UFC 190 is here and we have a crazy amount of action on this card. We see the grappling great Demian Maia fighting in the prelims against Neil Magny. We see Jessica Aguilar make her debut in the UFC and is already going against the #1 ranked fighter in the division. We will get to watch The Ultimate Fighter Brazil Finale and see the winner of the bantamweight and lightweight brackets. We get to watch the return of Minotauro Nogueira and later in the card watch his brother fight the dangerous Shogun Rua. Then we get to see Rousey and Correia finally butt heads after almost months of trash talk. If you weren't excited for this card, you should be. So buckle up because they will show you tonight why they call this the most exciting sport in the world.
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Hugo Viana vs. Guido Cannetti: This is the first fight of the whole night and it kicks off in the bantamweight division. First up is Hugo Viana who has a record of 8-3. Viana is a heavy striker with a below average strike completion at 39%. Viana also has not attempted one takedown in his five UFC fights. Viana has one win by knockout and the rest of his wins were by decision. His opponent is the 6-3 Guido Cannetti. Cannetti has finished all of his wins, all of them were in the first round and they were split evenly with three by knockout and three by submission. Cannetti lands five significant strikes per minute as opposed to Viana only landing three and a half per minute. I think Cannetti will come out the overall better fighter and be able to stop Viana in the first round with a TKO.
Vitor Miranda vs. Clint Hester: The next fight will take place in the middleweight division. Both fighters have a professional record of 11-4. Miranda used to fight at heavyweight and is currently 1-0 at middleweight. Miranda has eight wins by knockout and two by submission and has won six of his last seven fights. Miranda has a black belt in Muay Thai, a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a silver glove award in savate. Despite his extensive grappling experience he has not attempted one takedown in the UFC and only has a defense rate of 22%. He has proven to be an amazing striker with his eight knockouts and his pro kickboxing record of 23-8-1 with 18 of those wins by knockout. His opponent, Clint Hester, is looking to come back from his loss in his last fight, breaking his four fight win streak in the UFC. Hester has won seven of his last eight fights, with eight wins by knockout and three of them in the first round. Hester has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and was a professional boxer before MMA. So both fighters will be ready to go to war on their feet and can adapt to any situation that takes them to the ground. I think this fight will mostly be a striking fight and will go into the second round. Once in the second round I think Hester will be able catch Miranda with a knockout and get back to work on his path into the rankings.
Fox Sports 1 prelims
(#13)Iuri Alcantara vs. Leandro Issa: Now we are in to the televised portion of the event and we kick the night off with another bantamweight fight. I will start off with the newer fighter in Leandro Issa. Issa has a professional record of 13-4 and has won 10 of his last 12 fights. Issa has won eight fights by submission and two fights by knockouts with six first round finishes. Issa has a second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so I predict many more submission finishes in his career. His opponent, the #13 ranked Alcantara, has a professional record of 31-6. Alcantara has 25 wins by stoppage and they are almost equal with 13 wins by knockout and 12 wins by submission. Alcantara also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so I predict this is going to be a very technical grappling matchup. I think the first two rounds are going to be very technical with the rounds going to either man. Then going into the third Alcantara and his coaches will decide for him to work the standing game and seek for the knockout. I then predict that Alcantara will walk out of the cage with a TKO victory in the third round.
Warlley Alves vs. Nordine Taleb: The next fight on the card will be a welterweight matchup. Warlley Alves is coming into this fight at 9-0. Alves is a kickboxer and an excellent wrestler. He has defended 100% of his opponent’s takedowns. Alves has three first round finishes out of five finishes total. Four of those finishes were submissions while the fifth was a knockout. I really enjoy seeing wrestlers who can pull off submissions because, in case you didn’t know, wrestling is one of the few grappling styles that do not teach submissions so it shows that they have a diverse understanding of grappling techniques. His opponent is Nordine Taleb who has a record of 10-2. Taleb leans more toward his striking skills while fighting with all five of his finishes by knockout and two of them were in the first round. Regardless of this he still works on his grappling by mixing wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and it shows in his fights with 12 successful takedowns out of 14 attempted. Taleb has won eight of his last nine with no losses since his transition in the UFC. I believe this will be a close matchup with both fighters looking to take this to the mat and work to wear each other down with strikes. Since Alves is Brazilian, I believe the crowd will give him the surge to overpower Taleb and pull out a third round submission.
(#10)Rafael Cavalcante vs. (#14)Patrick Cummins: The third fight of the prelims will take place in the Light Heavyweight division between two fighters toward the bottom of the rankings. I will start with the lower ranked Patrick Cummins who has a professional record of 7-2. Cummins is an amazing wrestler. He wrestled for Penn State in college, was the runner-up in the NCCA National Championship, two-time All-American and a two-time US National Team Member. Unfortunately Cummins is having a hard time offensively with a takedown success rate of only 50%, but his success rate of takedowns defended is at 75%. Cummins has three finishes by knockout and two by submission. His opponent is the 12-5 Rafael Cavalcante. Cavalcante has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but prefers to spend his time in the cage battering his opponents. All 12 of his wins are by knockout and seven of them were in the first round. I think Cavalcante is going to be well aware of his opponent’s readiness to grapple and go in with his heavy hands and do what he does best. I predict that Cavalcante will pick up his thirteenth knockout in the last seconds of the first round.
