MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Edson Barboza vs Kevin Lee Among New Fights
A number of new intriguing UFC bouts were announced over the weekend. Here's a look at them.
Beneil Dariush vs. Alex Hernandez, UFC 222
A short-notice replacement bout has been agreed to for this weekend's UFC 222 card in Las Vegas, Nevada pitting Beneil Dariush (14-3-1) against newcomer Alexander Hernandez (8-1), who is filling in for the injured Bobby Green. The fight is official as per the UFC. Dariush is coming off of a draw against Evan Dunham while Hernandez has won six-straight fights on the regional circuit. Dariush is one of the top-15 fighters at 155lbs in the UFC while Hernandez is making his UFC debut on short notice. Just the situation alone figures to give Dariush a huge advantage, not to mention he's a very well-rounded fighter who is proven in the UFC. Hernandez is a solid prospect but bettors should fully expect Dariush to open as a heavy favorite.
Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori, UFC on FOX 29
An exciting middleweight matchup pits the surging Israel Adesanya (12-0) against Marvin Vettori (12-3-1), and the fight is official for UFC on FOX 29 in Glendale, Arizona. Adesanya is coming off of a brutal knockout win over Rob Wilkinson in his UFC debut while Vettori is coming off of a draw against Omari Akhmedov. All the hype is behind Adesanya right now because of his flashy striking style and I expect him to be a solid favorite here, but I wouldn't write off Vettori completely in this particular matchup.
Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee, UFC Fight Night 128
A terrific lightweight main event sees Edson Barboza (19-5) take on Kevin Lee (16-3) at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, according to MMAFighting.com. Barboza is coming off of a devastating beatdown against Khabib Nurmagomedov while Lee was most recently choked out by Tony Ferguson. Both guys are two of the best lightweights in the world and both men have different skillsets which makes this an intriguing matchup on paper. My initial lean is Barboza due to his striking advantage, though Lee's wrestling makes it one to think about for sure.
Marlon Moraes vs. Jimmie Rivera, UFC Fight Night 131
And finally a fight that's not official but is being targeted would see Marlon Moraes (20-5-1) take on Jimmie Rivera (21-1) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 131. MMAFighting.com had the scoop, first reporting the two arch rivals will square off in Utica, New York. Moraes is coming off of back-to-back wins over John Dodson and Aljamain Sterling while Rivera has won 20 fights in a row including five-straight wins in the UFC. Both guys are great fighters but I personally favor Rivera to win this fight. I don't think he gets enough credit for his win streak and I would pick him over the majority of bantamweights 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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