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

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Two April welterweight matchups had to be changed due to injuries, and also for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my thoughts on the two new fights. Tim Means vs. George Sullivan, UFC on FOX 15 Because of an injury to Kenny Robertson, Tim Means will step in on short notice to battle George Sullivan at UFC on FOX 15, which will be set for April 18 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Means vs. Sullivan will air live on UFC Fight Pass. If Means can keep this fight standing, I really don’t see how he loses. Sullivan is a good striker for certain, however Means is among the very best in the welterweight division at blending in all his limbs, and thus if that fight stays standing he is likely to win it. If Sullivan can get Means up against the fence and property some key takedowns, he can definitely steal a determination on the judges’ cards, but Means has revealed awesome takedown defence at 170lbs and it’s going to be very hard for Sullivan to do this. Means is carrying this fight on short notice, and he’s a guy who does not get a good deal of love from bettors, but I believe he’s a great shot here to either knock Sullivan outside or win a decision and I am really leaning towards Means to get the victory here, even thinking about the fact he is carrying it on short notice. Chris Clements vs. Nordine Taleb UFC 186 Claudio Silva is out of the UFC 186 welterweight bout against Nordine Taleb and now Chris Clements will take on Taleb within an all-Canadian event. UFC 186 takes place April 25 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Clements vs. Taleb is slated for its Fight Pass first card card. Silva vs. Taleb was probably going to be a dull, grinding affair between two men who prefer to push up their opponents against the fence until they gasoline outside, so at least with Clements in today instead of Silva there is a chance this might be entertaining. Clements, a striker, is always in enjoyable, back-and-forth standup bouts and if he could keep Taleb from him, he’ll probably be able to stand at the center of the Octagon and hurt his foe. Taleb, though, is one of those men who sticks to his opponents like glue, and when he can push Clements up against the fence and land a few takedowns, he could win this fight according to his wrestling alone. As a result, the secret for Clements will be to halt the takedowns, and if he continues to show developments in his wrestling just like he did in his last outing against Vik Grujic, at which he stuffed the takedowns and then outstruck his competitor he could win. I anticipate Taleb to be a slight favorite here, but don’t sleep on Clements inside this area, even with the short notice factoring in.
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