MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Bellator 148, UFC Fight Night 79 Bookings

Bellator 148Aside from Bellator announcing a pair of squash matches for their upcoming Bellator 148 card — headlined by Josh Koscheck and Paul Daley… not fighting each other, of course — Monday night and Tuesday were slow news days. However, the weekend provided quite a few announcements that ended up getting lost in the shuffle of Holly Holm’s massive upset of Ronda Rousey. Today, we’ll look at all the changes from the past few days. First, Thiago Alves is out of his UFC Fight Night 79 main event against Benson Henderson. The former welterweight title challenger suffered a broken rib in training and was forced from the bout. In his place, Jorge Masvidal moved up from his co-main event slot against Dong Hyun Kim to face Henderson. Masvidal has always shown he has the skills to find success in the UFC, but the issue remains whether he will pull the trigger. That factor could have the line a bit longer than some might expect, as Henderson will open a healthy favorite. That left Kim without an opponent, so one-time TUF competitor Dom Waters stepped in to face the highest profile Korean fighter on the card. It would be a tough matchup for Waters at the best of times, but taking on Kim in the first ever UFC card in Korea — and on short notice — makes it nearly an impossible task, and I expect the line to reflect that. As for the Bellator bookings, Josh Koscheck will make his debut with the promotion in the main event of Bellator 148. His opponent will be none other than Matt Secor. Secor has fought in Bellator and WSOF, and competed on TUF 16 as well, amassing a 7-2 record. Koscheck will be looking to put the latter part of his UFC career behind him, as he ended his long tenure inside the Octagon with five consecutive losses over a three-year span. Rather than booking Koscheck and Daley to rematch, Scott Coker and Rich Chou decided to put them on the same card, but in matches that aren’t the least bit compelling. Daley will be taking on Andy Uhrich, a Strikeforce, Bellator, and Titan FC vet who has won his last three bouts. The obvious goal for Bellator is to work towards Koscheck/Daley 2 on one of their ‘tentpole’ events. I understand the concept of building lesser known fighters with squash matches like these, but Koscheck and Daley are known commodities. Having them fight on this card — rather than risking a loss for either guy — is going to attract just as much attention as if they fight next summer after being victorious over opponents fans don’t recognize anyways.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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