The UFC officially announced the first three bouts for UFC on FOX 16, which takes place July 25 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my initial thoughts on all three matchups. TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao 2 The long-awaited 135lb title fight rematch between UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and former champ Renan Barao will finally take place at UFC on FOX 16, and it will be the five-round main event of the evening. I just really hope no one gets hurt this time. The two were supposed to rematch last summer at UFC 177 but Barao got sick from his weight cut and Dillashawe ended up fighting Joe Soto instead. Then the rematch was booked for UFC 186, but Dillashaw pulled out with a broken rib. So I truly hope both guys can stay healthy and we can finally see this fight so the whole division can keep moving forward. Before the line for UFC 186 was pulled down, Dillashaw was around -230 with the comeback on Barao around +190, and I expect similar numbers when the line for UFC on FOX 16 is put back up. Anthony Pettis vs. Myles Jury Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will look to be back in the win column when he faces off against Myles Jury in the co-main event of the evening at UFC on FOX 16. I’m pretty surprised the UFC booked this fight. I understand both guys are ranked in the top 10, but I really feel like this is just a bad matchup for Jury and if he loses like most expect him to, he’ll have two losses in a row on his resume. I just find it strange the UFC took so long building this guy up slowly and then after losing to Donald Cerrone at UFC 182, they’re now throwing him back in the cage with the wolves to let him sink or swim. Obviously Pettis just lost, too, and he lost badly against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185, but this is the former champion we’re talking about here, and after losing to RDA is such devastating fashion, I’d imagine Pettis is super hungry and motivated to return to the cage and get a big win to prove to everyone he’s still the top dog at 155lbs. I don’t really see this as a close fight, and I think the line will reflect that. Look for Pettis to be a pretty hefty favorite here as he looks to get back in the win column and get one step closer to getting his strap back. Miesha Tate vs. Jessica Eye And finally, a women’s bantamweight bout between Miesha Tate and Jessica Eye was added to UFC on FOX 16. This fight was originally intended for UFC 188, but Tate had to pull out with an injury and the fight was delayed until July. This is an interesting fight, not doubt about it, but essentially it’s a striker vs. grappler matchup, with Eye being the striker and Tate being the grappler. We’ve seen during her UFC run that Eye is an accurate, dangerous kickboxer on the feet, but we’ve also seen that Tate can really take a punch, so if Eye can’t finish her, she could be in trouble as the fight goes on and Tate’s cardio advantage kicks in. For Tate, she’ll be looking to weather the early storm and tae Eye down to the mat and grind her out. Considering she’s been successful doing that against pretty much everyone she’s fought not named Ronda Rousey, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance she’s able to outwrestle Eye and win a decision here. It’s a competitive fight, but I do think Tate is the more proven veteran and the better wrestler, and I’d have to imagine she will be the favorite entering this contest.
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