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The Octagon’s return to Sweden is beginning to shape up. UFC Fight Night 152 takes place June 1 in Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, along with the subsequent four bouts have been added to the card that’s 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 noteworthy of the new bouts added to UFC Fight Night 152. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news. Oezdemir (15-4) is 3-3 in 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 back. Clearly, he needs to get back in there and place that close loss . Latifi (14-6, 1 NC) is 7-4 in the UFC and most recently dropped a decision to Corey Anderson. Both men 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. Despite his losing slip I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi combating at home in Sweden would be the difference in this struggle and I expect a very close betting line.
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 currently riding a three-fight losing skid. He was among the most dangerous light heavyweights in the world at one time, however, the sport seems to have passed him by and at age 39 he seems to be about 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 off of a huge knockout win over Devin Clark. Only 27, Rakic looks like a force at 205lbs for years to come, and I’d expect hm to be a large favorite to win this battle.
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Chris Fishgold, UFC Fight Night 152
Featherweights Makwan Amirkhani and Chris Fishgold are set to clash, and 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 time he looked just like a future featherweight contender, but injuries and lengthy layoffs have stopped 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 last time out. I expect Amirkhani to be favored because he is a favorite 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 at a lightweight bout. Combate broke the news. 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 of his wins coming by stoppage before getting knocked out by leading contender Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his UFC debut. Moving down a weight class and obtaining a full camp should 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 did not fare well on the series as she lost. Santana (3-0) has won three of her ace bouts but hasn’t fought since 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both girls have loads of question marks surrounding them.
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