The Octagon’s return to Sweden is starting to form up. UFC Fight Night 152 occurs June 1 in Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, and the following four streaks 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 including a split decision loss to Dominick Reyes in UFC London just over a week back. Clearly, he needs to get back in there and put that close loss . Latifi (14-6, 1 NC) is 7-4 in the UFC and many recently dropped a decision to Corey Anderson. Both guys are just below the elite level of the top light heavyweights but tend to be better than gatekeepers, which makes this a close one to call. Regardless of his losing skid I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi fighting in the home in Sweden could be the difference in this struggle and 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 from the UFC and is now riding a three-fight losing skid. He was one of the most dangerous light heavyweights in the world at the same time, but the game seems to have passed him by and at age 39 he seems to be on the downside of his career, even though he could still surprise with a violent knockout. Rakic (11-1) is 3-0 in the UFC and is coming from a massive knockout win over Devin Clark. Only 27, Rakic seems just like a force at 205lbs for years ahead, and I would anticipate hm for 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 at the Octagon and is coming from a split decision win over Jason Knight. At one point in time he looked just like a prospective featherweight contender, but accidents and lengthy layoffs have stopped 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 preferred because he is a favorite fighter, however I give Fishgold a fantastic prospect of winning this bout.
Nick Hein vs. Luigi Vendramini, UFC Fight Night 152
Nick Hein takes on Luigi Vendramini at a lightweight bout. Combate broke the news. Hein (14-4, 1 NC) is 4-3 overall from the UFC but has dropped back-to-back fights to Damir Hadzovic and Davi Ramos. Vendramini (8-1) was undefeated with all his wins coming from stoppage before getting knocked out by leading contender Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his UFC debut. Moving down a weight class and getting a complete camp ought to 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 native who seemed on TUF but didn’t fare well on the series as she lost. Santana (3-0) has won three of her ace bouts but hasn’t fought because 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both women have plenty of question marks surrounding them.
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