A few new fights were announced over the weekend, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my quick thoughts on all of them. Rony Jason vs. Robert Peralta, TUF Brazil 3 Finale The UFC announced a featherweight fight between Rony Jason and Robert Peralta for the TUF Brazil 3 Finale. This is an exciting matchup on paper between two hard-hitting featherweights, and I am looking forward to it. Jason is a great featherweight fight, pure and simple, but he’s shown flaws both in his mental game and his defence at times. Still, I believe in his talents and think he has a bright future in MMA. Similarly, Peralta is ultra talented but he just can’t seem to put it all together, and his mental game is still in question after testing positive for weed last year. So I see this as being a pretty fair matchup overall. Look for the odds to be close to a Pick ’em, but if Peralta is a dog I might have to take a stab at him, even though the fight is in Jason’s backyard of Brazil. Erik Perez vs. Bryan Caraway, UFC Fight Night 43 A bantamweight bout between Erik Perez and Bryan Caraway has been targeted for UFC Fight Night 43. This is an excellent fight between two talented 135ers and I’m looking forward to it going down in early June in Albuquerque. As for how I see the fight playing out, it’s a tricky one to call as it’s an even matchup for the most part but I think it comes down to whether or not Perez can keep it standing. If he can, then he should be able to outpoint or possibly even finish Caraway on the feet. But if the fight goes to the ground, it’s a bit more tricky as Caraway is arguably more skilled than Perez on the mat. Either way, it’s close, and look for the betting line to reflect that as I see the line being fairly tight with a slight lean to Perez, maybe around -150 or so. Ben Askren vs. Bakhtiyar Abbasov, ONE FC 16 And while I usually only give my thoughts on newly-announced UFC bouts for this column, I have to give my thoughts on this one that involves a fighter who should be in the UFC. Former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, who signed a deal to fight for ONE FC in Singapore after being snubbed by the UFC, will take on Bakhtiyar Abbasov in his promotional debut at ONE FC 16 later this spring. Like most of you, I have never heard of Abbasov before this fight announcement, but even though I know very little about this fighter I can already tell you he won’t be beating Askren, who I truly believe is one of the top 10 welterweights in the world. Although Abbasov has a decent 11-2 record and is only 28 years old, his level of competition has been fairly low and he’s already lost twice to no-name fighters. I don’t know enough about him to call him a can, but Askren is an amazing athlete and this matchup is destined for blowout status as I see no way Abbasov stops Askren’s takedowns. Askren is a stud mixed martial artist, and he will win this fight, mark my words. Everyone is going to think the same thing, though, so if there are indeed betting lines released for this fight closer to the event look for Askren to be close to -1000, and there arguably could be some value in that line. But again, that’s just a guess on my part and after doing more research on Abbasov my guess could change — but probably not.
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