MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: UFC Poland Card Takes Minor Hit

Sergio Moraes There has been a minor change to next month’s UFC Poland event. Peter Sobotta, who is one of the few Poland-born fighters in the UFC, is injured and out of his welterweight bout against Sergio Moraes, who will now take on Gasan Umalatov, who is taking the fight on short notice. The UFC Poland event, also titled UFC Fight Night 64, takes place April 11 at Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland, and is headlined by a five-round heavyweight title between Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga. Sobotta looked tremendous last year at the UFC Berlin event, as he returned from a multi-year absence from the UFC to defeat the favored Pawal Pawlak via unanimous decision. Sobotta, who was born in Poland but who grew up in Germany, was expected to have a number of fans in attendance watching him take on Moraes in a fight between two Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts, so it’s definitely disappointing for him that the fight was cancelled, and it’s definitely disappointing for the fans, who were looking forward to seeing their countryman fight in his home country. With Sobotta out, Umalatov gets a big opportunity to jump back into the win column after going 1-2 with decision losses to Neil Magny and Cathal Pendred and a lone decision win over Paulo Thiago in his first three UFC bouts. A native of Russia, Umalatov hasn’t shown much in the UFC so far but taking on an older opponent like Moraes should give him the opportunity to show off his skillset, one that fans who watched him come up from the Russian regional circuit have yet to see. As for Moraes, the veteran Brazilian fighter is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Magny and Renee Forte and a loss to Cezar Ferreira and he will be looking to pick up his first victory since August 2013 by taking out Umalatov. A talented and popular fighter, Moraes just hasn’t been able to kick the injury bug, and though he’s only 32 — the same age as Umalatov, actually — it’s pretty clear that he’s taken quite a bit of damage over the years as it’s becoming harder and harder for him to stay healthy and collect his pay checks inside the cage. As far as a line for Moraes vs. Umalatov goes, it should be pretty interesting because both men have historically received a decent amount of support from the betting public, but if I had to guess I’d imagine Moraes would be favored here, although this is definitely a tough fight to pick and with so many question marks surrounding both fighters, it seems like a tough fight to get a good read on.

Written by Adam Martin.

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