The UFC today announced a number of new bouts for the UFC Fight Night 39: Nogueira vs. Nelson card, which takes place April 11, 2014 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The previously announced bouts, many of which I have given my thoughts on in previous editions of MMA Odds and Ends, are:
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Roy Nelson (five-round main event)
- Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
- Johnny Bedford vs. Rani Yahya
- John Howard vs. Ryan LaFlare
- Jared Rosholt vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
The new bouts, which I will give my initial thoughts on now, are:
- Andrew Craig vs. Chris Camozzi — a middleweight bout between tough 185ers Craig and Camozzi should make for a hell of a fight. Both fighters are very durable and are usually in entertaining scraps, and this one is ultimately going to come down to who has the better gas tank as I see it going all three rounds. To me, this fight should be lined near a Pick ’em price, but gun to head I’d ever-so-slightly lean Craig.
- Beneil Dariush vs. Ramsey Nijem — a lightweight bout between Dariush and Nijem will also take place on this card. On paper it seems like a favorable matchup for Dariush, who I expect will be about a -200 or higher favorite in this spot over Nijem, who is barely clinging to a spot on the roster at this point.
- Thales Leites vs. Trevor Smith — middleweights Leites and Smith will tangle in a bit of a head-scratching matchup. I think Leites is a far superior mixed martial artist and while Smith does match up decently against him, I have a hard time seeing him win here. Look for Leites to be a pretty big favorite in this fight, perhaps in the -250 to -300 range over Smith, who is one of the weaker 185lbers on the roster.
- Alp Ozkelic vs. Dustin Ortiz — this flyweight bout between Ozkelic and Ortiz should be exciting. Both men are 1-1 in the UFC Octagon, with both coming off a recent decision loss respectively. This is a fun fight but I actually kind of favor Ozkelic as I believe Ortiz will have a hard time unleashing his lay-and-pray type gameplan on “The Turkish Delight,” who is a very fun fighter to watch.
- Jim Alers vs. Alan Omer — and finally, the UFC added a featherweight bout between UFC newcomers Alers and Omer to the card. Alers was excellent in Cage Warriors in the UK, while Omer is an Iraqi fighter with a very solid resume. This should be a fun fight but I don’t know enough about Omer to confidently have a lean for the bout right now.