MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Mousasi vs. Latifi Now UFC On Fuel TV 9 Main Event

Gegard-Mousasi UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter a big change to the main event of this weekend’s UFC on FUEL TV 9 card. According to White, the replacement fighter for Alexander Gustafsson — who was ruled out of the fight by the SMMAF due to a cut over his eyebrow — against Gegard Mousasi in the main event of the UFC’s second card in Sweden is one of Gustafsson’s training partners, little-known light heavyweight Ilir Latifi. After news of the switch emerged, MMA Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas immediately opened up Mousasi as a -1000 favorite (bet $1000 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, with the comeback on Latifi being +1000 (bet $100 to win $1000). So far, the public has bet the line down to -1850 for Mousasi, while the comeback on Latifi is sitting out there at +900 right now. This fight is obviously a mismatch. Mousasi is one of the best fighters in the world regardless of weight class, while Latifi is making his UFC debut on just four days’ notice. This is an extremely likely win for Mousasi and that’s why the line -1850. Sure, there is always the chance for a flash knockout or for an in-fight injury/cut to Mousasi that will stop the fight, but other than that Latifi doesn’t have many ways to win, and honestly he should probably be even more of an underdog than he currently is. Expect the public to parlay Mousasi in the coming days and for Mousasi to close as the biggest betting favorite in UFC history. Smith vs. Neto Booked The UFC has booked a middleweight bout for the upcoming UFC on FUEL TV 10 card, as former Strikeforce fighter Anthony Smith will take on UFC newcomer Antonio Braga Neto in a three-round fight that will take place June 8 in Fortaleza, Brazil. Combined, the fights have finished 24 of their 25 victories, so this should be a fight that doesn’t see the three-round bell. This is actually a pretty exciting fight that won’t get a lot of fanfare because it’s on a FUEL card in Brazil, but that won’t change the fact it will be fun. Expect both fighters to push the pace, with Smith looking to keep the fight standing and get the knockout of Neto and for Neto to try and get Smith to the ground and look to submit him. This is a competitive fight and it will probably open as a near Pick ’em on the opening odds, with maybe a slight lean to Neto, the former Sengoku fighter who has big wins over Brock Larson and Maiquel Falcao on his resume.

Written by Adam Martin.

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