MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Weekend Fight Announcement Roundup (CMigrator copy 24)

Gabriel Gonzaga A number of new UFC bouts were announced over the weekend, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on all of them. Luke Barnatt vs. Clint Hester, UFC Fight Night 63 A middleweight matchup between TUF 17 veterans Luke Barnatt and Clint Hester will take place at UFC Fight Night 63, set for April 4 at Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. This is a tough one to call. I think Barnatt has more skills, but the thing is, he has a poor chin and Hester hits very hard. I haven’t been impressed with either guy really, but if I had to pick someone, I’d go with Hester to get the job done with a knockout, but this is not a fight I want to be betting on. Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko Cro Cop, UFC Fight Night 64 A heavyweight bout between Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Crop Cop will headline the UFC’s first event in Poland, which takes place April 11 at Krakow Arena in Krakow. It’s a rematch of the pair’s first bout from way back at UFC 70 which Gonzaga won via stunning head kick KO. Honestly, I think this rematch eight years later plays out the same way. Both men are older now but I think Gonzaga’s actually improved his skills over the years, whereas I think Cro Cop is the same fighter. I think Cro Cop’s chin is just as questionable as ever and if Gonzaga connects, it’s going to be night night for Cro Cop. Expect a close line for this one because Cro Cop could get KOed too, but I definitely like Gonzaga to pick up the W. Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz, UFC Fight Night 64 A light heavyweight bout between Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz was also added to UFC Fight Night 64. This is a tough to call. Both men are primarily strikers and both have knockout power, but I feel like Manuwa hits harder and is more technical in his striking. However, Blachowicz will have home-field advantage for this one. It’s not an easy fight to call at all, but if I had to pick, I’d lean towards Manuwa slightly to get the win, probably by knockout. Nordine Taleb vs. Claudio Silva, UFC 186 And finally, a welterweight bout between Nordine Taleb and Claudio Silva was added to UFC 186, which takes place April 25 at Bell Centre in Monteal, Quebec, Canada. Both of these fighters are 2-0 in the UFC but neither has been impressive. They both have solid wrestling skills, but both have poor striking and cardio to go along with that. Neither has been fun to watch inside the Octagon, but both have been winning, so it makes sense to match them up and presumably cut the winner. I lean towards Silva slightly in this fight because I think he’s a better fighter, but I wouldn’t bet this one.

Written by Adam Martin.

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