Two upcoming January UFC bouts were changed due to injuries, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll update you on what the changes were and what I think of the new matchups. Johnny Case vs. Frankie Perez, UFC Fight Night 59 Due to an injury to Frank Trevino, Johnny Case has a new opponent at UFC Fight Night 59, and it’s UFC newcomer Frankie Perez. UFC FN 59 takes place January 18 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, and Case vs. Perez is targeted as one of the televised preliminary bouts. Case had an excellent UFC debut against Kazuki Tokudome, taking him out in vicious fashion at UFC Fight Night 52, and I think the UFC was hoping he would continue his hype train with a win over Trevino. But with Trevino injured, the UFC called upon Perez to take his spot, and I think this is a tougher fight for Case. Perez is coming off of a nice win in WSOF and overall is 9-1 in his career with his only loss coming to UFC lightweight Chris Wade by split decision. The American trains with Ricardo Almeida and not surprisingly looks to have a solid ground game, something which has been a thorn in Case’s side in the past. This is a competitive fight but based on the short notice factor and also the fact he has had a UFC fight already, I have to go with Case in this one, and I expect him to be about a -200 favorite in this fight. Mairbek Taisumov vs. Anthony Christodoulou, UFC on FOX 14 Due to an injury to Yan Cabral, the UFC has called upon newcomer Anthony Christodoulou to take on Mairbek Taisumov at UFC on FOX 14, which is set to take place January 24 at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The fight is expected to be apart of the evening’s televised preliminary card. I don’t know too much about Christodoulou, but Taisumov is a very dangerous fighter and on paper this looks like a nightmare UFC debut. Taisumov is coming off of a brutal knockout over Marcin Bandel and overall is 2-1 in the UFC with another win over Tae Hyun Bang and a loss to Michel Prazeres. While he didn’t look great in his first two UFC fights, he seemed to look more comfortable in the Octagon in his third appearance and the result was a brutal knockout victory. As for Christodoulou, the Greek-American is currently riding a seven-fight win streak and has looked very impressive on the regional circuit overall after beginning his pro career in 2010 with a three-fight losing streak. He hasn’t really fought anyone of note besides Jerrod Sanders and Yosdenis Cedeno (he lost to both), but he’s still growing as a fighter and could be someone the UFC sees as the face of Greek MMA whenever they hold an event there. As for the line for this fight, look for Taisumov to open as a big favorite here, probably around -300 or so, if only due to the hype.
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