Brazil plays host to yet another UFC card! Considering how awesome the most recent Brazilian UFC cards have been, I expect no less from this card. Sure the main event isn't exactly what everyone had in mind, but I can assure that that fight and the other bouts will prove very exciting and fun to watch!
Anderson Silva (32-4 MMA, 15-0 UFC) vs. Stephan Bonnar (15-7 MMA, 8-6 UFC) (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT-205LBS)
Easily amongst the top MMA fighters of all time, Silva makes a surprise return to octagon, this time against the always exciting Bonnar. Silva put all talks of looking beatable to the past with a destructive beating of Chael Sonnen. His list of wins includes a whos who of MMA elite: Rich Franklin, Yushin Okami, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, and the aforementioned Sonnen. Even better is that Silva has been finishing all of his recent opponents, which was a stark contrast to a few years ago when he was fighting to the bell. In his way is none other than one of UFC's favorite fighters, Bonnar. Admittedly this fight sounds one sided, but to Bonnar's credit, he's hung in there with the likes of Jon Jones, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida and more. Bonnar also sports a rarity in the UFC Light Heavyweight division, a three fight winning streak. It may not be exactly the challenge fans want Silva to meet, but a fight is a fight, and this main event will deliver. I predict Bonnar throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, until he gets blasted in the second.
Silva by TKO Round 2
Dave Herman (21-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) (HEAVYWEIGHT-~265LBS)
Speaking of MMA legends like Anderson Silva, Silva's teammate and fellow MMA legend "Big Nog," co headlines UFC 153 against Herman. "Big Nog's" last fight saw him suffer a vicious submission loss to rival Frank Mir that put "Big Nog" on the sidelines for quite a few months. Eager to replicate his last Brazilian appearance, a first round KO, "Big Nog" wants to put a memorable beating on Herman. Herman, despite his losing UFC record, has faced a ton of top competition, and will want to stand and bang with "Big Nog." The first round should include a lot of stand up exchanges, with the second resorting to "Big Nog" doing what he does best: taking people to the ground and making them tap.
Nogueira by Submission Round 2
Fabio Maldonado (18-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Glover Teixeira (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT-205LBS)
A war between two Brazilians highlights the show. Maldonado, who is currently riding a two fight losing streak, looks to snap the bad luck against the dark horse of the Light Heavyweight division, Teixeira. This fight has brawl written all over it as I am sure both men want to give their countrymen one of the best MMA fights ever. With that in mind, both possess knock out power, but given what I have seen of both guys, Teixeira, in my opinion, seems to pack a bit more of a punch and is also more versatile, given his Jiu Jitsu game. Teixiera's rise to the top will continue as Maldonado gets caught in the moment and tagged by the dark horse.
Teixeira by TKO Round 1
Jon Fitch (23-4-1 MMA, 13-2-1 UFC) vs. Erick Silva (14-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) (WELTERWEIGHT-170LBS)
Fitch is back after a brutal loss to contender Johnny Hendricks. He'll be looking to go more than 12 seconds in this bout and I see it going the full fifteen, per usual with a Jon Fitch fight. This time he has his hands full with prospect Silva, who is coming off a dominant win over Charlie Brenneman. Despite Silva really showing he can defeat and outclass a wrestler in his last match, Fitch is just on another level of grappling and wrestling than both Brenneman and Silva. I suspect Silva will try to knock Fitch out, but will get limited time on his feet to do so. It will be takedown central for Fitch who I think will return to the win column with a points win.
Fitch by Unanimous Decision
Phil Davis (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) vs. Wagner Prado (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT-205LBS)
An immediate rematch was booked as soon as these two fighter's first meeting ended in a No Contest. Hopefully this time the rebooked match can result in a definitive result. Davis, prior to the No Contest, had been coming off a disappointing title shot eliminator loss to Rashad Evans. Prado was making his UFC debut, and will look to his perfect record intact. Davis is a world class wrestler and sports a much improved submission game that has resulted in finishes by way of Anaconda Choke. Prado has a 100% finishing rate, albeit against regional opponents, and I expect his lack of fighting top level opponents to affect him here. I see Davis schooling Prado with an endless amount of takedowns and strikes from the top for a clear cut decision win.
Davis by Unanimous Decision
Demian Maia (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Rick Story (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) (WELTERWEIGHT-170LBS)
Maia returns to the UFC searching for his second straight win in his weight class of Welterweight. His opponent, wrestler Story, is trying to regain momentum he lost recently, and wants to shine at Welterweight once again. Maia is one of MMA's best BJJ and submission style fighters, and will look to utilize his excellent takedowns and submissions to control Story. Story has the better hands, but I don't think he'll be able to avoid Maia's relentless submission style fighting. Should be an entertaing ground war with Maia outpointing Story.
Maia by Unanimous Decision
- Rony "Jason" Mariano Bezerra (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Sam Sicilia (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) (FEATHERWEIGHT-145LBS)
Bezerra by KO Round 1
- Gleison Tibau (25-8 MMA, 10-6 UFC) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) (LIGHTWEIGHT-155LBS)
Tibau by Unanimous Decision
- Diego Brandao (14-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Joey Gambino (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) (FEATHERWEIGHT-145LBS)
Brandao by TKO Round 1
- Renee Forte (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Sergio Moraes (6-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) (MIDDLEWEIGHT-185LBS)
Moraes by Unanimous Decision
- Chris Camozzi (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) vs. Luiz Cane (12-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) (MIDDLEWEIGHT-185LBS)
Cane by TKO Round 2
- Reza Madadi (12-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Cristiano Marcello (12-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) (LIGHTWEIGHT-155LBS)
Madadi by Unanimous Decision
Fights begin on Facebook, then transition to FX, and finally onto PPV for the main card portion. Enjoy the fights, and as always thank you for reading!