Two great lightweight fights were announced in the last 24 hours for upcoming November fight cards, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on them. Ross Pearson vs. Al Iaquinta, UFC Fight Night 55 UFC Fight Night 55 officially has its co-main event, and it’s a three-round lightweight bout between Ross Pearson and Al Iaquinta. The event takes place November 8 at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia, and the main event of the evening is a five-round fight between middleweight rivals Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold. This is a solid fight between two up-and-coming lightweights that should prove to be entertaining, but I really feel like this is almost a step down for Pearson at this point of his career. I thought the UFC was going to give him another opponent in the top 15 after he knocked out Gray Maynard in his last fight, but for some reason they are giving him a matchup against Iaquinta who, while talented, has also been pretty inconsistent inside the ring. As far as the style matchup goes, the fight likely will take place on the feet where both men have solid striking skills and knockout power, although I do give a slight edge to Pearson on the feet. Iaquinta has better wrestling, but I think Pearson can stop the takedowns if he tries, keeping this fight on the feet and outstriking his opponent en route to a decision. The line should be fairly competitive, but look for Pearson to enter as a slight favorite. Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez, UFC 180 After an injury to Norman Parke, the UFC called upon Joe Lauzon to take his place against Diego Sanchez and the two lightweight vets will scrap it out at UFC 180, which is set to take place November 15 at Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City, Mexico. While I believe Parke would have picked apart Sanchez en route to a decision, I actually think Sanchez has a good chance of defeating Lauzon in what I expect to be a stand-up war. Lauzon does have underrated striking skills, but I believe Sanchez can push a pace on Lauzon standing that he can’t keep up with, and I believe Sanchez has the wrestling to keep this fight on the feet, and out of harm’s way of Lauzon’s submissions on the ground. Sanchez has looked awful the last few years, but I feel like this is a very competitive fight and, crazy enough, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him enter as the slight favorite in a fight for the first time in a long while.
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