MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Iaquinta/Masvidal, Maynard/Yakovlev Added To UFC FN 63

Gray Maynard Two new bouts were added to UFC Fight Night 63, which is set to take place April 4 at Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on both fights. Al Iaquinta vs. Jorge Masvidal, UFC FN 63 Fresh off his TKO win over Joe Lauzon, the UFC is throwing Al Iaquinta right back into the fire as the TUF 15 alum will take on highly-ranked lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 63. This is a tremendous fight between two strikers with solid wrestling skills and it should be a real treat for the fans. Masvidal is 5-1 in the UFC and is coming off of three-straight wins over James Krause, Daron Cruickshank and Pat Healy. He also has wins over Michael Chiesa and Tim Means with his lone Octagon loss coming to Rustam Khabilov. He is a dangerous striker on the feet and his wrestling is incredibly underrated, and he makes for a stiff test for the youngster Iaquinta. As for Iaquinta, he is 6-2 in the UFC with wins over Lauzon, Ross Pearson, Rodrigo Damm, Kevin Lee, Piotr Hallmann and Ryan Couture, with his lone losses coming to Chiesa and Mitch Clarke. Iaquinta has shown impressive striking technique and knockout power during his recent win streak, and a win over Masvidal would shoot him into the division’s top 10. This is a tough fight to call as both fighters have been nothing short of impressive, and I don’t really lean one way or another. I think this is a true Pick ’em fight and it will be interesting to see which way the betting public takes the line when it is released closer to the event. Gray Maynard vs. Alexander Yakovlev, UFC FN 63 A lightweight matchup between former title contender Gray Maynard and Alexander Yakovlev was also added to UFC Fight Night 63, and it’s a definitely a must-win fight for both men, as both are in dire need of a victory inside the Octagon. For Maynard, it’s been a somewhat-shocking fall from grace. After fighting Frankie Edgar to a draw at UFC 125 in one of the best fights in UFC history, Maynard is 1-4 over his last four outings with his lone win in that timespan coming to Clay Guida by split decision and losses to Edgar in their trilogy fight, a knockout loss to TJ Grant, a knockout loss to Nate Diaz and a knockout loss to Ross Pearson. His chin appears to be compromised and if he gets knocked out for a fourth-straight fight, he will have to consider retirement. As for Yakovlev, he is 0-2 in the UFC with losses to Demian Maia and Nico Musoke and is in a must-win situation himself. He just hasn’t looked good at all in the UFC but dropping down to lightweight from welterweight he could find some success, although Maynard seems like a difficult matchup, at least on paper. It’s a tough fight to call just because of all the question marks, and I don’t think this will be a good fight to bet on, but I still do think Maynard should be a slight favorite heading into this fight, one that could very well be the last of his MMA career.

Written by Adam Martin.

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