MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: UFC Dublin Official With Five New Fights

Tom Lawlor The UFC yesterday officially revealed the first five fights for the upcoming UFC Dublin card, which takes place June 19 at O2 Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on all five fights. Ryan LaFlare vs. Gunnar Nelson In the most high-profile matchup announced yesterday, Ryan LaFlare will put his undefeated record on the line against fellow undefeated fighter Gunnar Nelson in what is the co-main event of UFC Dublin. This is a fantastic bout between two men who are ready for a step up in competition and there’s no doubt the winner deserves a top-10 opponent their next time out, especially if either is able to score a finish in this bout. I’ve been really high on LaFlare ever since he made his UFC debut last year, but I’m even higher on Nelson and believe “Gunni” holds some serious edges in this contest. Based on my initial thoughts, expect a competitive line for this one, but with Nelson opening as a favorite of -180 or so. Brad Pickett vs. Ian McCall In a re-booking of a matchup that was scheduled for this past March’s UFC London card, Brad Pickett will look to go 2-0 as a flyweight when he takes on Ian McCall in a pivotal matchup in the UFC’s 125lb division. This is an excellent matchup between two of the best flyweights in the world and I expect an extremely competitive fight when these two go to war this summer. Although both men are well rounded, I’d give Pickett a slight edge in the wrestling and McCall a slight edge in the striking department, and whoever can best dictate where the fight takes place likely wins. Expect a competitive line for this fight when the odds are out, but gun to head I’d have to go with McCall as I think he can stuff most of Pickett’s takedowns, keep the fight on the feet, and edge out a decision with his boxing. But it’s close. Neil Seery vs. Phil Harris In a rematch of a fight from BAMMA, Ireland’s own Neil Seery will take on Phil Harris in a loser-leaves-town flyweight battle. Harris won the pair’s first meeting by unanimous decision, but it’s a different fight this time around and Seery has a good shot at getting revenge. Harris has really poor standup so unless he is able to wrestle Seery to the ground I just can’t see him beating “2 Tap” in the striking department. And considering the aforementioned Pickett had a hard time taking Seery down, I’m thinking Harris does too. Harris may have won the first fight but I see Seery as a slight favorite here, perhaps somewhere in the -150 or so range, and possibly even a tad higher. Nikita Krylov vs. Cody Donovan In a light heavyweight matchup between two fighters in desperate need of a win to keep their respective job on the roster, Ukraine’s Nikita Krylov will take on Cody Donovan, who is of Irish heritage. This is a fight between two of the lowest-ranked 205ers on the roster and while it’s pretty meaningless as far as the standings go, it should still be pretty fun to watch because I’m positive someone’s getting finished here. Although I think Donovan is the better overall fighter, his chin is a serious question mark and if Krylov can hit him with one of his power strikes, he might be able to score the upset win. I’m expecting a tight line with an ever-so-slight lean towards Donovan here, but it’s not really the kind of fight that is recommended for a bet as both men have way too many flaws to trust with one’s money. Tom Lawlor vs. Ilir Latifi And finally, in a bit of surprising news, Tom Lawlor has decided to move back up to 205lbs and in his return to light heavyweight he’ll take on Ilir Latifi in a matchup between two fighters who scored guillotine choke submissions in their last respective outings. This is a decent scrap between two fighters coming off wins and I could see it playing out in numerous ways. On one hand, I could see both men exchanging multiple submission attempts, but on the other I could see them pushing each other against the fence and this one ending up a stinker for 15 minutes. Either, I expect a very competitive betting line for this one, with perhaps a slight lean towards Latifi because he is more proven at 205lbs. But I could really see either fighter winning, and unless either fighter is available at big plus money, I’ll definitely be passing as it’s a tough fight to gauge.

Written by Adam Martin.

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