MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Faber/Kanehara, Siver/Whiteford Booked For Fall UFC Cards

UFC149_Weighins_089-faber The UFC officially announced two new bouts in the last 24 hours, and both fights are head scratchers. Urijah Faber vs. Masanori Kanehara, UFC Fight Night 52 The UFC yesterday revealed that Urijah Faber will get his wish to fight in Japan when the bantamweight contender squares off against UFC newcomer Masnori Kanehara at UFC Fight Night 52, which takes place September 20 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. I understand that Faber wanted to fight in Japan, but this matchup makes absolutely no sense whatsoever as Faber is one of the top three 135lbers on the planet while Masanori is basically a nobody. Yes, I know he fought in Sengoku and has wins over the likes over Chan Sung Jung, KID Yamamoto and Michihiro Omigawa, but still, most UFC fans do not know who he is and so it’s very, very weird that he would be booked against such a big-name opponent for his UFC debut. For Faber, this fight represents him an opportunity to make some cash for what should be an easy night at the office. Although Masanori is a better fighter than people think, the fact remains he is completely unproven against someone of Faber’s caliber, and until he proves himself in the Octagon he should not be being matched up with one of the division’s best fighters. So for Faber, this is just a stay-busy fight, because he can’t move up the ladder by beating someone that most fans have never heard of. It just wouldn’t make any sense. Look for Faber to be an absolutely massive favorite in what is a mismatch on paper. Expect him to open at least around 10-to-1, and it wouldn’t shock me at all if that number started pushing close to 15-to-1 come closer to fight time. It’s a mismatch. Dennis Siver vs. Robert Whiteford, UFC Fight Night 53 As well, the UFC announced that in Dennis Siver’s return from a drug suspension he will take on Scotland’s Robert Whiteford at UFC Fight Night 53, which is set to take place October 4 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. I know that Siver is coming off a drug suspension, but he is ranked in the top 10 and deserved a better opponent. If the UFC is trying to send a message to those caught for PEDs that they will give them a step down in competition for being caught, then I understand the fight, but the UFC has never sent that kind of message in the past and it’s doubtful that’s the reason why this fight was booked. Instead, it appears to be lazy matchmaking on the part of the UFC, as it’s a fighter that no one except for maybe Whiteford’s small fanbase in Scotland is looking forward to. Siver is not a lock to win this fight by any means, but he should be a favorite here of at least -250 and maybe a bit higher. It will be interesting to see him off the PEDs, though — maybe he won’t be the same fighter anymore. But until we see him in the cage we can’t assume he will have declined, and thus this fight just really doesn’t make much sense at all.

Written by Adam Martin.

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