MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: VanZant is DWTS Runner-up, Perez vs Rivera booked

Paige VanZantPaige VanZant earns second place for Dancing with the Stars season 22 So close, and yet so far. UFC strawweight Paige VanZant made it all the way to the Finale of season 22 for Dancing with the Stars. VanZant wound up in second place overall, losing out to Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd in the end. VanZant certainly has nothing to be ashamed of, as she and partner Mark Ballas actually had the highest overall scores on the season including four performances which were graded perfect with three perfect 10’s. The cast included NFL players Von Miller, Antonio Brown and Doug Flutie as well as reporter Geraldo Rivera and actresses Mischa Barten and Jodie Sweetin. Fight Announcements

Erik Perez (15-6-0) vs. Francisco Rivera (11-6-0); UFC 201, July 30

“Goyito” is slated to take on “Cisco” in a battle of powerful bantamweights. Rivera is coming off a very close loss to Brad Pickett while Perez most recently earned a tough decision over Taylor Lapilus. Rivera always gets some credit from the betting public so I expect the opening odds to be very close, although Perez should have the advantage of being more well-rounded overall. That being said, Rivera’s power is always a great equalizer and Perez was rocked by Lapilus in his last fight. If he gets caught against Rivera, it could be a very short night for him.

Ryan Hall (5-1-0) vs. Alex White (11-2-0); UFC Fight Night 91, July 13

After a long layoff, Ryan Hall will finally make his return to the Octagon. The Ultimate Fighter season 22 winner hasn’t fought since defeating Artem Lobov via unanimous decision on the TUF 22 Finale last December. Funnily enough, White also defeated Lobov in his last bout, a unanimous decision in February where he utilized his reach and superior technique to keep the shorter-limbed fighter at bay over the course of three rounds. This will almost certainly be a striker vs grappler match as Hall will need to take the fight to the floor to utilize his elite jiu-jitsu skills while White will want to try to wrestle in reverse and work Hall over on the feet. I expect Hall to be a slight favorite when the odds open.

Written by Brian Hemminger

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