MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: UFC Announces A Number Of New Bouts

Costa-PhilippouThe UFC announced a number of new bouts for upcoming fight cards in the last 24 hours, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my quick thoughts on them all. Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush, UFC 175 The first new bout is a middleweight match at UFC 175 between RFA middleweight champion Kevin Casey and Legacy FC middleweight champion Bubba Bush. This is Casey’s return to the Octagon after a failed stint on TUF, while Bush will be making his UFC debut. This is an excellent fight and both men deserve to be in the UFC after their recent runs. After a one-and-done post-TUF career, Casey has earned phenomenal in RFA, winning his last few fights by stoppage and truly deserving this return to the Octagon. As for Bush, he has finished his last four fights in LFC but Casey represents a big step up in competition. Either guy could win this fight and I expect the odds to be near a Pick ’em with a slight lean towards Bush due to the historical lack of respect by the betting public towards Casey. Leonardo Mafra vs. Rick Story, UFC Fight Night 45 Dude to an injury to John Howard, TUF Brazil 1 vet Leonardo Mafra has been re-signed by the UFC and he will take on Rick Story at UFC Fight Night 45, which is set to take place July 15 at Revel Resort Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Mafra wasn’t impressive in his UFC debut back at UFC 147 but he’s clearly improved since then as he’s won a couple fights in a row by stoppage to once again catch UFC matchmaker Joe Silva’s eye. However, coming in on short notice to face a guy like Story is a very tough task, and I believe Story will win this bout. Look for Story to be a big favorite here, perhaps of around -300 or so. Gegard Mousasi vs. Jacare Souza 2, UFC 176 The co-main event for UFC 176 is a three-round middleweight rematch between Gegard Mousasi and Jacare Souza. The event takes place August 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The first time these two met was in DREAM where Mousasi finished Souza with a ridiculous upkick KO. Since then, the two fighters have gone on different paths but finally they meet again in a fight that could potentially determine the next title contender at 185lbs. This is a very compelling fight between two of the best in the world and kudos to the UFC for booking it. This is a really, really tough one to call but I favor Souza slightly due to a perceived grappling advantage. However, Mousasi is extremely talented and could very well win. Expect a close and competitive line for this one with a slight lean towards Souza. Beneil Dariush vs. Tony Martin, UFC 176 As well, a lightweight bout between Beneil Dariush and Tony Martin was also added to UFC 176. Both men are coming off losses and desperately need a win to stay relevant in the UFC. It’s a competitive bout, but Dariush will likely be favored slightly due to the public hype surrounding him. Ovince St-Preux vs. Ryan Bader, UFC Fight Night 47 The main event for UFC Fight Night 47 will be a five-round light heavyweight bout between Ryan Bader and Ovince St-Preux. The fight takes place August 17 at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. Both fighters are coming off of great wins at UFC 174 and another victory in the division will put both guys closer to the top five. This is a good fight for sure but I do favor Bader here based on his wrestling advantage and believe he should be about -150 or so like in his last fight. However, OSP is clearly on the rise at 205lbs and cannot be counted out of this fight by any means. Danny Mitchell vs. Wang Sai, UFC Fight Night 48 A welterweight bout between Danny Mitchell and Wang Sai was added to UFC Fight Night 48, which takes place August 23 at CotaiArena in Macau, China. It’s not a big-name fight by any means but I have a feeling this fight could be a very fun grappling match and may surprise some people. It should be competitive but I favor Sai slightly and believe he will be the favorite in this fight. Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos, UFC Fight Night 49 The main event for UFC Fight Night 50 was announced and it’s a five-round lightweight bout between Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos. The event is set to take place August 23 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is an excellent fight on paper and really has the potential to be FOTN on the Tulsa card. Both fighters are coming off wickedly-impressive victories at UFC Fight Night 42 and the winner of this bout will be close to a title shot in the 155lb division. It should be a great fight but Henderson should be the favorite here of about 2-to-1 based on his prior experience and success in five-round bouts. Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa, UFC Fight Night 50 A lightweight contest between Joe Lauzon and Michael Chiesa was added to UFC Fight Night 50, which takes place September 5 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut. This fight looks like it could be the passing of the torch from TUF 5’s Lauzon to TUF 16’s Chiesa and I definitely favor Chiesa large in this one. However, Chiesa never gets any respect from the betting public and I have a feeling he’s going to be undervalued. And if he’s available around -200 or so like I think he will be, he will certainly be worth a bet in this spot. Andre Fili vs. Sean Soriano, UFC Fight Night 50 And finally, a featherweight bout between Andre Fili and Sean Soriano was also added to UFC Fight Night 50. Both men are coming off a loss in their last outing and desperately need a win here to remain as a viable prospect at 145lbs. This is a competitive fight for sure and I expect the line to be very close as it’s a pretty even matchup on paper.

Written by Adam Martin.

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