MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR THURSDAY: TWO APRIL INJURY REPLACEMENT BOUTS ANNOUNCED
Two April welterweight matchups needed to be changed due to injuries, and for the current MMA Odds and Ends I’ll offer my thoughts on both new struggles. Tim Means vs. George Sullivan, UFC on FOX 15 Due to an injury to Kenny Robertson, Tim Means will step in on short notice to combat George Sullivan at UFC on FOX 15, which will be set for April 18 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Means vs. Sullivan will air live on UFC Fight Pass. I really don’t see how he loses if this battle standing can be kept by Means. Sullivan is a decent striker for certain, but Means is among the very best in the welterweight division at blending in all of his limbs, and thus if that struggle stays standing he’s going to win it. If Sullivan can get Means up against the fence and property some vital takedowns, he could certainly sneak a determination about the judges’ cards, but Means has revealed amazing takedown defence at 170lbs and it’s going to be very hard for Sullivan to do that. Means is carrying this fight on short notice, and he’s a guy who doesn’t get a lot of love out of bettors, but I think he’s a great shot here to knock Sullivan out or acquire a determination and I’m actually leaning towards Means to get the victory here, even thinking about the fact he is carrying it on short notice. Chris Clements vs. Nordine Taleb UFC 186 Claudio Silva is out of his UFC 186 welterweight bout against Nordine Taleb and now Chris Clements will take on Taleb in an all-Canadian event. UFC 186 takes place April 25 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Clements vs. Taleb is slated for its Fight Pass preliminary card. Silva vs. Taleb was probably going to be a dull, grinding affair between two guys who prefer to push up their opponents against the fence until they gas outside, so at least with Clements in today instead of Silva there is a chance this might be entertaining. Clements, a striker, is always in enjoyable, back-and-forth standup bouts and when he can keep Taleb from him, he’ll likely be able to stand at the middle of the Octagon and hurt his foe. Taleb, though, is one of those guys that sticks to his opponents like glue, and when he can push Clements up against the fence and land some takedowns, he could win this battle based on his wrestling independently. Therefore, the key for Clements is going to be to halt the takedowns, and when he continues to show developments in his wrestling just like he did in his last outing against Vik Grujic, at which he stuffed the takedowns and then outstruck his opponent, he can win. I anticipate Taleb to be a favorite here, however, do not sleep on Clements inside this area, even with the brief notice.
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