Wednesday was a mixed bag of MMA news; there were some fight announcements, postponements, and interviews with the same fighters who get interviewed every day, so basically the usual. The biggest news from the day was the announcement of Myles Jury’s first fight in the featherweight division. Jury will be dropping the extra 10 pounds to 145, and he’ll face a man who knows that cut all too well, Charles Oliveira. The bout will take place at the UFC on Fox 17 card in December, which has quietly become one of the best free TV cards in quite some time. Aside from looking completely gunshy in his bout with Donald Cerrone, Jury has been phenomenal — although at times not phenomenally entertaining — through his 16-fight career. The TUF veteran started his UFC career with six wins before running into Cerrone, including victories over Michael Johnson, Takanori Gomi, and Diego Sanchez. His style borrows from that of training partner Dominick Cruz, although Jury may be even better defensively as he rarely gets hit. He’ll likely run into some blows against Charles Oliveira, who loves to push forward on the feet to the point that he forces opponents into takedowns. Once on the ground, few fighters in all of MMA present the danger from any position that ‘Do Bronx’ exhibits. Jury should be willing to engage on the ground, which could result in an entertaining grappling battle and help Oliveira put memories of his strange stoppage loss to Max Holloway in the past. Due to his success at a higher weight class, I see Jury opening as the favorite in this fight, but it will have to be a close line. The one time bettors really had faith in Jury against a quality opponent he ended up laying an egg, and that sticks in the back of heads. Still, he should be able to avoid the primarily straight line attacks from Oliveira, and if he can avoid a submission from top position, we know the judges will score rounds for him. Jury in the -180 range wouldn’t surprise me. The big postponement announced yesterday was that the Marcos Galvao/Eduardo Dantas rematch at Bellator 146 for the bantamweight title will be postponed. Dantas suffered an injury in training (a fairly regular occurrence for the young Brazilian) and was forced to pull out of the fight. There is no timetable for Dantas to return to action or the fight to be rebooked as of yet. In the absence of the 135lb title as a headliner, Brandon Halsey will look to regain his middleweight bout against Rafael Carvalho in the new main event for the card. The preliminary bout between Goiti Yamauchi and Isao Kobayashi has been promoted to the main card to keep it at four fights. And finally, because WSOF has to WSOF, we’re in store for an eight-man, one-night tournament to determine the next challenger for lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. Apparently, Bellator not even being able to get through a four-man tournament back in September was impetus enough for WSOF to say they could probably put on a tournament with even more calamity. The roster for the tournament (although brackets and matchups are yet to be decided) features Luis Palomino, Islam Mamedov, Brian Cobb, Rich Patishnock, and UFC veterans Brian Foster, Mike Ricci, Jorge Patino, and Joao Zeferino. Not a bad field, but it will be very… interesting to see how the tournament all plays out. At least WSOF moved the event from Seattle to Arizona, where they will actually be allowed to hold the event too, so that’s a good start.
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