Stephen ThompsonThankfully, there are no UFC roster cuts or major fight cancellations to report today. Even better, there were four high profile fights announced in the last 24 hours for both upcoming UFC and Bellator events. Let’s get to business: Neil Magny vs. Stephen Thompson – UFC 195 Just two weeks after having his seven-fight winning streak snapped, Neil Magny bounced back by taking a fight against dangerous Brazilian Erick Silva on extremely short notice and managed to pick up a decision victory. Now, he’ll face another stern test in karate stylist Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Thompson has really come into his own over his last few fights, notably finishing Jake Ellenberger in the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas this summer via a pair of beautiful spinning kicks to the head. While Magny has shown improvement in his striking and his jabs, he’s not even close to on the level of Thompson in regards to striking and unless he can drag this fight to the ground, he could be in for a long night. Look for Thompson to open at at least a 2-1 betting favorite. Lorenz Larkin vs. Albert Tumenov – UFC 195 Both Larkin and Tumenov are on the heels of fantastic knockout victories. Larkin seems re-energized since dropping down the welterweight division, going 2-0 thus far with impressive stoppage wins in both contests, while Tumenov has been an absolute force in the welterweight division and is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. Both fighters are incredibly powerful and dangerous, and while Larkin likely holds a speed advantage, his chin has some question marks after two knockout defeats thus far in his career. With how hard Tumenov hits, Larkin will have to fight perfectly to avoid a similar fate. Look for Tumenov to open as the betting favorite due to this. Josh Thomson vs. Pablo Villaseca – Bellator 147 After scoring an impressive submission victory over Mike Bronzoulis in his Bellator debut, Josh Thomson looks to continue to make waves in the Bellator lightweight division as he now faces Pablo Villaseca. Villaseca is 10-1 as a professional, but he lost his lone Bellator fight via split decision this past June. This seems like more of a tune-up for Thomson as he gears up for a title shot at the winner of Will Brooks vs Marcin Held in early 2016. Thomson will likely be a massive favorite and deservedly so for the former Strikeforce champion. Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Daniel Weichel – Bellator 147 This bout is almost certainly going to decide the next Bellator featherweight title challenger. Georgi Karakhanyan looked amazing in his Bellator return, scoring a submission victory over talented wrestler Bubba Jenkins, while Weichel had champion Patricio Pitbull on the ropes in one of the year’s most exciting title fights before getting flash knocked out. Both Karakhanyan and Weichel have rightful claims for the next shot, so it only makes sense to pit them against one another. I would expect Karakhanyan to be the slight betting favorite, but this one should be close considering how talented both men are.


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