’m not a really a fan of this matchup as I believe Rockhold should have got a fight against a much higher-ranked opponent and someone on the up-and-up, not a fighter on the decline like Boetsch is. Especially perplexing to me is the fact that Costas Philippou was Rockhold’s last victim, and he defeated Boetsch just 14 months ago. So even though Boetsch is technically still ranked in the top 15 of the UFC middleweight division, I don’t think this fight makes sense other than to get Rockhold another win as the UFC looks to build him back up to contender status after his KO loss to Vitor Belfort last year. Look for Rockhold to open at least -500 for this fight and possibly even higher. Cerrone vs. Barboza Barnburner Opens UFC on FOX 11 Card And finally, the UFC announced that an amazing lightweight bout between Donald Cerrone and Edson Barboza will take place at UFC on FOX 11. This is an epic matchup on paper between two of the best kickboxers in the UFC lightweight division and it’s almost a shoe-in to win FOTN at UFC on FOX 11 this April in Florida. Although Barboza is an amazing striker offensively, his chin has holes in it and if the Cerrone who knocked out Adriano Martins and knocked down Evan Dunham in his last two bouts shows up, then he could very well KO Barboza. But if the Cerrone who was knocked out with a body kick by Anthony Pettis shows up, well don’t be surprised if Barboza finds his way to a victory. This is a close fight on paper and I expect it to be around a Pick ’em in the betting odds but I am kind of leaning Cerrone at the moment to pick up the win and continue to march up the UFC lightweight ladder.

Written by Adam Martin.

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