MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Taleb vs. Silva Official, Saunders vs. Ellenberger Reported
Two new bouts in the UFC welterweight division have reported for upcoming fight cards, plus a new heavyweight bout for good measure. Here are the bouts, along with my thoughts on each.
Nordine Taleb vs. Claudio Silva, UFC Liverpool
The UFC has officially added a welterweight bout between Nordine Taleb and Claudio Silva to UFC Fight Night 129, which takes place Sunday, May 27 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Taleb (14-4) is 6-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a KO win over Danny Roberts. He keeps improving in the Octagon despite being 36 and he's an intriguing fighter in the welterweight division because of that. Silva (11-1) is 2-0 in the UFC including a decision win over standout Leon Edwards, but he hasn't fought in nearly four years now. That makes him a complete autofade even though he is a solid grappler. I'm expecting Taleb to be a big favorite in this one as bettors look to fade Silva.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Ben Saunders, UFC Utica
A welterweight matchup between Jake Ellenberger and Ben Saunders is being targeted for UFC Fight Night 131, which is set for Friday, June at Adirondack Center in Utica, New York. The news was reported by Marcel Dorff of MMADNA.nl. Ellenberger (31-13) is 10-9 in the UFC but has gone on a rough skid as of late with two-straight knockout losses. Once in a while he will run into a knockout but overall he's an autofade at this point. Saunders (21-9-2) is 1-2 in his latest stint in the UFC and has been knocked out in back-to-back fights. He's a well-rounded mixed martial artist but his durability is a huge question mark at this point. Both guys are entertaining veterans who have each taken too much damage as of late. Both guys have finishing power, but both guys have diminishing chins. It's a coin flip fight in my opinion, and I'd be expecting a near Pick 'em type of opening odds for this bout.
Justin Ledet vs. Aleksander Rakic, UFC Hamburg
A light heavyweight bout between Justin Ledet and Aleksaner Rakic is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night Hamburg, which takes place Sunday, July 22 in Hamburg, Germany. Jim Edwards of MMANytt.com reported the bout. Ledet (9-0-1) is 3-0 in the UFC, but is making the move down from heavyweight to 205 for this bout. Considering he was a ranked heavyweight fighter, this is certainly out of left field. Rakic (9-1) is 1-0 in the UFC and has won nine-straight fights. He looks like a very solid prospect at 205 and is an intriguing prospect to keep in mind going forward. Tough fight to call here, but given how good Ledet was looking at heavyweight I'd have to slightly favor him here.
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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