Another day, another injury — in fact, this time there were two. For today’s MMA Odds and Ends, I’ll list the two fights that were changed and give my thoughts on each of them. Mark Eddiva vs. Levan Makashvili, UFC Fight Night 66 Alex White was forced to pull out of his fight with Mark Eddiva at UFC Fight Night 66, and Levan Makashvili will now take on Eddiva on extremely short notice as the card takes place May 16 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines. Eddiva is 1-1 in the UFC with a surprise decision win over Jumabieke Tuerxun and a TKO loss to Kevin Souza. He has actually outperformed expectations inside the Octagon and overall is a pretty solid grinder who can bang a bit. Makashvili, meanwhile, is a grinder-type who is making his UFC debut. He was supposed to fight Nik Lentz back at UFC Fight Night 60, but the fight was cancelled at the last minute when Lentz got sick. This is a tough one to call. I’d argue Makashvili is the better fighter and the better prospect of the pair, but Eddiva has the UFC experience and he will be fighting in his home country of Manila here. Eddiva is not the type of fighter who will get much respect from the betting public, but he’s pretty solid and I think he puts up a good fight against Makashvili. I’d expect a close line for this one with a slight lean towards Makashvili because he has a bit more hype surrounding him, but it’s a fight I think could go either way. Jake Collier vs. Ricardo Abreu, UFC Fight Night 68 Due to an injury to Daniel Sarafian, Ricardo Abreu needed a new opponent and the UFC called upon Jake Collier to fight him at UFC Fight Night 68, which takes place June 6 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Collier is 0-1 in the UFC with a first-round knockout loss to Vitor Miranda in his debut. He was doing really well in the fight and then at the end of the first round faded badly and paid for it with a KO defeat. Abreu, on the other hand, is undefeated at 5-0 in his career and defeated Wagner Silva via submission in his UFC debut. However, the fight was a year ago and he has not fought since, so he will presumably have some ring rust heading into this one. This is another tough one to call. I think Collier is the better fighter of the two, but he is not someone to be trusted with your hard-earned money after we saw what happened in his UFC debut. I don’t think Abreu is as good as his record indicates, but he has a good shot of picking up a win in this fight. It’s a close one, though, one that could go either way, and I expect the line to reflect that.
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