MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Mein Retires at 25

Jordan MeinPerhaps we’re seeing the start of a trend here. In the past four days, two relatively successful MMA fighters under the age of 30 have stepped away from the sport. On Sunday — following his TKO victory over Sam Stout — it was Frankie Perez, and on Wednesday night, Jordan Mein announced his departure from MMA as well. Mein is just 25 years old, although his career differs greatly from that of Perez in that he has been fighting since age 16 and has already competed 39 times professionally. Mein retired with a 29-10 record, including a 3-2 mark in the UFC. His fighting style seemed to invite punishment, and he took quite a bit in his UFC tenure alone. That is likely what prompted his retirement, which seems oddly level-headed from an MMA fighter whose own father (Lee Mein) competed as recently as 2014, at 46 years of age. Perhaps we’ll see more fighters who decide that the proverbial juice isn’t worth the squeeze when it comes to MMA. Or, Mein and Perez may just happened to be outliers like Nick Denis was back when he retired in 2012. Either way, I wish the best to both men in their career pursuits after MMA. Outside of that news, the UFC continued to fill out its fall and winter schedule with some fight announcements on Wednesday. Brazilian Alex Oliveira hopes to continue his winning streak when he takes on Poland’s Piotr Hallmann at UFC Fight Night 77. Oliveira will be returning to lightweight after taking a pair of short notice bouts at welterweight that raised his stock significantly. Hallmann will return to Brazil trying to replicate his biggest MMA victory, a submission victory over Francisco Trinaldo. The Pole will need it, as he has suffered a pair of losses in succession. With his recent run, I fully expect Oliveira to be favored in this matchup, but I don’t think the line should even reach 2-to-1 as this will be a competitive affair. The other notable fight announced was a heavyweight battle between Stefan Struve and Jared Rosholt at UFC 193. This is, quite frankly, curious booking by the UFC. Struve is ranked amongst the top 15 at heavyweight, and there is a very good chance that Rosholt is able to get inside and grind the Dutchman out against the cage or on the ground here. While Struve has improved the utilization of his long limbs at range, when fighters want to get inside on him they still can. That’s exactly what Rosholt will do here, so seemingly like every Rosholt bout it becomes a matter of whether his opponent can catch him with something big on the way in. I don’t think Struve will be able to, however Struve may be enough of a name that Rosholt’s streak of opening a -230 favorite will finally come to an end. I expect this one to open near a pick em, and I like the wrestler at that price.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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