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 following four bouts are added to the card that is predicted to be headlined by Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Smith.
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Ilir Latifi, UFC Fight Night 152
An intriguing 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 information. 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 ago. Certainly, he needs to get back in there and place 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 men are just beneath the elite level of the greatest light heavyweights but are better than gatekeepers, making this a close one to call. Despite his losing slip I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi fighting at home in Sweden could be the difference in this struggle and that I expect a very close gaming lineup.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Aleksandar Rakic, UFC Fight Night 152
Another exciting light heavyweight bout will see Jimi Manuwa take on Aleksandar Rakic. Manuwa (17-5) is 6-5 in the UFC and is now riding a three-fight losing skid. He was one of the very dangerous light heavyweights in the world at one time, but the sport seems to have passed him by and at age 39 he seems to be on the downside of his career, though he can still surprise with a violent knockout. Rakic (11-1) is currently 3-0 in the UFC and is coming from a massive knockout win over Devin Clark. Only 27, Rakic seems like a force at 205lbs for years to come, and I would expect hm for 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 in the Octagon and is coming off of a split decision win over Jason Knight. At one point in time he seemed like a prospective featherweight contender, but accidents and lengthy layoffs have halted 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 anticipate Amirkhani to be favored as he is a popular fighter, but I provide Fishgold a good 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 of his wins coming by stoppage before getting pumped out from leading rival Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his UFC debut. Moving down a weight class and obtaining a full camp should be valuable to Vendramini, who should be a small favorite here.
Bea Malecki vs. Duda Santana, UFC Fight Night 152
And finally, women’s featherweights Bea Malecki and Duda Santana match. Malecki (2-0) is a Sweden indigenous who appeared on TUF but didn’t fare well on the series as she lost. Santana (3-0) has won three of her ace bouts but has not fought because 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both girls have loads of question marks surrounding them.
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