MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Two New UFC Fights Booked

Hacran Dias Two bouts set for upcoming UFC Fight Night cards were recently booked, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my quick thoughts on each. Darren Elkins vs. Hacran Dias, UFC Fight Night 58 A featherweight bout between grinders Darren Elkins and Hacran Dias was added to UFC Fight Night 58, which takes place December 20 at Ginasio Jose Correa in Barueri, Brazil. The bout is expected to take place on the evening’s main card. This is a fight pitting two of the most stifling grinders in the division against one another, and it makes a lot of sense to book it. Elkins is coming off of a clear decision victory over Lucas Martins where he completely neutralized his opponent, while Dias is coming off of a very close decision loss to Ricardo Lamas where he lost a fight that was mainly contested up against the fence. Elkins will be looking to do the same thing here, but Dias is good at reversing his opponent along the cage and if he can reverse out of bad positions along the fence and keep this fight in the middle, he should have the chance to win with his striking and athleticism on the feet. This is a very close fight between two well-matched fighters, and I expect the line to be around a Pick ’em for both men with a slight lean towards Elkins, who overall has had more success in the Octagon. Tateki Matsuda vs. Joby Sanchez, UFC Fight Night 59 A flyweight tilt between Tateki Matsuda and Joby Sanchez was added to UFC Fight Night 59, set to take place January 18 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. This bout will likely take part on the Fight Pass preliminary portion of the card. Sanchez made his UFC debut on very short notice against top-10 flyweight Wilson Reis over the summer, and he nearly won the fight via knockout in the second round. Reis did ultimately manage to recover and wrestle his way to a win, but Sanchez was very competitive against a tough veteran there and with a longer training camp should be even more effective this time around. As for Matsuda, he fought Chris Beal on short notice and lost a competitive decision himself, and now he’ll be dropping down to 125lbs for this bout with Sanchez. This is a competitive fight on paper between two guys with decent pop in their hands, and could be a sleeper fight on the Boston card. It’s a close fight but I have to lean slightly towards Sanchez, just because he looked so good against Reis, a fighter I respect quite a bit. But if Matsuda is able to outstrike his way to victory here I wouldn’t be shocked at all.

Written by Adam Martin.

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