MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: UFC Fight Night 62 Features Faber/Assuncao, Thomson/Burns

Josh-Thomson The UFC is going back to Brazil in March, and it’s bringing back a star-studded lineup when it does. According to Combate, UFC Fight Night 62 will take place March 21 at Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the main event will be a five-round bantamweight fight between top contenders Urijah Faber and Raphael Assuncao and a co-main event between lightweights Josh Thomson and Gilbert Burns. I’m assuming Faber and Assuncao will be battling for the No. 1 contendership at 135lbs and the winner will likely fight the winner of UFC 186’s main event between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao. Faber and Assuncao fought previously in the WEC with Faber submitting Assuncao with a rear-naked choke, but that fight was five years ago and both men have improved a ton since then, especially Assuncao. As well, that first fight was at 145lbs and now both men are at 135lbs, which adds an interesting dynamic to this rematch. Faber is going to be the favorite here, of that there’s no doubt, but I have a feeling Assuncao can be very competitive in this fight and it wouldn’t shock me if he pulled off the upset. The fact the fight is five rounds likely favors Faber, who has been the full five a number of times, but Assuncao has looked great in the UFC and if he can beat Faber, that will be eight wins in a row and the UFC will have to give him a title shot. As for Thomson vs. Burns, this is a really weird matchup. Thomson is one of the best lightweights in the world and has been for the last 10 years. He is coming off of two-straight split decision losses to Benson Henderson and Bobby Green, but he was definitely competitive in both of those fights and another set of judges’ could have given him the nods in those matchups. As for Burns, he’s an unbelievable BJJ player and is still undefeated in his MMA career, but Thomson represents a massive step up in competition for the Blackzilians-trained fighter. But at the same time, why would the UFC just want to feed a prospect to Thomson? I have a feeling the UFC is very high on Burns and thinks he can pull off the upset here, and it wouldn’t shock me at all if that’s exactly what happened. Still, Thomson is a known commodity and has to be the favorite here, but I’m really going to think about this one more and I might even end up taking Burns as a dog depending on where the line is come fight night in March.

Written by Adam Martin.

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