MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Four New UFC Bouts Announced

Thales-Leites Four new UFC bouts were announced in the last 24 hours, and for Wednesday’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my quick thoughts on all of them. Richie Vaculik vs. Louis Smolka, UFC Fight Night 55 Neil Seery is out of his upcoming fight against Richie Vaculik at UFC Fight Night 55 and Vaculik will now take on Louis Smolka on very short notice as the card is set to take place November 8 at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. If Smolka had received a full training camp for this fight, I’d have picked him, but taking this fight on less than two weeks’ notice hurts him. He has shown porous takedown defence in his UFC career so far, and Vaculik is a very solid grappler with underrated wrestling. While Smolka has the edge in the standup for sure, Vaculik has a solid chin and I don’t see him being knocked out here. So I expect it to go to decision, where I think Vaculik’s takedowns will edge him the win in his backyard of Sydney. I don’t expect Vaculik to be a monster favorite here, but I do think he is the more likely winner and should be around 2-to-1 or less in this fight. Henry Briones vs. Guido Cannetti, UFC 180 Two bantamweights who were eliminated on TUF Latin America will fight on the Mexico card as Henry Briones meets Guido Cannetti in a preliminary card matchup at UFC 180, which takes place November 15 at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico. I haven’t watched TUF Latin America yet so I don’t have a great opinion on this fight, but Briones went a bit farther on the show and has a better recent record so I’m assuming he will be slightly favored here. Mats Nilsson vs. Omari Akhmedov, UFC 182 Mats Nilsson is dropping down to welterweight, and in his first fight in the weight class he will take on Omari Akhmedov at UFC 182, which is set for January 3 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nilsson looked really bad in his UFC debut against Luke Barnatt, but the size difference there was ridiculous. Moving down to 170lbs is a good move for Nilsson, who once beat Alexander Gustafsson in a shoot-boxing match. As for Akhmedov, he looked okay against Thiago Perpetuo in his UFC debut, picking up a knockout win there, but then lost in devastating fashion to Gunnar Nelson in his last fight. I really don’t think he’s as good as some think he is, but he definitely has a chance to pick up a second UFC win here against Nilsson. This is a close fight and could go either way but I slightly lean towards Akhmedov and expect him to be a slight favorite heading into the fight. Tim Boetsch vs. Thlaes Leites, UFC 183 And finally, a middleweight fight between top-15 ranked fighters Tim Boetsch and Thales Leites was booked for UFC 183, which takes place January 31 at a yet-to-be-announced venue in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a good fight between two veteran 185ers coming off of wins. Boetsch was getting his butt kicked early on by Brad Tavares in his last bout, but made a wild comeback to win in impressive fashion in the second round. Prior to that he had been on a bit of a slide, with a devastating loss to Luke Rockhold and a controversial split decision win before it. As for Leites, he’s been amazing since returning to the UFC, going 4-0 including a knockout win over Francis Carmont in his last fight. Boetsch is a tough out for anyone at 185lbs, and I don’t expect Leites to finish him, but it’s possible considering the roll he’s on. I think Leites should be the favorite here, and while it’s no lock, I do expect him to win the fight and look fairly impressive in doing so.

Written by Adam Martin.

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