Injuries have shaken up the UFC 189 card. Here are the latest changes to the event that is set to take place July 11 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brandon Thatch vs. Gunnar Nelson, UFC 189 Due to an injury to John Hathaway, Gunnar Nelson was left without an opponent for UFC 189, but Brandon Thatch, who was set to fight John Howard on the prelims, got th call on short notice to step up, and now Thatch vs. Nelson will go down on the main PPV card. This is a really good fight, and a hard fight to call. Thatch is a destroyer on the feet, but as we saw against Benson Henderson in his last fight he has flaws on the ground, his cardio isn’t the best, and his takedown defence is questionable. As for Nelson, we all know he’s an amazing grappler but he showed against Rick Story that he has holes in his striking defence, and a guy like Thatch surely can exploit them if he gets the opportunity. Having said that, Nelson will also get the chance to exploit Thatch’s ground game if this fight hits the floor, so it’s tough to call. I think Thatch has a bit more hype behind him still so I think he’ll be favored slightly in this fight, but only slightly as Nelson has always been a favorite of bettors and I expect him to get respect in this fight, one that will be a contender for Fight of the Night at UFC 189. Cathal Pendred vs. John Howard, UFC 189 With Thatch being shifted to fight Nelson on the main card, the UFC called upon one of the division’s hottest fighters, Cathal Pendred, to take his spot again Howard on the prelims. This is a tough matchup for Howard, if you ask me. Pendred just fought and defeated Dodger Montano two weeks ago and it was his most impressive performance in the Octagon to date. Pendred gets a lot of flak from fans but the guy is 4-0 in the UFC and he does what he needs to do to win fights. He won’t be winning the title anytime soon, but can he beat a guy like Howard? I believe so, even on short notice. At one point Howard was a good fighter but he’s lost three-straight fights and overall has looked terrible as of late. The only advantage he really has over Pendred here is that he was training specifically for this date; otherwise, I just don’t see what edges he has. I like Pendred in this fight and believe he should be about a 2-to-1 favorite, but I’m hoping that the public continues to bet against him so we get a good line on the Irishman.
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