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, 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 noteworthy of the newest spells added to UFC Fight Night 152. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news. Oezdemir (15-4) is 3-3 at the UFC but is now mired in a three-fight losing skid such as a split decision loss to Dominick Reyes in UFC London just over a week ago. Certainly, he needs to get back in there and place that close loss behind him. Latifi (14-6, 1 NC) is 7-4 at the UFC and most recently dropped a choice to Corey Anderson. Both men are just below the elite level of the greatest light heavyweights but are far better than gatekeepers, making this a close one to call. Regardless of his losing slip I slightly lean towards Oezdemir, but Latifi combating at home in Sweden would be the difference in this struggle and that I expect a very close gaming lineup.
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 now riding a three-fight losing skid. He was one of 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 seems to be about the downside of his career, though he could still surprise with a violent knockout. Rakic (11-1) is 3-0 at the UFC and is coming from a huge knockout win over Devin Clark. Only 27, Rakic looks like a force at 205lbs for a long time to come, and I would expect 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 at 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 injuries and lengthy 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 last time out. I anticipate Amirkhani to be favored as he is a popular fighter, however 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 from 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 pumped out from top contender Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his UFC debut. Moving down a weight class and getting a complete camp should be valuable 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 appeared on TUF but didn’t fare well on the series as she dropped. Santana (3-0) has won three of her ace bouts but has not fought since 2017. Flip a coin for this one as both women have loads of question marks .
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