MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR THURSDAY: TWO INJURY REPLACEMENT BOUTS ANNOUNCED

Another day, another accident — in fact, this time there were just two. For the current MMA Odds and Ends, I will record the two fights that were changed and provide my thoughts on each of them. Mark Eddiva vs. Levan Makashvili, UFC Fight Night 66 Alex White was forced to pull out of his struggle with Mark Eddiva at UFC Fight Night 66, and Levan Makashvili will now take on Eddiva on extremely short notice as the card takes place May 16 at Mall of Asia Arena at Pasay, Philippines. Eddiva is 1-1 at the UFC with a surprise decision win over Jumabieke Tuerxun along with also a TKO loss to Kevin Souza. He has actually outperformed expectations inside the Octagon and overall is a pretty good grinder that can bang a little. Makashvili, meanwhile, is a grinder-type who is making his UFC debut. He was supposed to combat Nik Lentz back at UFC Fight Night 60, but the fight was cancelled in the last minute when Lentz got sick. This is a tough one to predict. I’d argue Makashvili is the fighter and also the greater prospect of this pair, but Eddiva gets got the UFC experience and he will be fighting in his home nation of Manila here. Eddiva isn’t the kind of fighter who will get much respect from the gambling public, but he is pretty strong and I think he sets up a good fight against Makashvili. I’d anticipate a close line for this one having a small lean towards Makashvili because he has a bit more hype surrounding him, but it is a struggle I think can go either way. Jake Collier vs. Ricardo Abreu, UFC Fight Night 68 Due to an accident to Daniel Sarafian, Ricardo Abreu had a new competitor and the UFC called upon Jake Collier to combat him UFC Fight Night 68, which takes place June 6 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Collier is 0-1 at the UFC with a first-round knockout loss to Vitor Miranda in his introduction. He had been doing very well in the struggle and then at the end of this first round faded badly and paid for it with a KO defeat. Abreu, on the other hand, is undefeated at 5-0 in his career and defeated Wagner Silva via submission in his UFC debut. On the other hand, the struggle was a year ago and that he has not fought since, so he’ll presumably have some ring rust going into this one. That is another tough one. I believe Collier is the better fighter of the two, however he’s not someone to be trusted with your hard-earned cash after we saw what occurred in his UFC debut. I really don’t think Abreu is as good as his record indicates, but he has a good chance of picking up a win in this struggle. It’s a close one, however, one that could go either way, and I expect the line to signify that.

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