MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Jury/Barboza, Ellenberger/Thompson Booked

StephenThompson_Headshot Two new fights have been booked for upcoming July cards, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on both matchups. Jake Ellenberger vs. Stephen Thompson, UFC 189 An exciting welterweight bout between top-ranked Jake Elleberger and Stephen Thompson is the latest addition to the stacked UFC 189 card, which takes place July 11 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will likely headline the prelims considering how many other high-profile fights are currently scheduled to go down on this card. This is a fight to call. Ellenberger has knockout power and underrated grappling, but he also has a suspect chin and bad cardio. Thompson, meanwhile, is an extremely accurate and powerful striker but he lacks in the wrestling department and generally hasn’t been tested against high-level competition. Having said that, he is the more durable fighter in the matchup and the more varied striker. If this fight stays standing, it’s hard to not to give Thompson the edge just because he is so crisp on the feet. As long as he can avoid Ellenberger’s big punches and if he can stop the takedowns, I actually think he has a pretty good chance to win this fight. Betting wise, I expect close odds for this one with a slight lean towards Ellenberger, but personally I am feeling Thompson in this spot and I’ll be looking at this fight more closely closer to the card. Myles Jury vs. Edson Barboza, UFC on FOX 16 Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is injured and out of his UFC on FOX 16 fight against Myles Jury, and the UFC has now called upon Barboza to take on Jury in Pettis’ place. The card takes place July 26 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and it will be the co-main event of the evening. Pettis vs. Jury was a mismatch in Pettis’ favor, but Jury vs. Barboza is a much closer fight. Both men are ranked in the top 10 and both are on the right side of 30. Furthermore, both men are coming off of losses and both will be super motivated to get back on track. Barboza is the better striker, but Jury is the better grappler, so the winner of this fight will be the one who is able to control where the bout takes place. Jury’s solid but I think Barboza can keep this fight on the feet and outland him en route to a decision. It’s definitely a close fight and the odds will be very close, but personally I am just a bit higher on Barboza than I am Jury so I have to lean towards his way slightly.

Written by Adam Martin.

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