The UFC over the weekend announced two new bouts for upcoming fight cards, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my quick thoughts on both matchups. Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz Larkin, UFC 176 A middleweight bout between Derek Brunson and Lorenz Larkin has been added to this summer’s UFC 176 event, which takes place August 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The card is to be headlined by the rematch between UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. This is a solid fight between two fighters coming off of respective knockout losses and it will be imperative for the winner to get back on track here with a victory if they want to continue to move up the ladder. Brunson fought top contender Yoel Romero earlier this year and was doing well in the fight before the third round, where he gassed out and had his jaw broken. Now recovered from his jaw injury, Brunson is ready to return to the Octagon and improve upon his 2-1 record in the UFC and the same can be said of Larkin, who is 2-2 in the UFC despite his talents and who desperately needs a win here. Unlike Brunson, Larkin has two-straight losses coming into this fight and if he loses he could be cut. This is a pretty competitive fight on paper given the decline by Larkin and the improvements of Brunson, but I think Larkin will be slightly favored based on the belief he can stop the takedown and outstrike Brunson on the feet. I’m not 100 percent certain that will be the case, but either way this will be an intriguing fight nonetheless. Walmir Lazaro vs. James Vick, UFC 176 In addition to Brunson vs. Larkin, UFC 176 also has received a bout between UFC newcomer Walmir Lazaro and TUF 15 alum James Vick. The fight will be contested at 155lbs. This is another fun fight between two lightweights making their way up the ranks. The 6’3″ tall Vick has been someone who I’ve always been high on ever since his knockout of Daron Cruickshank on TUF, and he’s looked good in the UFC as well, submitting Ramsey Nijem in his only Octagon appearance. However, injuries have kept him out on the sidelines for the last little while and he’ll be making his return against Lazaro after nearly a full year off. And speaking of his opponent, Lazaro is an intriguing addition to the UFC. Like Vick, he’s very tall at over 6′ tall, and after tearing up the Brazilian regional circuit he’s made his way over to the UFC. He could be someone to watch out for in the future at 155lbs and this fight against Vick will tell us a lot. Even though he hasn’t fought in the UFC yet I expect the line for Lazaro to be around a Pick ’em price in this fight against Vick, who is always overlooked by the betting public.
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