The UFC announced a number of exciting fights for upcoming spring fight cards, and for today’s Odds and Ends I’ll list the new bouts and give my thoughts on them. Sean Spencer vs. Mike Pyle, UFC 187 A welterweight matchup between Sean Spencer and Mike Pyle is the latest addition to UFC 187, which is set for May 23 at MGM Granda Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spencer is getting a step up in competition despite “losing” his previous fight to Cathal Pendred while for Pyle, Spencer is a step down from the near-elite fighters he has been facing for the last few years, making this a very intriguing matchup. It’s a toughie. While Spencer has looked solid in his last few fights on the feet, we know his ground game is mediocre and is Pyle is able to get him to the mat he could very well have some success, and maybe even sub Spencer out. But if the fight stays standing like I expect it to, you have to lean towards Spencer. The odds will be close for this one, but I think Spencer may be a slight favorite as there is a bit more buzz around him lately and Pyle is on the decline. But it’s tough to call. Matt Mitrione vs. Ben Rothwell, UFC Fight Night 68 A heavyweight matchup between Matt Mitrione and Ben Rothwell has been added to UFC Fight Night 68, which takes place June 6 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both men are riding knockout streaks, with Mitrione having won his last three fights by T/KO and Rothwell having won his last two bouts by T/KO, and so I expect the winner of this bout to get a serious step up the ladder. This is a tough fight to call. While Mitrione has the advantages in speed and athleticism, Rothwell has the edge in chin and experience and he probably has an edge in submissions as well. While most will likely expect Mitrione to light Rothwell up on the feet with his punches and kicks, I’m not so sure about that. As we saw in Mitrione’s fight with Roy Nelson, his chin has an “off” button and if Rothwell can connect with it I believe he can finish this fight. This is a hard fight to call for me as both men have made me money as underdogs in the past, but I think you have to lean towards Mitrione slightly just due to his speed advantage. But this is a tough fight to call and I doubt I’ll be betting on either guy to win. Tim Boetsch vs. Dan Henderson, UFC Fight Night 68 A middleweight bout between Tim Boetsch and Dan Handerson was also added to UFC Fight Night 68. Both men are coming off of stoppage losses and both guys, while talented, have been extremely inconsistent in their last batch of fights. Although both men carry names in the sport and although both are known for their toughness, this is most likely going to be a loser-leaves-town matchup. It’s very hard to get a proper read on this fight. While Henderson has looked terrible in recent years, it’s not like Boetsch has looked much better. Henderson is a lot older but Boetsch is no spring chicken himself. Both guys are known for their durability but both have been getting hurt in their last few fights. And both have power, although neither has won a fight by knockout in quite some time. I’m torn on this fight. I’m expecting close odds, maybe with a slight lean to Henderson because of his name, but this is a difficult fight to call and I honestly have no idea who wins, so unless the line goes crazy either way, I can already predict this is a fight I’ll be passing on. Justin Edwards vs. Joe Proctor, UFC Fight Night 68 And finally, a lightweight matchup between Justin Edwards and Joe Proctor was added to UFC Fight Night 68. Like the aforementioned Boetsch vs. Henderson, Edwards vs. Proctor is more than likely a losers leaves town matchup as both men are coming off of losses and neither has looked particularly good in the UFC in general. Edwards has a sneaky guillotine choke, but as long as Proctor finds a way to avoid getting caught in it he should be able to grind on Edwards and maybe even stop him with strikes or a submission of his own. I expect Proctor to be favored here at about 2-to-1, and while it’s hard to have a crazy amount of faith in him given his recent performances, I do think he’s going to win this fight.
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