MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: UFC Hamburg Loses Latifi, Adds Two New Bouts
We may have lost a high-profile bout, but a couple new UFC fights were booked for an upcoming fight card, and I'll give my thoughts on everything that happened in today's MMA odds and ends.
Ilir Latifi Injured, Out Of Glover Teixeira Bout At UFC Fight Night 134
A light heavyweight bout between Ilir Latifi and Glover Teixeira has been scratched from UFC Fight Night 134 due to an injury to Latifi. The card goes down Sunday, July 22 at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, and is headlined by a light heavyweight fight between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Anthony Smith. ESPN.com first reported Latifi was injured, mentioning the UFC is still looking for a replacement. Latifi (14-5, 1 NC) was coming off of two-straight wins over Tyson Pedro and Ovince Saint-Preux and has won five of his last six fights, so missing out on the opportunity to fight Teixeira and potentially jump into the top-10 at 205lbs hurts. Teixeira (27-6) is coming off of a devastating TKO win over Misha Cirkunov and has won five of his last seven fights. As far as a short-notice replacement for Teixeira, it's going to be tough to find someone with a name on such short notice, and it seems much more likely the UFC will go and find a light heavyweight or even a middleweight from Europe who wants to get their foot in the door in the UFC.
Manny Bermudez vs. Davey Grant, UFC Fight Night 134
A bantamweight matchup between Manny Bermudez and Davey Grant will take place at UFC Fight Night 134. The fight was originally set to take place at UFC Fight Night 130 but was cancelled due to an injury to Grant and re-booked for this card. The UFC has made this bout official. Bermudez (12-0) is one of the top bantamweight prospects in MMA and in his UFC debut he went out there and submitted Albert Morales in an exceptional performance. Grant (8-3) is just 1-2 in the UFC since making his Octagon debut in 2013, as he's dealt with numerous injuries and fight cancellations. He is coming off of a submission loss to Damian Stasiak and hasn't won since a decision nod over Marlon Vera in 2016. This looks like the UFC setting up Bermudez to get a win over a veteran, and I see him dominating Grant and picking up yet another submission win as he looks to continue moving up the bantamweight ladder.
Nad Narimani vs. Khalid Taha, UFC Fight Night 134
A feathrweight fight featuring Nad Narimani and Khalid Taha is also official for UFC Fight Night 134. Narimani (10-2) has won three-straight fights in Cage Warriors and BAMMA and in his last bout he defeated Paddy Pimblett via decision. That bout was over a year ago, but it's good Narimani is still getting his shot in the UFC. Taha (12-1) recently won a bout in Brave FC to bounce back from his first career defeat in RIZIN. Both guys have some potential but I believe Narimani will be slightly favored here due to being a slightly-bigger name. That being said, I will be taking a look at Taha depending on the betting line.
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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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