A number of new UFC bouts were revealed yesterday, and for today’s MMA Odds an Ends I’ll recap the newly-announced fights and give my initial thoughts on them. Ray Borg vs. Shane Howell, UFC Fight Night 44 Due to an injury to Ryan Benoit, Shane Howell has agreed to made his UFC debut on short notice against fellow flyweight Ray Borg at UFC Fight Night 44, which takes place next weekend at AT&T Center in San Antonio Texas. Borg showed in his UFC debut this past April against Dustin Ortiz that he could be a future contender at 125lbs as he was narrowly outpointed in a controversial split decision loss. At only 20 years of age, the sky is the limit for Borg. As for Howell, he hasn’t fought in two years but he has quite a bit of experience in his career including a victory over current top 10 flyweight Tim Ellliott. Still, that layoff is a huge concern, as is the fact he’s taking this fight on one weeks’ notice. Look for Borg to be the favorite here, and if he’s anywhere near 2-to-1 he will be worth a play. Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontasri, UFC Fight Night 44 After Bryan Barberena became the latest opponent to pull out of a fight against Joe Ellenberger, Jake’s brother will now face off against UFC newcomer and RFA vet James Moontasri next weekend at UFC Fight Night 44. This is a tough fight for Ellenberger on paper as Moontasri is a wicked striker, but the fact he is taking the bout on such short notice is a huge concern as Ellenberger has been preparing to make his UFC debut for a while now and should be in excellent condition for this bout. Look for Ellenberger to be a slight favorite here, but Moontasri is certainly a live dog. Mike King vs. Cathal Pendred, UFC Fight Night 46 Two fighters who didn’t make it to the finals of TUF 19 will square off at UFC Fight Night 46 as Mike King takes on Cathal Pendred in his home country on July 19 at The O2 in Durblin, Ireland. Neither fighter was super impressive on TUF and this fight could realistically go either way. However, due to the hometown advantage Pendred will certainly enter this fight as the favorite, and I believe the betting public will side with him here leading to an inflated line. Rin Nakai vs. Miesha Tate, UFC Fight Night 52 The UFC has signed Japanese women’s bantamweight prospect Rin Nakai and she will make her promotional debut against Miesha Tate at UFC Fight Night 52, which takes place September 20 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Tate is certainly on a decline and the fact she is fighting overseas for the first time is a serious concern. It seem to me like the UFC is trying to create a new contender here in Nakai, and I definitely think she will be a very live dog in this spot. Still, Tate will likely be the favorite here of about 2-to-1, but this is a dangerous fight for her and we could see a passing of the torch of sorts in the women’s bantamweight division.
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