MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Thatch/Wonderboy, Romero/Jacare Announced

Thompson-Thatch The UFC has announced a number of new fights for upcoming 2015 cards, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll list the bouts and give my thoughts on all of them. Nico Musoke vs. Albert Tumenov, UFC on FOX 14 A welterweight fight between Nico Musoke and Albert Tumenov has been added to UFC on FOX 14, which takes place January 24 at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The bout is expected to take place on the evening’s preliminary card. Musoke and Tumenov are both quietly moving up the ranks, and I have been impressed with both guys, but more so with Tumenov, who I think has a ton of potential at 170lbs. Look for Tumenov to be the favorite here as he continues to try and work his way up the UFC welterweight ladder. Kenny Robertson vs. Sultan Aliev, UFC on FOX 14 A welterweight matchup between Kenny Robertson and Sultan Aliev will also take place on the UFC Stockholm preliminary card. Aliev is a lay and prayer and I don’t see how that works against Robertson, who has underrated wrestling and submissions. Robertson is a guy who is quietly effective and while he doesn’t have a big name, he’s a very good fighter and could be worth a bet if he’s available around a Pick ’em price in this bout. Davey Grant vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade, UFC on FOX 14 A bantamweight bout between Davey Grant and Douglas Silva de Andrade also takes place at UFC Stockholm, according to Ivan Raupp on Combate. The bout will be on the preliminary card. Grant, who was on TUF 18, is pretty solid, but he’s had a long layoff which could give him some issues in this fight. Luckily for him, though, de Andrade just isn’t very good, despite what his record might tell you. I do lean towards Grant in this matchup, and I believe he will be favored, although it’s not a fight I’m going to rush out to the betting window to put action on. Rafael Natal vs. Tom Watson, UFC 183 A middleweight bout between Rafael Natal and Tom Watson will take place at UFC 183, set for January 31 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This bout will likely be a prelim. I think this fight is pretty easy to break down actually. Natal is going to be looking for the takedown while Watson is going to look to keep it standing and land the knockout. Watson does not have good takedown defence, but it is improving, and while Natal is fairly effective with his wrestling, it’s still not like he’s some elite wrestler or something. Look for Watson to be favored going into this bout, and I have a feeling he pulls it off. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Brandon Thatch, UFC Colorado A welterweight matchup between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Brandon Thatch is the latest addition to UFC Colorado, which takes place February 14 at 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. No main event has been set for this card yet and it’s possible the bout could actually wind up in the headlining spot should no other big-name fights be added. This fight between two nasty strikers could really go either way, but I do favor Thatch a bit. We saw in the Matt Brown fight that Thompson can be rocked if his chin gets hit, and because he keeps his hands so low that could definitely happen here against Thatch, who is extremely nasty on the feet. Still, I could see Thompson catching Thatch as well, so it’s hard to be super confident in either guy here, but I do feel like Thatch is the better mixed martial artist and deserves the status of favorite heading into this fight. Yoel Romero vs. Jacare Souza, UFC 184 And finally, a middleweight bout between Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza has been added to UFC 184, which takes place February 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This bout could end up determining the No. 1 contender in the UFC middleweight division, and will no doubt take place on the UFC 184 PPV card. These are two of the elite middleweights in the UFC and this should be an epic fight. Romero has looked absolutely outstanding since coming to the UFC, although the same can of course be said about Jacare. However, Jacare has never fought a wrestler of Romero’s caliber and this is the fight we’ll have to see Jacare standing on his feet in. Jacare had made improvements in his striking, no doubt about it, but Romero is extremely powerful and very hard to deal with on the feet, and if he can clip Jacare in the chin, he absolutely can win by KO. This is a really tough fight to call. I expect Jacare to be favored in the betting odds, but I have a feeling Romero’s going to win this fight and I’m going to keep my eye on him as an underdog.

Written by Adam Martin.

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