The Octagon’s return to Sweden is beginning to form up. UFC Fight Night 152 occurs June 1 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, and the following four streaks have been 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 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 news. Oezdemir (15-4) is 3-3 at the UFC but is currently mired in a three-fight losing skid including a split decision loss to Dominick Reyes in UFC London just over a week back. Certainly, he needs to get back in there and put that close loss behind him. Latifi (14-6, 1 NC) is 7-4 in the UFC and many recently dropped a decision to Corey Anderson. Both guys are just beneath the elite level of the greatest light heavyweights but are far better than gatekeepers, which makes this a close one to call. Despite his losing skid I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi combating in the home in Sweden would be the difference in this struggle and I anticipate a very close betting line.
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 from the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight losing skid. He was among the very dangerous light heavyweights in the world at the same time, however, the game seems to have passed him by and at age 39 he looks to be on the downside of his career, though he can still surprise with a barbarous knockout. Rakic (11-1) is currently 3-0 at the UFC and is coming off of a massive knockout win over Devin Clark. Only 27, Rakic seems like a force at 205lbs for years ahead, and I would expect hm to be a big favorite to win this 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 at the Octagon and is coming off of a split decision win over Jason Knight. At one point in time he seemed like a future featherweight contender, but injuries and long layoffs have stopped his career. Fishgold (18-2, 1 NC) was completed 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’s a favorite fighter, but 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 in a lightweight bout. Combate broke the news. Hein (14-4, 1 NC) is 4-3 overall from the UFC but has lost back-to-back conflicts to Damir Hadzovic and Davi Ramos. Vendramini (8-1) was undefeated with all of his wins coming from stoppage before getting pumped out from leading rival Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his UFC debut. Moving down a weight class and obtaining a complete camp ought to 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 meet. Malecki (2-0) is a Sweden native who appeared on TUF but did not fare well on the show as she dropped. Santana (3-0) has won three of her pro bouts but has not fought since 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both women have plenty of question marks surrounding them.
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