UFC president Dana White today disclosed to reporters that a middleweight bout between former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza and Yushin Okami is being targeted for a upcoming event. The fight is intriguing in some ways, but it might turn out to be a huge stinker if Okami’s game plan would be to push Souza against the fence for 15 minutes. Though Souza is a fine grappler in his own right, he’s smaller than Okami and might have issues with his size if Okami’s plan is to simply wall-and-stall, which he tends to do in the majority of his fights. However, if the grappling neutralizes every other and the struggle becomes a stand-up conflict then it’s much more likely that Souza wins. The Brazilian’s hands have gotten much better lately and although Okami is a fine striker in his own right, his brow is very suspect at this stage of his career and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Souza won the fight via TKO. The struggle will be closer than the public thinks, as I am sure they will be over Souza. As such, I expect”Jacare” to start at around -200 with all the comeback on Okami being +150. I really do prefer Souza slightly because he does possess the striking benefit but in the event the line reaches the +200 markers for Okami the wager might be on him. It’s a close fight though and also the right play could just be to maneuver it completely unless the lineup holds absurd value for man. Koch vs. Poirier Added to UFC 164 Based on MMAweekly.com, a featherweight lean between Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier has been added to the upcoming UFC 164 card, which takes place August 31 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI, which is the town Koch trains from. This is an exceptional matchup between two men hovering around the top 10 of this UFC featherweight division and I anticipate it to become closely contested, so much so that I see the opening gambling line being around a Select’em of -115 for each fighter. Although Koch gets the edge that is striking, Poirier has the grappling benefit and as Koch showed 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 have a slender way yet within this struggle and my bet will probably depend on where the gambling 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 his last seven fights since being cut by the promotion following back-to-back losses to Anderson Silva at UFC 97 and Alessio Sakara in UFC 101. The information was reported now by Sportv.Globo.com. Although a lot of people are surprised by Leites coming, I for one am not. Leites is actually an extremely solid middleweight fighter and in my view that he should have never been released in the first place because shedding to Silva was an automatic loss on his record and the judges absolutely robbed him contrary to Sakara. There’s been no competition named yet for Leites within his return but expect him to compete on the UFC 163 card from one of the division’s lower-end fighters, perhaps someone from TUF 17.
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