UFC president Dana White now disclosed to reporters a middleweight bout between former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo»Jacare» Souza and Yushin Okami has been targeted for a future event. The battle is intriguing in certain ways, but it might turn out to be a massive stinker if Okami’s game plan is to push Souza against the weapon for a quarter hour. Though Souza is a fine grappler in his own right, he’s bigger than Okami and might have issues with his size if Okami’s strategy would be to simply wall-and-stall, which he tends to perform in the majority of his fights. But in the event the grappling neutralizes every other and the struggle becomes a stand-up conflict then it’s much more likely the Souza wins. The Brazilian’s hands have gotten much better in recent years and although Okami is a fine striker in his own right, his chin is very suspect at this point of his profession and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Souza won the battle via TKO. The fight will be closer than the public thinks, as I’m sure they will be over Souza. As such, I anticipate»Jacare» to start at about -200 with the comeback on Okami being +150. I do favor Souza marginally because he does possess the striking benefit but if the line reaches the +200 mark for Okami the bet may be on him. It is a close fight though and the right play could just be to pass it completely unless the line retains ridiculous value for either man. Koch vs. Poirier Added to UFC 164 Based on MMAweekly.com, a featherweight tilt between Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier has been added to the forthcoming UFC 164 card, which takes place August 31 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI, which is the town Koch trains out of. This is an exceptional matchup involving two guys hovering around the top 10 of the UFC featherweight division and that I expect it to be tightly contested, so much so I see the opening betting line being about a Pick’em of -115 for every fighter. Although Koch gets the striking edge, Poirier gets the grappling advantage and as Koch revealed in his last fight against Ricardo Lamas, he’s definitely vulnerable to being put on his back. However, if he can keep the fight standing that he has a very good chance of knocking»The Diamond» out. I really don’t possess a slender way yet in this struggle and my wager will probably rely on where the betting public takes the line. Thales Leites Returns to UFC Former UFC middleweight title challenger Thales Leites is coming to the UFC after winning six of the last seven fights since being cut by the promotion following back-to-back losses to Anderson Silva in UFC 97 and Alessio Sakara in UFC 101. The information was reported today by Sportv.Globo.com. Even though a great deal of people are surprised by Leites coming, I am not. Leites is actually an extremely solid middleweight fighter and in my opinion he must have never been published in the first place because losing to Silva was an automatic reduction on his record and also the judges absolutely chased him against Sakara. There’s been no opponent named for Leites within his return but expect him to compete on the UFC 163 card against one of the branch’s lower-end fighters, perhaps someone from TUF 17.
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