A number of new UFC bouts were announced in the past 24 hours, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on all of them. Demian Maia vs. Ryan LaFlare, UFC Fight Night 62 A great welterweight bout between Demian Maia and Ryan LaFlare has been added to UFC Fight Night 62, which is set for March 21 at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. This is a tough fight to call. Obviously Maia is the higher-ranked fighter and the more accomplished grappler, but LaFlare is a solid wrestler and he has better striking. This isn’t to call at all. I think Maia will be favored, but I think LaFlare can be very competitive here and I may end up picking him come March. Erick Silva vs. Ben Saunders, UFC Fight Night 62 A welterweight fight between Erick Silva and Ben Saunders takes place at UFC Fight Night 62. This is a fight between two dangerous fighters that won’t go the distance, and I’m having a hard time picking it. I lean toward Silva because he’s younger and because the fight is in Brazil, but Saunders has looked great since returning to the UFC and this one could honestly go either way. But look for Silva to be the favorite. Leonardo Santos vs. Matt Wiman, UFC Fight Night 62 A lightweight matchup between Leonardo Santos and Matt Wiman will take place at UFC Fight Night 62. This is the best opponent Santos has fought to date in the UFC and I don’t know if he passes the test. Even though Wiman has been inactive in recent years, he did come back to the Octagon with a nice win over Isaac Vallie-Flagg in his last fight. As long as he doesn’t get caught in some random submission, I think Wiman is simply a better fighter and I think he wins this fight. Leonardo Mafra vs. Chris Carrizosa, UFC Fight Night 62 A lightweight bout between Leonardo Mafra and Cain Carrizosa was also added to UFC Fight Night 62. Mafra is dropping to 155lbs so he could find more success at this weight class, and I think Carrizosa is being fed to him. My lean here is Mafra and I’m hoping we can get a good line on him. Leandro Silva vs. Drew Dober, UFC Fight Night 62 A lightweight bout between Leandro Silva and Drew Dober was added to UFC Fight Night 62. Silva is coming off of a submission win over Charlie Brenneman while Dober recently submitted Jamie Varner, so it’s hard to get a gauge on where both these guys are because both of their opponents are at the end of their careers. It’s a close fight to call, but my initial lean is Dober just because I think he’s a bit tougher, but it’s a close one. Benson Henderson vs. Jorge Masvidal, UFC Fight Night 63 Following an injury to Bobby Green, Jorge Masvidal has a new opponent for UFC Fight Night 63 and it’s none other than former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. The card takes place April 4 at Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, and Henderson vs. Masvidal will be the co-main event of the evening. This is a great matchup and a better fight than Green/Masvidal. I think Henderson is still an elite lightweight but he is on a decline and Masvidal could be catching him at the right time to get the upset win and move into the division’s upper echelon. It’s a close fight and I expect Henderson to be favored, but I lean towards Masvidal. Liz Carmouche vs. Lauren Murphy, UFC Fight Night 63 A women’s bantamweight bout between Liz Carmouche and Lauren Murphy was also added to UFC Fight Night 63. Carmouche hasn’t fought in nearly a year since a close decision loss to Miesha Tate while Murphy hasn’t fought since a controversial split decision loss to Sara McMann last summer. This is going to be a competitive fight and I expect Carmouche to be favored due to her name value, but I lean towards Murphy to get the win.
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