MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith Added to UFC 225
Two big fights were announced yesterday, one in the UFC and one in Bellator, and one more is rumored. Here are my thoughts on these new matchups:
Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith, UFC 225
The UFC announced a light heavyweight matchup between Rashad Evans and Anthony Smith has been added to UFC 225, which takes place Saturday, June 9 at United Center in Chicago, IL. Both men are moving up from 185lbs after having suffered losses in their last bouts. Evans (19-7-1) is currently riding a rough four-fight losing streak that includes a split decision loss to Sam Alvey in his last outing. He may be a former champion but he hasn't won a fight in nearly five years, and will need to beat Smith if he wants to stick around the UFC. Smith (28-13) is coming off of a brutal TKO loss to Thiago Santos but prior to that had racked up three wins in a row. Win-or-lose, Smith is always in exciting fights and clearly the UFC likes him as he got a new four-fight contract along with this fight booking. As for the line, look for Smith to be a significant favorite in this fight as bettors will look to continue to fade Evans, and who can blame them for doing so.
CM Pump Will Fight at UFC 225
Also, one more note on UFC 225, as former WWE superstar Phil "CM Punk" Brooks confirmed via Twitter that he will be competing at the event, which takes place in his hometown of Chicago. It's rumored that Brooks (0-1) will be taking on Mike "The Truth" Jackson (0-1) in a welterweight bout, though the matchup hasn't been made official yet. It does make sense though, as both men lost their pro debuts to the same man, Mickey Gall. If this fight happens, I'd expect Jackson to be slightly favored to win.
Benson Henderson vs. Roger Huerta, Bellator 196
Bellator has announced the upcoming main event of Bellator 196 will be a lightweight matchup between Benson Henderson and Roger Huerta. The card, which takes place Friday, April 6 at Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary, is a split card with both MMA and kickboxing matches. Originally, James Gallagher had been tapped to fight Adam Borics in the main event, but an injury to Gallagher meant a late change for the headliner. And this new fight looks to be much better on paper. Henderson (24-8) is only 1-3 since signing with Bellator and is coming off of back-to-back losses to Michael Chandler and Patricky "Pitbull" Freire. He appears to have regressed as a fighter but at least he's been losing to top talent. Huerta (24-9-1, 1 NC) is coming off of back-to-back wins on the regional circuit and is returning to Bellator for the first time since a 2010 TKO loss to Eddie Alvarez. Since leaving Bellator Huerta is just 3-3 with most of his fights coming under the ONE Championship banner. As poor as Henderson has looked as of late, this is a very favorable matchup for him and he will be the favorite when the betting line comes out.
About the Author
Mixed martial arts journalist. Lead writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com and also featured at @MMARatingsNet, @mmanews_com and @fightodds_io.
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