UFC Wichita (UFC Fight Night 146) Occurs Saturday, March 9 in 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, via ESPN. The new bouts are listed below, along with my initial reactions to these, in today’s version of MMA odds and ends.
Tim Means vs. Niko Price, UFC Fight Night 146
An intriguing welterweight matchup involving Tim Means and Niko Price is place for UFC Fight Night 146. Means (28-10, 1 NC) is 10-7, 1 NC from the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Ricky Rainey that snapped a two-fight split decision losing skid. At 34 he’s begun to age but revealed in the Rainey fight his remarkable abilities continue to be topnotch. Cost (12-2, 1 NC) is currently 4-2, 1 NC at the UFC and is coming off of a quick TKO loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan that has been a disappointing followup to his brutal KO win over Randy Brown on the summer. What a great fight that is between Means and Price because it is a struggle between two men who will finish the battle on the toes and on the ground. I can see this one going either way, and this might be a surprise to people who’ve been following me for years, but I had really slightly lean towards Cost here just because of his age advantage and the fact Means has been in numerous wars. The opening line must be close, but I would probably peg Price as a small favorite at open.
Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow, UFC Fight Night 146
Welterweights Alex Morono and Zak Ottow will even meet with this card. Morono (15-5, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC at the UFC and conquered Kenan Song in a”Fight of the Night” performance his out time. 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 bout between two men in the middle of the pack at 170lbs who’ve so far been inconsistent in their UFC careers. I’ve been somewhat more impressed with Morono within the Octagon so I’d prefer him just a tad here, but on paper it is a close matchup and 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 forced his return to the UFC with a submission win over Mudaerji. All-time Smolka includes a 6-5 record from the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win streak overall in MMA. Schnell (11-4) is 2-2 at the UFC and conquered Naoki Inoue and Marco Beltran in his last two outings. Though Schnell has looked better lately, Smolka is the more talented fighter and is proven fighting at 135lbs. I would have to prefer Smolka to win this fight, and the fact it’s not occurring at flyweight is just another indication the branch is going to be shut down this season.
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