MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens Set For UFC Calgary
A new UFC card this summer is in the works and the first big fight has been added to it. That and more in today's MMA odds and ends:
Gabriel Benitez vs. Humberto Bandenay, UFC Chile
A featherweight matchup between Gabriel Benitez and Humberto Bandenay is set for UFC Fight Night 129, which is set for Saturday, May 19 at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. Benitez (20-6) is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a huge win over Jason Knights. The Mexico native is a solid fighter in the featherweight division and is looking to take that next jump into title contention. Bandenay (14-4) shocked MMA bettors when he brutally knocked out Martin Bravo with a flying knee in his UFC debut. The 23-year-old native of Peru is riding a six-fight win streak and looks like a serious prospect at 145lbs. I like this matchup a lot. I've been high on Benitez for a while and have taken him as a dog on several occasions, but Bandenay really surprised me in a good way in his debut. I'm expecting close odds for this one, with a slight lean towards Benitez.
Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens, UFC Calgary
A featherweight bout between top featherweights contenders Jose Aldo and Jeremy Stephens is set to go down at UFC Calgary, which takes place July 28 presumably at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The bout, which was previously reported to take place at UFC Singapore, was reported by Combate. It is expected to serve as the co-main event as this card is set to take place on FOX. Aldo (26-4) is coming off of two-straight TKO losses to Max Holloway. The former long-time featherweight champ is one of the greatest fighters in MMA history but has really tailed off in recent years as damage accumulated has started to take its toll on him. His chin and cardio have not held up as well in recent fights, though to be fair to him he's fought the likes of Holloway and Conor McGregor. Stephens (28-14) is coming off of three-straight wins including a brutal knockout over Josh Emmett in his last bout. He is emerging as a serious contender in the featherweight division and a win over Aldo would no doubt grant him a title shot. I love this matchup. Both guys are terrific fighters and this should be an amazing standup fight. Aldo is generally favored in fights so he probably will be a slight favorite here, though I think Stephens will have a good chance to win. Either way, it should be a great fight.
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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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