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, along with the subsequent four bouts 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 noteworthy 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 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 most recently dropped a choice to Corey Anderson. Both guys are just below the elite level of the greatest light heavyweights but tend to be better than gatekeepers, making this a close one to call. Regardless of his losing slip I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi fighting at home in Sweden would be the difference in this fight 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 in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight losing skid. He was one of the most dangerous light heavyweights in the world at the same time, but the sport seems to have passed by and at age 39 he seems to be on the downside of his career, even though he can still surprise with a barbarous knockout. Rakic (11-1) is 3-0 in the UFC and is coming from a massive knockout win over Devin Clark. Only 27, Rakic looks like a force at 205lbs for a long time to come, and I would anticipate hm for a large 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 from a split decision win over Jason Knight. At one point in time he seemed just like a future featherweight contender, but accidents and long layoffs have halted his career. Fishgold (18-2, 1 NC) has been 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 because he’s a popular fighter, but I give 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 information. 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 from stoppage before getting knocked out by 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 slight 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 didn’t fare well on the show as she lost. Santana (3-0) has won all three of her ace bouts but hasn’t fought since 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both women have plenty of question marks surrounding them.
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