Five new UFC bouts were announced by the promotion in the past 24 hours, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll list the fights and give my quick thoughts on them. Kevin Souza vs. Katsunori Kikuno, UFC Fight Night 62 An interesting featherweight bout between Kevin Souza and Katsunori Kikuno was added to UFC Fight Night 62, which takes place March 21 at Ginasio do Maracanzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Souza has looked very impressive in the UFC so far, going 2-0 with a TKO win over Mark Eddiva and a decision win over Felipe Arantes. With his long reach and knockout power, Souza is a guy who could potentially move into the top 15 at featherweight by the end of the year if he can stay healthy and rack up a few more wins. As for Kikuno, he made his featherweight debut in his last outing, getting a tapout of Sam Sicilia, but in his first two UFC fights at lightweight he didn’t look as strong, getting knocked out by Tony Ferguson and winning a bland decision over Quinn Mulhern. Maybe 145lbs is the right weight class for Kikuno, though, but I do feel like fighting a big 145er like Souza is going to be a tough matchup for him. I like Souza here to use his reach just like Ferguson did and potentially win by TKO, and I expect him to be the favorite heading into the matchup. Jorge de Oliveira vs. Christos Giagos, UFC Fight Night 62 A lightweight bout between Jorge de Oliveira and Christos Giagos was also added to UFC Fight Night 62. Oliveira was destroyed by Dhiego Lima in his UFC debut while Giagos was quickly tapped out by Gilbert Burns in his own promotional debut, making it hard to gauge where both guys are right now. I guess I slightly lean towards Giagos because I think he’s a better prospect, but I’m not confident about it and I really could see this fight going either way. Fredy Serrano vs. Bentley Syler, UFC Fight Night 62 A bantamweight bout between TUF Latin America castmates Fredy Serrano and Bentley Syler will also take place at UFC Fight Night 62. I don’t know enough about either fighter to make a confident pick in this fight, and I’ll have to do more research for it takes place, but Syler seems to have more experience and that should help him out against Serrano, a talented wrestler who only has one pro MMA fight. Still, I’m not confident either way. Alexis Davis vs. Sarah Kaufman, UFC 186 The trilogy bout between Alexis Davis and Sarah Kaufman was added to UFC 186, which takes place April 25 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. These two have fought twice previously, with Kaufman winning the pair’s first bout back in 2007 via TKO and then earning a majority decision victory in the pair’s second bout in Strikeforce. Although their second fight was very competitive, since that fight I think Davis has looked to be on the decline while I think Kaufman is just as good as ever. There will be some support for Davis here for sure, but I really do like Kaufman here, and I think she can box her way to another victory, possibly even knocking Davis out for the second time in their trilogy. Chad Laprise vs. Bryan Barberena, UFC 186 And finally, a lightweight bout between Chad Laprise and Bryan Barberna was added to UFC 186. Laprise won TUF Nations with a decision win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier and then he followed that up with a decision win over Yosdenis Cedeno in his next outing. Overall, he’s looked quite good and seems to have a bright future in the sport. As for Barberena, he knocked out Joe Ellenberger in his UFC debut in a very impressive performance. This is actually a very close fight that could go either way, but I lean slightly towards Laprise because I think he’s just a bit more technical on the feet and if the fight goes to decision like I think it will, I expect him to get the nod from the judges in his home country of Canada.
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