Three new bouts have been announced for upcoming fight cards. Here they are, along with my quick thoughts on them. Beneil Dariush vs. Jim Miller, UFC on FOX 15 Due to an injury to Paul Felder, Beneil Dariush is stepping up on very shot notice to take on Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 15, which takes place April 18 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. I’m a bit bummed because I was really looking forward to Felder vs. Miller, but Dariush vs. Miller is a great matchup as well, and likely the fight that pushes Dariush into the top 15 of the lightweight division. Although Miller is a true veteran of the sport, someone who has fought and beaten them all, Dariush is on the rise and I really think he’s going to take out Miller and take his spot in the division’s top 15. The line is going to be very close for this one, but at this point I believe Dariush deserves to be favored and anything close to a Pick ’em price for here will hold betting value, as far as I’m concerned. Brian Ebersole vs. Omari Akhmedov, UFC Fight Night 68 Due to an injury to Alan Jouban, Omari Akhmedov has stepped up on moderate short notice to take on Brian Ebersole in a welterweight contest at UFC Fight Night 68, which takes place June 6 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is a pretty interesting fight. Ebersole, one of the sport’s ironmen, has never been knocked out in his career and while Akhmedov certainly has finishing power in his fists, I just can’t see him knocking the veteran out. Instead, he’ll likely try and use his wrestling to try and grind Ebersole from the top like he did in his last outing against Mats Nilsson, but Ebersole is a solid wrestler himself and that will be easier said than done. As for Ebersole, he’s going to be looking to either wrestle Akhmedov or possibly even score a submission, which I believe is his path to victory here. He has a nasty guillotine choke and Akhmedov has been subbed with a guillotine before. He tends to leave his neck out during his takedown attempts and if Ebersole gets the opportunity to latch his hands around his opponents neck, he will do it. The line should be competitive here, but if Ebersole is a plus-money underdog he’ll definitely be someone to keep your eye on. Alejandro Perez vs. Patrick Williams, UFC 188 TUF Latin America winner Alejandro Perez will meet Patrick Williams in a bantamweight bout at UFC 188, which is set to take place June 13 at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico. I don’t think too highly of Perez, but there’s no doubt in my mind this is a total mismatch that the UFC booked here in the hopes Perez secures a highlight-reel finish. Williams has only fought once in the UFC, losing via highlight-reel flying knee to Chris Beal last year at UFC 172. He’s just simply not a good fighter and the UFC would love to see Perez knock him out in similar fashion, no doubt about it. Again, I don’t think Perez is anything special, but my initial instinct here is that he’s going to win this fight, likely in dominating fashion. Whether it by by knockout, TKO or submission, I do think Perez has a very high chance of scoring a finish in this one, and I don’t really give Williams much of a chance here. Keep an eye out on the line for Perez because it could provide some value if it’s available at anything less than 2-to-1, which is possible considering he didn’t get much respect in his UFC debut. I just think fading Williams is a good idea, especially in a situation like this.
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