The UFC had a busy day yesterday, announcing a bevy of new matchups for upcoming fight cards. And for today’s MMA Odds and Ends, I’ll give my quick thoughts on all of them. Robert Whittaker vs. Mike Rhodes, UFC Fight Night 43 The UFC added a welterweight bout between Robert Whittaker and Mike Rhodes to UFC Fight Night 43. This is essentially a striker vs. striker fight and it should be a good one when it goes down this June. Having said that, I definitely favor Whittaker and think he should be a 2-to-1 favorite here or possibly even a bit higher than that. Jon Delos Reyes vs. Richie Vaculik, UFC Fight Night 43 A flyweight bout between Jon Delos Reyes and Richie Vaculik is also going to take place at UFC Fight Night 43. It’s another fight that should be fairly competitive but I kind of think Reyes has a chance of pulling off what should be a mild upset, as I think Vaculik will be slightly favored heading into the bout. Vik Grujic vs. Chris Indich, UFC Fight Night 43 A middleweight bout between TUF Nations participants Vik Grujic and Chris Indich was also added to UFC Fight Night 43. No offence to either fighter, but this really isn’t a UFC-caliber fight and the only reason they are both getting another shot in the Octagon is because the card is in New Zealand. I lean Grujic slightly in this one but it’s not a confident pick by any means. Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias, UFC Fight Night 44 A featherweight bout between former top contender Ricardo Lamas and Hacran Dias was added to UFC Fight Night 44. It’s a strange matchup considering Lamas is way higher up in the rankings, but stylistically it’s intriguing and I can see why the UFC booked it. Although Dias is solid, Lamas is better and should be a comfortable favorite of 2-to-1 or higher here. Ryan Benoit vs. Ray Borg, UFC Fight Night 44 As well, a flyweight bout between Ryan Benoit and Ray Borg was added to UFC Fight Night 44. It’s an exciting fight between two youngsters, but I give the edge here to Borg and think he can win by submission. Look for a close line here with a slight lean towards Borg, who I am already eyeing for a play. Dustin Ortiz vs. Justin Scoggins, TUF 19 Finale Another flyweight bout was announced yesterday, this one between Dustin Ortiz and Justin Scoggins. This is an excellent matchup and the winner should jump into the top 10. I lean towards the youngster Scoggins here due to his dynamic striking, but Ortiz is a vet and could grind it out. Still, Scoggins should be the favorite here. Evan Dunham vs. Edson Barboza, UFC Fight Night 45 A lightweight matchup between Evan Dunham and Edson Barboza is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night 45. It’s a bout between two fighters who were recently finished by Donald Cerrone via submission, and it should be a good one when it goes down. This is a competitive fight for sure but I do lean towards Barboza slightly here, and expect him to be a tiny favorite when the lines open. Jim Alers vs. Lucas Martins, UFC Fight Night 45 UFC Fight Night 45 also gets a featherweight bout between Jim Alers and Lucas Martins. It’s kind of a weird fight on paper and it’s one I don’t have a great read on as both men have flaws in their games. I lean towards Alers ever so slightly here, but this could truly be a Pick ’em fight when the lines open. Gleison Tibau vs. Pat Healy, UFC Fight Night 45 As well, UFC Fight Night 45 will feature a lightweight bout between veterans Gleison Tibau and Pat Healy. This is a solid matchup between two grinders and with both fighters coming off of losses it will be interesting to see how each bounces back. I lean towards Tibau slightly here, but this is another very close fight. Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler, UFC 176 And finally, a women’s bantamweight grudge match between Bethe Correia and Shayna Baszler was added to UFC 176. This is an excellent fight between two top-level women’s fighters and the fact both hate each other should just add more fuel to the fire. Although Baszler is a veteran and has way more ground expertise, Correia is a solid striker with decent takedown defence and should make this a competitive bout. I lean slightly towards Baszler here, but I could see Correia stealing a decision.
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