MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: McGregor Gets Siver Next

Conor-McGregor Rising star Conor McGregor’s next fight is official, but it won’t be for the featherweight title. The UFC announced on Thursday that McGregor, one of their prized up-and-comers, will next take on veteran Dennis Siver in the main event of UFC Fight Night 59, which is set to take place January 18 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m not surprised the UFC booked this matchup as I expected them to match McGregor up against a striker and not a wrestler, but the timing to announce it is weird as McGregor is supposed to be in Brazil this weekend at UFC 179 for the Chad Mendes vs. Jose Aldo rematch. I figured the UFC would let that fight play out before booking his next fight, but for whatever reason they couldn’t wait to tell the world McGregor is fighting Siver in Boston. As far as the matchup goes, despite Siver being one of the top-10 ranked featherweights in the world, I see this as an easy fight for McGregor. He should be able to stop any of Siver’s takedown attempts, keep the fight standing, and knock him out on the feet. Siver is a solid striker himself and if he can start to work in his leg kicks against McGregor he could have some success, but we have seen him rocked by powerful strikers on numerous occasions in the past and overall I just feel like this fight has McGregor by first-round KO written all over it. As for the betting line, look for that to come out in the coming weeks, and look for McGregor to be listed as a sizeable favorite when the odds are released. Nate Marquardt vs. Brad Tavares, UFC 182 In addition to Siver vs. McGregor, the UFC also yesterday announced a middleweight fight between Nate Marquardt and Brad Tavares has been added to UFC 182, which takes place January 3 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s possible the fight will be on the main PPV card, but because it’s expected to be a stacked event with two title fights on it, it’s more likely Marquardt vs. Tavares is placed on the prelims, instead. Regardless, this is weird matchmaking, if you ask me. Marquardt, who had lost three-in-a-row at 170lbs and who was on the verge of getting cut at one point, recently returned to 185lbs and picked up a first-round armbar submission win over James Te Huna. It’s not like Te Huna is a great fighter or anything, but that was still a solid win for Marquardt, and I figured the UFC would match him up against someone coming off of a win. Instead, the UFC is booking him against Tavares, who has lost two-straight fights in devastating fashion to Tim Boetsch and Yoel Romero. Sure, he was beating Boetsch before getting clipped and knocked out, but still, he lost, and if anything, Boetsch should be the one rewarded with a relatively big-name fight against Marquardt. For some reason, though, Tavares is getting this opportunity, and it’s a bit of a head scratcher if you ask me. Having said all of that, this is still a winnable fight for Tavares. Now of course Marquardt has to be the favorite heading into the fight, but even with his recent losses, I would still consider Tavares a live dog in this spot, although it’s really hard to trust him after watching the way he was finished by Boetsch.

Written by Adam Martin.

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