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 into the card, through ESPN. The new bouts are listed below, along with my initial reactions to them, in today’s version 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 set 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 conclusion losing skid. At 34 he’s begun to age but showed in the Rainey fight his striking skills are still top notch. Price (12-2, 1 NC) is currently 4-2, 1 NC at the UFC and is coming from a quick TKO loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan which has been a disappointing followup to his barbarous KO win over Randy Brown on the summer. What a fantastic battle this is involving Means and Price because it’s a battle between two guys who can finish the fight on the feet and on the floor. I can see this one going either way, which might be a surprise to people who have been following me for years, but I’d actually slightly lean towards Price here simply because of his age advantage and the reality Means was in so many wars. The opening line should be close, but I’d probably peg Cost as a small favorite in the open.
Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow, UFC Fight Night 146
Welterweights Alex Morono and Zak Ottow may also meet on this card. Morono (15-5, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC in the UFC and conquered Kenan Song in a”Battle of the Night” functionality 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 really evenly-matched bout between two guys in the middle of the bunch at 170lbs who’ve been inconsistent in their UFC livelihood. I have been somewhat more impressed with Morono inside the Octagon so I’d prefer him just a bit here, but on paper it’s a close matchup and I expect the opening line to be close 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 on this card. Smolka (15-5) recently forced his return to the UFC with a submission win over Mudaerji. All-time Smolka includes a 6-5 record in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak complete 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 more proven fighting at 135lbs. I would have to favor Smolka to win this battle, and the fact it is not taking place at flyweight is another indication the branch is going to be shut down this year.
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