UFC president Dana White today revealed to reporters a middleweight bout between former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza and Yushin Okami has been targeted for a upcoming event. The battle is intriguing in certain ways, but it might turn out to be a massive stinker if Okami’s game plan would be to push Souza contrary to the fence for 15 minutes. Although Souza is a fine grappler in his own right, he’s smaller than Okami and might have problems with his size if Okami’s plan is to just wall-and-stall, he tends to perform in the majority of his struggles. But if the grappling neutralizes each other and the struggle becomes a stand-up battle then it’s much more likely that Souza wins. The Brazilian’s palms have gotten much better in recent years and although Okami is a nice striker in his own right, his brow is quite suspect at this point of his profession and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Souza won the battle via TKO. The struggle will be closer than the public believes, as I am sure they’ll be over Souza. As such, I anticipate”Jacare” to open at around -200 with the comeback on Okami being +150. I do prefer Souza slightly because he does have the striking benefit but in the event the line reaches the +200 markers for Okami the bet might be on him. It’s a close fight though and also the right play could just be to pass it altogether unless the lineup retains ridiculous value for either man. Koch vs. Poirier Added to UFC 164 According to MMAweekly.com, a featherweight lean 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, that’s the city Koch stands out of. This is an exceptional matchup involving two guys hovering around the top 10 of this UFC featherweight division and that I expect it to become closely contested, so much so I watch the opening gambling line being around a Select’em of -115 for every fighter. Though Koch has the edge that is striking, Poirier has the grappling advantage and as Koch revealed in his last fight against Ricardo Lamas, he’s definitely vulnerable to being put on his spine. However, when he can keep the fight standing he has a very good prospect of knocking”The Diamond” out. I really don’t possess a lean either way yet in this fight and my wager will likely rely on where the betting public takes the line. Thales Leites Returns to UFC Former UFC middleweight title challenger Thales Leites is returning to the UFC after winning six of the last seven fights since being cut by the advertising following back-to-back losses to Anderson Silva at UFC 97 and Alessio Sakara at UFC 101. The news was reported today by Sportv.Globo.com. Even though a lot of people are surprised by Leites coming, I for one am not. Leites is actually a very solid middleweight fighter and in my opinion that he should haven’t been published in the first place because shedding to Silva was a automatic reduction on his album and the judges absolutely chased him against Sakara. There has not been any opponent named for Leites in his return but expect him to compete on the UFC 163 card against one of the branch’s lower-end fighters, possibly someone from TUF 17.
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