Four new bouts for upcoming Fight Night cards were recently announced and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on each. Francisco Rivera vs. Alex Caceres, UFC Fight Night 68 A fantastic bantamweight battle between Francisco Rivera and Alex Caceres is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night 68, which is set for June 6 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. This Fight Night card in particular is pretty stacked, so this fight could very well be a part of the prelims even though it’s a really good matchup between two ranked fighters. This is a really fun fight. Both guys are action fighters and always bring it and I’m expecting a really exciting fight when these two meet in the cage this June. Both men are coming off of two-straight losses each so not only do they match up stylistically, but they also have similar recent records, something which I like quite a bit. It’s a tough one to call. Rivera has knockout power and crisp boxing, but Caceres has better kicks and he has a much better ground game. Because of that, I’m expecting a line near a Pick ’em, and honestly, I really don’t have a lean here as I really do see paths of victory for both men here. Piotr Hallmann vs. Magomed Mustafaev, UFC Fight Night 69 A lightweight matchup between Piotr Hallmann and UFC newcomer Magomed Mustafaev has been added to UFC Fight Night 69, which takes place June 20 at O2 World in Berlin, Germany. The UFC has not announced if this fight will be on the main card or the prelims, but either makes sense. Hallmann took the UFC by storm in his debut, submitting Francisco Trinaldo in a big upset, but since then he is 1-2 with a win over Yves Edwards and losses to Al Iaquinta and Gleison Tibau. He won Fight of the Night for his war with Tibau, but the UFC took the bonus back when he tested positive for PEDs, and he has been sitting out since last September due to suspension. I do think Hallmann is a solid fighter, but him getting caught for PEDs makes me want to stay away from him going forward. As for Mastafaev, he is making his UFC debut on the tails of a 10-fight win streak with all of those victories coming by way of stoppage. On paper Mustafaev seems like a very solid prospect, but Hallmann is notoriously tough and it won’t be easy to put him away, which is what makes this such an interesting matchup. I don’t know enough about Mustafaev yet, but he looks like a solid prospect, so I’d imagine the line for this fight with Hallmann would be close. Makwan Amirkhani vs. Masio Fullen, UFC Fight Night 69 As well, a featherweight matchup between Makwan Amirkhani and Masio Fullen was also added to UFC Fight Night 69. It’s expected this fight is going to be on the prelims. Amirkhani is coming off of a quick knockout over Andy Ogle in his UFC debut while Fullen defeated Alexander Torres via split decision at UFC 184. Fullen, a TUF Latin America alum, didn’t look too great in that fight and I think the UFC likes what they see with Amirkhani as far as his fighting style and personality go, so this looks like a set-up fight to me. I do think Amirkhani wins this fight, and I’m expecting him to be the favorite for this one. Scott Jorgensen vs. Manny Gamburyan, UFC Fight Night 72 A bantamweight matchup between Scott Jorgensen and Manny Gamburyan was added to UFC Fight Night 72, which takes place July 15 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. It’s likely this fight will be a part of that event’s preliminary card. Jorgensen is moving back up to 135lbs after going 1-3 at flyweight. Overall he is 1-4 in his last five fights and looks to be on a steep decline, although to be fair his losses were mostly to top-flight fighters. Gamburyan, on the other hand, is 3-1, 1 NC in his last five fights, which is the complete opposite of Jorgensen’s record, so it makes me wonder why the UFC set this matchup up, because on paper it doesn’t seem like a proper matchup. Regardless of the numbers, though, this is a close fight, but I think you have to lean towards Gamburyan a bit here just because Jorgensen has looked so bad as of late.
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