MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Albert vs. Meza Added To UFC on FOX 8
The UFC today added a bantamweight bout between John Albert and Yaotzin Meza to the upcoming UFC on FOX 8 card, which is set to take place July 27 at KeyArena in Seattle, WA. While this bout doesn't feature any high-profile names, it should still be a very exciting fight and is a dark horse candidate for "Fight of the Night" at the stacked UFC on FOX 8 event, which is saying a lot.
Although most fight fans aren't going to be going crazy about this fight booking, anyone who has seen Albert's fights knows he's one of the most exciting bantamweight fighters in the UFC and, even though he's a poor 1-3 in the Octagon, he always delivers great fights win, lose, or draw, and I wouldn't expect this fight to be any different. His fights last year against Ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen were two of the best fights of the year, and he was winning both fights until he gassed out in both. And yes, he did lose to Erik Perez but keep in mind that referee Kim Winslow stopped that fight early and until the stoppage Albert was winning that fight, too. Cardio is definitely Albert's weakest link but he's a good fighter on the ground and a finisher and, with his back up against the wall, expect him to bring his best this summer, especially since he's fighting in front of his friends and family in Washington state.
As for Meza, he looked awful in his UFC debut back at UFC on FX 6 as he was knocked out very quickly by Chad Mendes, but keep in mind that fight took place at featherweight and Meza took that fight on very short notice as a way to get into the UFC after a last-minute injury to Hacran Dias. Meza is a much better fighter than what he showed in the fight with Meza and now that he's fighting at his natural weight of 135 pounds I expect him to have a very good showing, and he'll definitely be motivated knowing that this is a must-win fight for him if he wants to stay in the UFC.
The betting odds for this fight will be released during fight week in July but expect it to be close to a Pick 'em with a slight lean to Albert, who is the more talented fighter. However, his cardio issues are most definitely something to keep in mind. I don't know who I'll be picking yet but there is one bet I'm targeting for this fight, and that's that the fight does not go three rounds. Both of these guys are finishers and Albert has never been to a decision in his career and I don't expect him to here so if the fight not going the distance prop is -150 or less I would definitely recommend laying the juice on it. I would also lean the under in this fight, even if it's set at 1.5 rounds, because this fight is likely going to end in round one based on the way both men have fought so far in the UFC.