MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: End-of-Week Fight Announcement Roundup (CMigrator copy 16)

willie-gates-02 Two new fights have been booked for summer UFC cards. Here they are, along with my thoughts on each. Willie Gates vs. Darrell Montague, TUF 21 Finale A flyweight matchup between Willie Gates and Darrell Montague goes down at the TUF 21 Finale, which takes place July 12 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gates has only fought once in the UFC, losing by submission to John Moraga at UFC on FOX 13 in a fight that was more competitive than most figured. He is quite tall and long for the flyweight division and considering he is still young and improving, he could make some noise at flyweight. As for Montague, he’s 0-2 in the UFC, but his losses came to John Dodson and Kyoji Horiguchi, who are two of the best fighters in the entire division. He has looked bad in the UFC, but look at who he’s fought. I truly believe Montague is better than his UFC record indicates, and expect him to put up a good fight against Gates. A flyweight fight between two durable, young fighters could always go either way, and I don’t have a strong lean on this fight. I guess if I had to pick I’d go with Montague, but considering his long layoff, there are a lot of question marks about him heading into this fight, and this matchup on paper just strikes me like the definition of a pass, but as always we’ll wait for the lines to decide. Elizabeth Phillips vs. Jessamyn Duke, UFC on FOX 16 A women’s bantamweight bout between Elizabeth Phillips and Jessamyn Duke has been booked for UFC on FOX 16, which goes down July 25 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. I have mixed thoughts on this fight. I think it could be a decent standup scrap between two ladies fighting for their UFC jobs, but I also think neither of these women deserve to be in the UFC. Phillips, a training partner of TUF winner Juliana Pena, is 0-2 in the UFC with a pair of split decision losses to Valerie Letourneau and Milana Dudieva. She’s hung in there in both of her fights and shown some OK standup, but she didn’t really show anything to make me believe she has much of a future in the Octagon. As for Duke, she’s 1-2 with a win over Peggy Morgan and losses to Leslie Smith and Bethe Correia. Many consider her the worst female fighter in the bantamweight division, and while I don’t know if I’d go that far, she’s definitely been unimpressive in her Octagon stint and probably only has a job with the UFC because of her close relationship with the champ Ronda Rousey. Having said that, she is a young fighter and can improve, and with a year off since her last fight will hopefully have made some improvements since the last time we saw her. As far as the odds go, Duke doesn’t get much respect from the betting public and I expect her to be the underdog here. Having said that, neither woman can really be trusted with your money, and in a fight between two mid-tier female bantamweights who prefer to stand and trade (but without throwing power, because they just don’t possess it), this fight has split decision written all over it.

Written by Adam Martin.

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