A number of new UFC bouts were booked over the weekend, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on them. Lorenz Larkin vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio, TUF Brazil 4 Finale A welterweight bout between Lorenz Larkin and Santiago Ponzinibbio is the latest addition to the TUF Brazil 4 Finale, which is set to go down June 27 at Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. To be honest I thought Larkin would get a higher-ranked opponent after starching John Howard in his last matchup, but Ponzinibbio is an exciting opponent for him. Both men are going to stand and bang and the fans are going to go home happy, so this is actually a pretty fun fight overall. I do think Larkin is the better fighter, but Ponzinibbio’s aggression is very difficult for a lot to of fighters to deal with, making this an interesting contest on paper. You can’t sleep on the Brazilian, but Larkin looked amazing in his 170lbs debut, and considering this is a guy who has a win over current UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, it’s hard not to go with him in this spot. Bobby Green vs. Al Iaquinta, UFC Fight Night 71 A lightweight matchup between Bobby Green and Al Iaquinta has been added to UFC Fight Night 71, which takes place July 15 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Green is coming off of a loss so it’s strange the UFC is matching him up with Iaquinta, who has won four-straight fights. However, it makes sense if you consider the UFC wants to test Iaquinta against a top-10 ranked fighter and see just how good he really is. And Green is definitely a good test for anyone in the division. Green is the more technical fighter, but he’s sometimes too patient to a fault while Iaquinta is known for his tenaciousness and aggressiveness. It’s a close fight that’s similar to Iaquinta’s last fight against Masvidal, which was a close decision in Iaquinta’s favor, but it’s hard to totally count Green out of this one. I do expect Iaquinta to have a minus attached next to his name as the favorite, but don’t sleep on Green in this spot. Kevin Lee vs. James Moontasri, UFC Fight Night 71 As well, a lightweight fight between Kevin Lee and James Moontasri was also added to UFC Fight Night 71. It’s a pretty good fight on paper, but I definitely like Lee in this one. Even though Moontasri is super powerful, I feel like he won’t be able to land on Lee’s chin and the longer this fight goes the more it favors Lee, who has decent cardio compared to Moontasri, who always gets tired in his fights. The line will probably be competitive between these two, somewhere near a Pick ’em, but I like Lee here and think he gets his hand raised after 15 minutes of action. Bigfoot Silva vs. Soa Palelei, UFC 190 And finally, a heavyweight bout between Bigfoot Silva and Soa Palelei was added to UFC 190, which is set to take place August 1 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Boy, I don’t know even know what to say about this fight. At this point, I do not think it is safe for Bigfoot to be competing in MMA and I’m not sure of the decision by the UFC to keep booking him for fights. He keeps getting brutally KOed and off of the TRT he is not the same fighter. Palelei isn’t great, but he’s certainly powerful, and if he can catch Silva’s chin he can and will finish him. The odds might be close as bettors look to fade both sides, but to me Palelei is the clear favorite here, as Silva is a guy who cannot be trusted with anyone’s money against literally anyone in the heavyweight division.
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