The UFC announced two new matchups in the last 24 hours, and for Tuesday’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my quick thoughts on both. Henry Cejudo vs. Dustin Kimura, UFC on FOX 13 Henry Cejudo will officially make his UFC debut as a bantamweight when he takes on Dustin Kimura at UFC on FOX 13. The event takes place December 13 at U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, and Cejudo vs. Kimura will be one of the evening’s preliminary card bouts. Cejudo was supposed to make his promotional debut as a flyweight back at UFC 177, but he couldn’t make weight and his fight against Scott Jorgensen was scratched. The UFC told the former Olympic gold medal winner in wrestling that he would have to move to 135lbs in order to stay in the UFC, and he took the promotion up on the offer. While he won’t have the size advantage he did while fighting at 125lbs, at least now he should actually be able to make weight. As for Kimura, he started off his UFC career with a submission win over Chico Camus, but since then has gone 1-2 with a win over Jon Delos Reyes and losses to Mitch Gagnon and George Roop. Kimura does have a dynamic submission game, but his wrestling is extremely poor and it seems pretty obvious to me the UFC is feeding him to the wolves here in Cejudo, who stylistically is a bad matchup for Kimura. Look for Cejudo to open as a sizeable favorite here as he looks to pick up his first win in the big show and emerge as a future contender at 135lbs. Erick Silva vs. Mike Rhodes, UFC Fight Night 58 Erick Silva will fight once more before the end of the year as the former top prospect meets Mike Rhodes at UFC Fight Night 58, which takes place December 20 at Ginasio Jose Correa in Barueri, Brazil. As it’s a six-fight Fight Night card, Silva vs. Rhodes will likely be a part of the evening’s main card. The first thing I’ll say is, poor Rhodes. The UFC just hasn’t been kind to him so far with the matchups they’ve given him, and after he loses to Silva (which I fully expect will happen) he’ll likely be cut. The former RFA welterweight champion made his UFC debut earlier this year on extremely short notice when he took on a tough George Sullivan and lost a three-round decision. He then traveled to New Zealand and lost to home-town fighter Robert Whittaker by decision. And now the UFC is sending him down to Brazil to fight Silva, one of the most popular fighters from that country. It hasn’t been an easy run for Rhodes, to say the least. That being said, Rhodes is catching Silva at a decent time. Silva, who many once thought would be the future of the UFC welterweight division, was absolutely brutalized by Matt Brown in his last fight back in May and hasn’t fought since then. Prior to that, he did pick up a solid knockout win over Takenori Sato, but overall he’s been one of those guys who beats the lower-ranked fighters in the division and loses to the elite ones. If he hasn’t fully recovered from the beating he took against Brown then he could be in trouble against a good striker like Rhodes, but if he’s fully healthy and ready to go then he really should be able to be able to get a stoppage here. Some people may be down on Silva right now and it’s understandable given his last performance, but I do think he beats Rhodes and I believe he should be a strong favorite heading into the matchup.
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