MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Bisping/Leites, Pearson/Dunham Added To UFC Fight Night 72

thales-leites The main and co-main events for UFC Fight Night 72, which goes down July 18 at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, have been announced, and they’re solid. Here are my initial thoughts on them. Michael Bisping vs. Thales Leites A middleweight contest between Michael Bisping and Thales Leites will headline UFC Fight Night 72. This is a very good fight. Both men are ranked in the top 10 and the winner of this fight will take a step towards the elite of the division. Bisping recently picked up a decision win over CB Dollaway, but it was a tough battle and his chin got clipped in it and it was pretty surprising he wasn’t completely knocked out cold. Prior to the Dollaway win, Bisping was brutally beaten by Luke Rockhold, and considering he’s in his late 30s now, it’s hard to say where he’s at these days. A few years ago I would have easily picked him over Leites, but I’m not so sure now. I’m a bit surprised he’s coming back so soon, to be honest, but perhaps he feels he has a lot of momentum right now and doesn’t want to lose that. As for Leites, he’s been nothing but impressive since rejoining the UFC in 2013, going 5-0 including a “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” submission win against Tim Boetsch in his last outing. Prior to that, he brutally KOed Francis Carmont and Trevor Smith and he looks like a true contender. He has won eight fights in a row and 11 of his last 12 and has looked like a completely different fighter than the guy who fought Anderson Silva in a stinker all those years ago. The betting public will likely favor Bisping here, but I like Leites. I’ve been nothing but impressed with him as of late and his improvements in the standup game have been quite noticeable. I would not be surprised at all if he was able to catch Bisping here and sub him. The five rounds likely favors Bisping, but I think Leites can finish him, and if he’s a dog like I think he will be, I’ll most likely be making a play on the Brazilian. Ross Pearson vs. Evan Dunham A lightweight affair between strikers Ross Pearson and Evan Dunham will be the co-main event of the evening. It’s a fight that has action written all over it, and should be in contention for “Fight of the Night” when it’s all said and done. Pearson recently starched Sam Stout in brutal fashion to get back in the win column following his surprising KO loss to Al Iaquinta, while Dunham snapped a bad losing skid with a unanimous decision victory over Rodrigo Damm. Both guys have very good striking and I expect this fight to take place on the feet for the most part. I could see either guy getting finished in this fight as neither guy has the best chin. I think Pearson is a bit more accurate and packs more power, but Dunham throws a high volume attack that is hard to deal with. Dunham has taken a lot of damage, even in his wins, so while I do give him a slight chin edge over Pearson here, it’s not a huge edge and I really could see either man getting the knockout here. I do have to lean a bit towards Pearson here as I have been more impressed with him as of late, but it’s a close fight, and I expect the odds to only slightly favor Pearson in this spot. Not an easy one to call, but right now my lean is the Brit gets his hand raised.

Written by Adam Martin.

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