The UFC announced a number of new fight bookings for the new years this past weekend, and for today’s Odds and Ends I’ll give my initial thoughts on all of them. Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins, UFC on FOX 10 The first new fight announcement the UFC made this weekend is a lightweight bout between Donald Cerrone and Adriano Martins, which will take place at UFC on FOX 10. This is a very strange matchup on paper because Cerrone is ranked in the top 10 while Martins just recently made his UFC debut. Still, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva obviously sees something special in Martins, and that’s why he decided to put this fight together. Although I think Martins can win the fight, I believe the betting public will favor Cerrone, and that’s why my initial thoughts see him as a -230 favorite. Again, he’s no lock, but based on all of his experience fighting high-level opponents, he most definitely deserves to enter this contest as a decent-sized favorite. Brad Tavares vs. Lorenz Larkin, UFC Fight Night 35 The first of four new fights added to UFC Fight Night 35 is a middleweight bout between Brad Tavares and Lorenz Larkin. Both fighters are up-and-coming in the UFC middleweight division, and I think the winner will get a date with a top-1o opponent in their next fight. For this particular matchup, it seems evenly matched in many ways but I do believe Larkin has an advantage in the cardio and striking and I’d have to say he opens up as a small favorite here, perhaps around -175 or so. That number could be even higher, to be honest, but the betting public does give respect to Tavares too and that’s why I see it being around that mark. Jason High vs. Adlan Amagov, UFC Fight Night 35 In a welterweight bout that has also been booked for UFC Fight Night 35, Jason High takes on Adlan Amagov. It’s a good matchup on paper between striker and grappler, and it’s a fight that I think either guy can win if they fight to their full potential. Still, after seeing what Amagov did to another grappler in TJ Waldburger recently, he has to be the lean here, and my initial thoughts are that he should open around -200. That’s no lock as High is a very good wrestler and submission fighter, but I have a feeling that many bettors Amagov can keep the fight standing and land a KO blow at some point. Ramsey Nijem vs. Justin Edwards, UFC Fight Night 35 As well, a lightweight bout between Ramsey Nijem and Justin Edwards was also added to UFC Fight Night 35. Both fighters are coming off of losses and in some aspects are lucky to get another fight in the Octagon. With that being said, I definitely feel the loser of this fight gets released. This should be a grappling-oriented battle, and I favor Nijem slightly in that case. However, you should keep in mind Nijem was subbed by a guillotine choke in his last fight and that’s Edwards’ favorite move. Still, my initial thoughts are that Nijem should open around -160 in this spot against Edwards, who I believe should be a slight underdog. Brian Houston vs. Trevor Smith, UFC Fight Night 35 And finally, the UFC added a middleweight bout between Brian Houston and Trevor Smith to UFC Fight Night 35. Both Houston and Smith are coming off of losses in their UFC debuts, to Derek Brunson and Ed Herman respectively, so each will be on the chopping block this January. As for this particular matchup, I definitely lean towards Houston and my initial thoughts are that he should open around -250. I know that seems steep, but Houston got a lot of respect from the betting public before the fight with Brunson and although he lost by submission, this fight against Smith is a better matchup for him stylistically and I definitely expect him to win.
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