The Octagon’s return to Sweden is starting to shape up. UFC Fight Night 152 occurs June 1 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, and the following 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 newest bouts added to UFC Fight Night 152. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the information. Oezdemir (15-4) is 3-3 in the UFC but is now mired in a three-fight losing skid such as a split decision loss to Dominick Reyes at UFC London just over a week ago. Certainly, he needs to get back in there and put that close loss behind him. Latifi (14-6, 1 NC) is 7-4 at the UFC and most recently dropped a choice to Corey Anderson. Both guys are just below the elite level of the top light heavyweights but are better than gatekeepers, making this a close one to call. Regardless of his losing slip I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi combating at home in Sweden would be the difference in this fight and that 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 one of the very dangerous light heavyweights in the world at the same time, but the sport seems to have passed by and at age 39 he looks 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 in the UFC and is coming from a massive knockout win over Devin Clark. Just 27, Rakic seems just like a force at 205lbs for years ahead, and I’d expect hm to be a big favorite to win this fight.
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 in the Octagon and is coming from a split decision win over Jason Knight. At one time he seemed like a prospective featherweight contender, but accidents and lengthy layoffs have halted his career. Fishgold (18-2, 1 NC) was finished by Calvin Kattar in his UFC debut but rebounded with a submission win over Daniel Teymur his last time out. I expect Amirkhani to be favored because he is a popular fighter, however I provide Fishgold a good prospect 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 news. Hein (14-4, 1 NC) is 4-3 overall in 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 full camp should be beneficial to Vendramini, that should be a small favorite here.
Bea Malecki vs. Duda Santana, UFC Fight Night 152
And lastly, women’s featherweights Bea Malecki and Duda Santana meet. Malecki (2-0) is a Sweden indigenous who seemed on TUF but didn’t fare well on the series as she dropped. Santana (3-0) has won three of her pro bouts but has not fought because 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both girls have loads of question marks .
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