MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Yair Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov Added To UFC 228
A few new fights were announced over the weekend. Here they are, along with my initial thoughts in today's MMA odds and ends.
Luke Sanders vs. Rani Yahya, UFC Fight Night 135
A bantamweight bout between Luke Sanders and Rani Yahya will take place at UFC Fight Night 135, which is set for Saturday, August 25 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. MMAFighting.com confirmed the booking. Sanders (12-2) is 2-2 in the UFC, with a recent decision win over Patrick Williams snapping a two-fight losing streak for him. Yahya (25-9, 1 NC) is 10-3, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back submission wins over Russell Doane and Henry Briones. This is a pretty tough fight to call as Sanders is the better wrestler but Yahya is the better submission artist. I think Sanders might be a slight favorite, but wouldn't be surprised at all to see Yahya get another upset win as he's been known to do.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedosharipov, UFC 228
In a shocking turnaround just a few weeks after UFC president Dana White cut him from the roster, Yair Rodriguez has been re-signed by the UFC and he will indeed take on rival Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 228, which is set to take place Saturday, September 8 at an unknown location. Brett Okamoto of ESPN first confirmed the Rodriguez vs. Magomedovsharipov fight was on, and Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting tweeted the location of the fight could take place in Las Vegas or Texas. Rodriguez (10-2) is 6-1 in the UFC and was looking like the next big superstar in the Octagon until getting knocked out by Frankie Edgar in his last fight. He's still an extremely talented, dynamic fighter with a ton of potential, but he'll be coming off of a layoff over one year and needs to get a win here if he wants to put himself back in the featherweight title mix. Magomedosharipov (15-1) is 3-0 in the UFC and is coming off of a spirited fight against Kyle Bochniak which he won via unanimous decision. He's one of the scariest fighters in the UFC right now and no one wanted to fight him, so kudos to Rodriguez for finally stepping up and taking the fight. As talented as Rodriguez is, I have to favor Magomedsharipov on this fight. He's just the more well-rounded and complete fighter and I totally understand why Rodriguez didn't want this fight in the first place, though I'm glad cooler heads ultimately prevailed and he's back in the UFC.
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Mixed martial arts journalist. Lead writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com and also featured at @MMARatingsNet, @mmanews_com and @fightodds_io.
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