The Octagon’s return to Sweden is starting to shape up. UFC Fight Night 152 takes place June 1 in Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, along with the subsequent four bouts are added to the card that is expected to be headlined by Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Smith.
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Ilir Latifi, UFC Fight Night 152
An exciting light heavyweight bout between Volkan Oezdemir and Ilir Latifi is the most notable of the new bouts added to UFC Fight Night 152. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news. Oezdemir (15-4) is 3-3 at the UFC but is currently mired in a three-fight losing skid such as a split decision loss to Dominick Reyes in UFC London just over a week back. Clearly, he needs to get back in there and place that close loss . Latifi (14-6, 1 NC) is 7-4 in the UFC and many recently dropped a choice to Corey Anderson. Both men are just beneath the elite level of the top light heavyweights but tend to be better than gatekeepers, making this a close one to call. Regardless of his losing skid I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi combating in the home in Sweden would be the difference in this fight and I expect a very close gaming lineup.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Aleksandar Rakic, UFC Fight Night 152
Another intriguing light heavyweight bout will see Jimi Manuwa take on Aleksandar Rakic. Manuwa (17-5) is 6-5 in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight losing skid. He was among the most dangerous light heavyweights in the world at one time, but the sport seems to have passed by and at age 39 he seems to be about the downside of his career, even though he could still surprise with a barbarous knockout. Rakic (11-1) is currently 3-0 at the UFC and is coming off of a huge knockout win over Devin Clark. Just 27, Rakic looks just like a force at 205lbs for a long time ahead, and I would expect hm to be a big favorite to win this particular battle.
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Chris Fishgold, UFC Fight Night 152
Featherweights Makwan Amirkhani and Chris Fishgold are set to battle, and also the UFC has made the bout official. Amirkhani (14-3) is 4-1 overall at the Octagon and is coming off of a split decision win over Jason Knight. At one time he seemed like a future featherweight contender, but accidents and lengthy layoffs have stopped his career. Fishgold (18-2, 1 NC) has been finished by Calvin Kattar in his UFC debut but rebounded with a submission win over Daniel Teymur his out time. I expect Amirkhani to be preferred as he is a favorite fighter, but I give Fishgold a fantastic chance of winning this bout.
Nick Hein vs. Luigi Vendramini, UFC Fight Night 152
Nick Hein takes on Luigi Vendramini in a lightweight bout. Combate broke the information. Hein (14-4, 1 NC) is 4-3 overall from the UFC but has dropped back-to-back conflicts to Damir Hadzovic and Davi Ramos. Vendramini (8-1) was undefeated with all his wins coming by stoppage before getting pumped out from top rival Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his UFC debut. Moving down a weight class and getting a complete camp should be valuable to Vendramini, who should be a slight favorite here.
Bea Malecki vs. Duda Santana, UFC Fight Night 152
And finally, women’s featherweights Bea Malecki and Duda Santana meet. Malecki (2-0) is a Sweden native who appeared on TUF but did not fare well on the series as she dropped. Santana (3-0) has won all three of her pro bouts but has not fought because 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both women have plenty of question marks surrounding them.
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