MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Weekend UFC Fight Announcement Roundup


A few new bouts were announced over the weekend for upcoming fight cards. Here are the bouts, along with my early takes on them.

Evan Dunham vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier, UFC 223

Visa issues have once against forced Mairbek Taisumov out of his next UFC bout. The Russian was set to fight Evan Dunham on the undercard of UFC 223, but visa issues led to him being removed from the card, and taking the fight on short notice will be Canada's Olivier Aubin-Mericer. The card takes place Saturday, April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and Dunham vs. OAM has been scheduled for the Fight Pass portion of the card. Dunham (18-6-1) is one of the toughest, most experienced veterans in the UFC's lightweight division. Though he's now 36, Dunham has been fighting at a very high level the last few years, and is currently riding a five-fight unbeaten streak with a draw against Beneil Dariush in his last outing. One of the most well-rounded fighters in the division, Dunham has been used as a gatekeeper in recent years, and has been successful in the role by picking up wins over the likes of Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson. OAM (10-2) took the fight with Dunham on short notice and a win would really catapult his career. Now 29 years of age, OAM looks to be hitting his prime as he's won his last three fights in a row, including a split decision win over Tony Martin in his last outing. Both fighters are very good but I think Dunham will be favored to win this fight at the betting window.

Nadia Kassem vs. Xiaonan Yan, UFC Fight Night 132

The first two bouts for the UFC's upcoming trip to Singapore have been targeted, according to a report from Marcell Dorff from MMADNA. UFC Fight Night 132 takes place June 13 in Singapore, though a venue or city have yet to be announced. The first bout is a women's strawweight tilt between Nadia Kassem and Xiaonan Yan. Kassem (5-0) is an undefeated prospect and in her UFC debut she defeated Alex Chambers via decision. She is only 22 and still has a lot to improve on but she has shown she has a lot of potential so far. Yan (8-1) has not lost in her last seven fights, including a decision win over Kailin Curran in her UFC debut. Just 28, Yan looks like she has a lot of potential to be one of China's best fighters. Both these prospects hold a lot of promise, but the hype is all over Kassem and I expect her to be favored here.

Ashkan Mokhtarian vs. Jenel Lausa, UFC Fight Night 132

Finally, a flyweight bout between Ashkan Mokhtarian and Jenel Lausa is also set for UFC Fight Night 132. Mokhtarian (13-3) is 0-2 in the UFC and was brutally knocked out by Ryan Benoit in his last outing. At 32 he's one of the older fighters at 125lbs and so far in the UFC has not delivered. Lausa (7-4) is 29 and he's 1-2 in the UFC. Like Mokhtarian, Lausa is coming off of back-to-back losses, but he did win his UFC debut and showed some good boxing skills in that bout. Mokhtarian looks like a bust while I believe Lausa at least has some skill, and I'd expect the Filipino fighter to be a slight favorite in this one.

Tags: odds and ends, fight announcements

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About the Author

Adam Martin

Mixed martial arts journalist. Lead writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com and also featured at @MMARatingsNet, @mmanews_com and @fightodds_io.

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