UFC Wichita (UFC Fight Night 146) Occurs Saturday, March 9 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
The card formerly was revealed to be headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos, and over the weekend a few new preliminary spells were added to the card, via ESPN. The new bouts are listed below, together with my initial reactions to these, in today’s edition of MMA odds and ends.
Tim Means vs. Niko Price, UFC Fight Night 146
An intriguing welterweight matchup between Tim Means and Niko Price is place for UFC Fight Night 146. Means (28-10, 1 NC) is 10-7, 1 NC from the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Ricky Rainey that snapped a two-fight split decision losing skid. At 34 he is started to age but showed from the Rainey fight his remarkable abilities continue to be topnotch. Price (12-2, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming from a quick TKO loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan that was a disappointing follow-up to his barbarous KO win over Randy Brown on the summertime. What a great battle this is between Means and Price because it’s a struggle between two guys who can finish the fight on the feet and on the ground. I can see this one going either way, and this may be a surprise to those who’ve been following me for years, but I had actually slightly lean towards Price here just because of his age advantage and the reality Means was in so many wars. The opening line must be shut, but I would probably peg Cost as a slight favorite in the open.
Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow, UFC Fight Night 146
Welterweights Alex Morono and Zak Ottow will even meet on this card. Morono (15-5, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC at the UFC and defeated Kenan Song in a”Fight of the Night” performance his out time. Ottow (17-6) is 4-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a split decision win over Dwight Grant. This is a really evenly-matched connection between two guys in the middle of the bunch at 170lbs who have been inconsistent in their UFC careers. I have been somewhat more impressed with Morono within the Octagon so I would favor him just a tad here, but on paper it’s a close matchup and I expect the opening line to be close a Pick’em.
Louis Smolka vs. Matt Schnell, UFC Fight Night 146
And lastly, Louis Smolka and Matt Schnell will proceed up to bantamweight and compete on this card. Smolka (15-5) lately forced his return to the UFC using a submission win over Mudaerji. All-time Smolka includes a 6-5 record in the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win streak complete in MMA. Schnell (11-4) is 2-2 in the UFC and conquered Naoki Inoue and Marco Beltran in his last two outings. Although Schnell has looked better lately, Smolka is the talented fighter and is proven fighting at 135lbs. I would have to prefer Smolka to win this battle, and the fact it’s not taking place at flyweight is another indication the branch is going to be shut down this year.
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