UFC Wichita (UFC Fight Night 146) Occurs Saturday, March 9 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
The card previously was shown to be headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos, and over the weekend a few new preliminary bouts were added to the card, through ESPN. The new spells are recorded below, together with my first reactions to these, in the modern edition 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 from the Rainey battle his striking skills are still top notch. Price (12-2, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC at the UFC and is coming off of a fast TKO loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan that was a disappointing follow-up to his barbarous KO win over Randy Brown in the summertime. What a great fight this is involving Means and Price because it’s a battle between two men who will finish the fight on the toes and on the ground. I can see this one going either way, which might be a surprise to those who have been after me for many years, but I’d really slightly lean towards Price here just because of his age benefit and the reality Means has been in so many wars. The opening line should be close, but I would probably peg Price as a slight favorite at open.
Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow, UFC Fight Night 146
Welterweights Alex Morono and Zak Ottow may even meet on this card. Morono (15-5, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC in the UFC and defeated Kenan Song at a”Battle of the Night” functionality his last time out. Ottow (17-6) is 4-3 in the UFC and is coming from a split decision win over Dwight Grant. This is a very evenly-matched connection between two guys in the middle of the bunch at 170lbs who have so far been inconsistent in their UFC livelihood. I have been slightly more impressed by 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 move up to bantamweight and compete with this card. Smolka (15-5) recently made his return to the UFC with a submission win over Mudaerji. All-time Smolka includes a 6-5 record from 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 appeared better lately, Smolka is the more talented fighter and is proven fighting 135lbs. I would have to favor Smolka to win this battle, and the fact it’s not occurring at flyweight is another indication the branch will be closed down this year.
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