UFC Wichita (UFC Fight Night 146) takes place Saturday, March 9 in Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
The card formerly was shown to be headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos, and over the weekend a couple new preliminary spells were added to the card, via ESPN. The new spells are recorded below, along with my initial reactions to them, in the modern version of MMA odds and ends.
Tim Means vs. Niko Price, UFC Fight Night 146
An exciting welterweight matchup between Tim Means and Niko Price is place for UFC Fight Night 146. Means (28-10, 1 NC) is 10-7, 1 NC from the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Ricky Rainey that snapped a two-fight split conclusion losing skid. At 34 he’s started to age but revealed in the Rainey battle his striking skills are still topnotch. Cost (12-2, 1 NC) is currently 4-2, 1 NC in the UFC and is coming off of a fast TKO loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan which was a disappointing followup to his brutal KO win over Randy Brown in the summer. What a great fight this is involving Means and Price because it’s a battle between two guys who will finish the fight on the feet and on the ground. I can see this one going either way, and this may be a surprise to people who have been after me for many years, but I’d really slightly lean towards Price here simply because of his age advantage and the reality Means has been in so many wars. The opening line must be shut, but I would probably peg Price as a slight favorite at open.
Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow, UFC Fight Night 146
Welterweights Alex Morono and Zak Ottow will even meet with this card. Morono (15-5, 1 NC) is 4-2, 1 NC at the UFC and defeated Kenan Song in a”Battle of the Night” functionality his last time out. Ottow (17-6) is 4-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a split decision win over Dwight Grant. This is a very evenly-matched bout between two men in the middle of the pack at 170lbs who’ve been inconsistent in their UFC livelihood. I’ve been somewhat more impressed with Morono within the Octagon so I would favor him just a tad here, but on paper it is a close matchup and I expect the opening line to be near a Pick’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 forced his return to the UFC using a submission win over Mudaerji. All-time Smolka includes a 6-5 record from the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win streak overall in MMA. Schnell (11-4) is 2-2 at the UFC and conquered Naoki Inoue and Marco Beltran in his last two outings. Although Schnell has appeared better lately, Smolka is the more talented fighter and is more proven fighting 135lbs. I would have to favor Smolka to win this fight, and the fact it is not occurring at flyweight is just another indication the branch will be shut down this year.
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