Two April welterweight matchups had to be switched due to injuries, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on the two new fights. Tim Means vs. George Sullivan, UFC on FOX 15 Due to an injury to Kenny Robertson, Tim Means will step in on short notice to battle George Sullivan at UFC on FOX 15, which is set for April 18 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Means vs. Sullivan will air live on UFC Fight Pass. If Means can keep this fight standing, I don’t see how he loses. Sullivan is a decent striker for sure, but Means is one of the best in the welterweight division at mixing in all of his limbs, and so if this fight stays standing he’s going to win it. If Sullivan can get Means up against the fence and land some key takedowns, he could definitely steal a decision on the judges’ cards, but Means has shown awesome takedown defence at 170lbs and it’s going to be very difficult for Sullivan to do that. Means is taking this fight on short notice, and historically he’s a guy who doesn’t get a lot of love from bettors, but I think he has a really good shot here to either knock Sullivan out or win a decision and I’m actually leaning towards Means to get the victory here, even considering the fact he’s taking it on short notice. Chris Clements vs. Nordine Taleb UFC 186 Claudio Silva is out of his UFC 186 welterweight bout against Nordine Taleb and now Chris Clements will take on Taleb in an all-Canadian affair. UFC 186 takes place April 25 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Clements vs. Taleb is slated for the Fight Pass preliminary card. Silva vs. Taleb was likely going to be a boring, grinding affair between two guys who like to push their opponents up against the fence before they gas out, so at least with Clements in now in place of Silva there’s a chance this could be entertaining. Clements, a striker, is always in fun, back-and-forth standup bouts and if he can keep Taleb off of him, he will likely be able to stand in the center of the Octagon and hurt his foe. Taleb, though, is one of those guys who sticks to his opponents like glue, and if he can push Clements up against the fence and land some takedowns, he could win this fight based on his wrestling alone. Therefore, the key for Clements will be to stop the takedowns, and if he continues to show improvements in his wrestling like he did in his last outing against Vik Grujic, where he stuffed the takedowns and outstruck his opponent, he can win. I expect Taleb to be a slight favorite here, but don’t sleep on Clements in this spot, even with the short notice factoring in.
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