UFC Wichita (UFC Fight Night 146) takes place Saturday, March 9 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
The card previously was revealed to be headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos, and over the weekend a few new preliminary bouts were added into the card, via ESPN. The new spells are recorded below, together with my first reactions to them, in the modern version of MMA odds and ends.
Tim Means vs. Niko Price, UFC Fight Night 146
An exciting 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 in the UFC and is coming from a TKO win over Ricky Rainey that snapped a two-fight split conclusion losing skid. At 34 he’s begun to age but showed in the Rainey fight his remarkable abilities are still topnotch. Price (12-2, 1 NC) is currently 4-2, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming from a fast TKO loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan that was a disappointing follow-up to his barbarous KO win over Randy Brown in the summer. What a great fight that is involving Means and Price because it is a struggle between two guys who can finish the fight on the toes and on the floor. 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’d really slightly lean towards Cost here simply because of his age advantage and the reality Means has been in numerous wars. The opening line should be close, but I would probably peg Cost as a slight favorite at open.
Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow, UFC Fight Night 146
Welterweights Alex Morono and Zak Ottow may also meet with this card. Morono (15-5, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC at the UFC and conquered Kenan Song at a”Fight of the Night” functionality his out time. Ottow (17-6) is 4-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a split decision win over Dwight Grant. This is a very evenly-matched bout between two guys in the middle of the bunch at 170lbs who have so far been inconsistent in their UFC livelihood. I’ve been somewhat more impressed with Morono within the Octagon so I’d favor him just a tad here, but on paper it’s a close matchup and that I anticipate the opening line to be near a Select’em.
Louis Smolka vs. Matt Schnell, UFC Fight Night 146
And lastly, Louis Smolka and Matt Schnell will proceed up to bantamweight and compete with this card. Smolka (15-5) lately made his return to the UFC using a submission win over Mudaerji. All-time Smolka has a 6-5 record in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak overall in MMA. Schnell (11-4) is 2-2 in the UFC and defeated Naoki Inoue and Marco Beltran in his last two outings. Though 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 fight, along with the fact it is not taking place at flyweight is just another sign the branch is going to be shut down this year.
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