The UFC yesterday announced two huge fights for upcoming May events, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll briefly break the fights down and give my initial leans (which is of course subject to change). Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic, UFC 173 The UFC yesterday officially revealed the co-main event of UFC 173, and it will be a three-round heavyweight bout between top-10 ranked Stipe Miocic and former champ Junior dos Santos. This is a huge fight in the heavyweight division as a win would put Miocic in the top five and close to a title shot, while for dos Santos a win would get him back on track towards getting another crack at the heavyweight belt. As far as this fight breaks down, it’s very interesting. Both guys are primarily strikers, with dos Santos being more of the one-punch-knockout type of fighter and Miocic being more of a volume striker who likes to use his jab. As far the grappling department goes, dos Santos is no slouch but Miocic has a solid wrestling pedigree and is likely the better grappler. However, I don’t see the fight playing out in the grappling department, I see it playing out on the feet and I think based on KO power and chin strength this is dos Santos’ fight to lose. As far as a line goes, there’s no doubt dos Santos will be favored — it just depends by how much. I’m thinking he’ll be around -250 or possibly even higher for this fight, and while I expect him to win, you can’t count out Miocic and if the dog money on him gets to a crazy number (say +300), he might be actually be worth a play. Regardless, this is going to be a fun fight for the fans and it makes for a perfect co-main event at UFC 173 underneath the Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida main event. Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva, UFC Fight Night 40 In addition to JDS/Miocic, the UFC officially revealed the main event of UFC Fight Night 40: an exciting five-round welterweight bout between red-hot Matt Brown and Brazilian phenom Erick Silva. This should be an absolute barnburner of a fight and the winner of this matchup will only be one or two wins away from earning a shot at the UFC welterweight title. As far as the fighters match up, it’s going to be interesting if it takes place on the feet as Brown is a very good muay Thai striker and Silva is explosive as heck. But while Silva has explosive KO power for sure, keep in mind Brown has never been knocked out in his career and is considered to have one of the better chins in the welterweight division. So Silva’s best hope of winning might actually be to take the fight to the ground, where he holds a massive edge in the submission grappling department. As far as a line goes, look for Silva to open at least 2-to-1 and possibly a bit higher based on the public hype factor. But, in my opinion, as good as Silva is Brown has a very good chance of winning this fight and if he becomes too large of an underdog I’ll have to consider placing a bet on him, as I personally feel this is a competitive fight that either man can win.
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