UFC Wichita (UFC Fight Night 146) takes place Saturday, March 9 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
The card previously was revealed to be headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos, and over the weekend a few new preliminary spells were added to the card, via ESPN. The new spells are recorded below, along with my initial reactions to these, in today’s edition of MMA odds and ends.
Tim Means vs. Niko Price, UFC Fight Night 146
An exciting welterweight matchup involving Tim Means and Niko Price is set for UFC Fight Night 146. Means (28-10, 1 NC) is 10-7, 1 NC in 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 started to age but showed in the Rainey battle his remarkable abilities continue to be topnotch. 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 which has been a disappointing follow-up to his brutal KO win over Randy Brown in the summertime. What a fantastic battle this is involving Means and Price because it’s a struggle between two guys who can finish the fight on the feet and on the floor. I can see this one going either way, and this might be a surprise to those who’ve been following me for many years, but I’d really slightly lean towards Cost here simply because of his age benefit and the fact Means has been in numerous wars. The opening line should be shut, but I would probably peg Cost as a small favorite at open.
Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow, UFC Fight Night 146
Welterweights Alex Morono and Zak Ottow will also meet with this card. Morono (15-5, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC in the UFC and conquered Kenan Song at a”Fight of the Night” functionality his last time out. Ottow (17-6) is 4-3 at the UFC and is coming off of a split decision win over Dwight Grant. This is a very evenly-matched connection between two men in the middle of the pack at 170lbs who’ve so far been inconsistent in their UFC careers. I have been slightly more impressed by Morono within the Octagon so I’d prefer him just a tad 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 with this card. Smolka (15-5) lately made his return to the UFC using a submission win over Mudaerji. All-time Smolka has a 6-5 record from the UFC and is now 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 prefer Smolka to win this particular fight, and the fact it’s not occurring at flyweight is just another sign the division is going to be shut down this season.
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