(#6)Demian Maia vs. (#13)Neil Magny: Now we move into the main event of the prelims and with that we see a ranked matchup in the welterweight division. The #13 ranked Neil Magny is coming into this fight at 15-4. Magny is on a seven fight win streak and is tied for the record of most wins in a calendar year. He also has 10 wins by stoppage, seven by knockout and three by submission. His opponent is the veteran, Demian Maia. Maia has a record of 20-6 and is possibly the best grappler in the UFC. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and nine wins are by submission. This is the classic striker versus grappler matchup. If Magny can keep this fight standing he has a chance, but if the fight goes to the ground its over for him. I think that Magny will try to keep this fight standing, but Maia will get him on the ground and work his Jiu-Jitsu. Once on the ground Maia likes to work quickly so I predict that he will gain the submission victory towards the end of the first round.
(#1)Claudia Gadelha vs. (#15)Jessica Aguilar: The time has come for the main card and the first fight is in the strawweight division between two amazing fighters. I am going to start, as usual, with the lower ranked Jessica Aguilar. If you are curious why the 15 ranked is fighting the number 1 ranked is purely because Aguilar has yet to fight in the UFC. Aguilar is 19-4, on a 10 fight win streak and has not lost since 2010. Aguilar has seven wins by knockout, three by submission and has six first round finishes. If these quick finishes doubt her ability to last into later rounds she has gone the distance and won a total of nine times. Two of those fights were five rounds while defending her title with her previous organization. Her opponent is the #1 ranked Claudia Gadelha. Gadelha has a professional record of 12-1. She has six wins by submission and two by knockout with seven first round finishes. Both fighters will be fired up going into this fight because they both feel they deserve a shot at the title with a win here tonight. It is hard for me to call this fight so I will predict the winner based on who I would like to see fight the champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk has a very aggressive and brutal fighting style and I think Aguilar will be a better matchup for that style. Aguilar is also a striker so she will be able to defend and fire back better than someone who would want to grapple and most likely end up getting swarmed and put against the cage. Therefore I am going to predict that Aguilar will win this even matchup for hope of a more interesting title fight for everyone else.
(#12)Antonio Silva vs. Soa Palelei: The Next fight on the card will be a fight in the heavyweight division. Soa Palelei is coming into this fight at 22-4 and is unranked. Palelei is a striking powerhouse with 19 wins by knockout and three more by submission. 16 of his wins were first round finishes and seven of them in less than a minute. All of his wins were wins by stoppage. His opponent is the 18-7 Antonio Silva. Antonio Silva has been going through a rough patch only winning five of his last 11 fights. On the other hand he also has 14 wins by knockout and two wins by submission. Silva also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so he can go to the ground if he needs to. This fight could go one of two ways depending on the type of Antonio Silva we see tonight. If he comes out like he has been then it will be an easy win for Palelei and if it’s the other Silva then we will have a slugfest on our hands folks. I hope for everybody that “Bigfoot” has gotten out of his funk and we see these two brawl. Unfortunately I believe that regardless Palelei will be able to out strike his opponent and gain a third round TKO.
(#15)Stefan Struve vs. Minotauro Nogueira: The next fight is another heavyweight matchup between two amazing heavyweights. The first fighter is one of the Nogueira twins and the first to fight tonight. Minotauro has a record of 34-9-1. He is only 5-5 in the UFC, but he is regarded as one of the best heavyweights ever. Minotauro has 21 wins by submission and three wins by knockout. He has a black belt in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has an iron chin that makes him almost unfinishable by way knockout. His opponent is “The Skyscraper” Stefan Struve. Struve towers over almost all of his opponents at seven feet tall. He has a professional record of 29-7. Struve has won four of his last six, but those two wins were both of his last two fights. Struve has finished 23 of his fights with 16 wins by submission and seven by knockout. I predict this fight will take a long time for either fighter to finish their opponent. I think this fight will go into the third round and both fighters will attempt wins by any means through various aspects of the game. I actually think this will go the distance and Stefan Struve will win by decision.
Reginaldo Vieira vs. Dileno Lopes: The next fight on this card is a bantamweight fight. Both fighters will be debuting in the UFC tonight. Reginaldo Vieira has a professional record of 13-3. All ten of his victories by stoppage are by submission and eight of them were in the first round. He is also on a three fight win streak. His opponent is Dileno Lopes who has a professional record of 19-1. Lopes has 12 wins by submission and four by knockout with 12 first round finishes. He is currently on a six fight win streak. These fighters both fought on season four of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil and are fighting to determine the victor of the bantamweight bracket. I think that this fight will be very technical and both fighters will be looking to end it with a submission. This could actually be a generally exciting match just watching both fighters hunt for another first round submission to add to their extensive lists. I think that Dileno Lopes will get the victory by second round submission and think both of these fighters will be put on the watch list for bantamweight grapplers.
Glaico Franca vs. Fernando Bruno: This next fight is to determine the winner of the Lightweight bracket on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil season 4. Glaico Franca has a professional record of 13-3. Franca is on a three fight win streak, has six wins by knockout, six wins by submission and nine first round finishes. Franca is what some people call a “neck hunter” because all of his wins by submission are via chokes as opposed to joint locks. His opponent is Fernando Bruno. Fernando Bruno has a professional record of 16-2 and is on a five fight winning streak. Bruno has nine different wins by submission and five of them were in the first round. This will be another very technical fight and I believe these two will also be interested in getting a quick submission victory. I predict that Fernando Bruno will be the winner of this match by way of submission in the second round.
(#8)Mauricio Rua vs. (#11)Antonio Nogueira: The co-main event for the night is between two Light Heavyweight legends. Antonio Nogueira has a professional record of 21-6 and is the other Nogueira twin fighting tonight. Like his brother, he has a third degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Nogueira has won nine of his last 12 fights and has an even six wins by knockout and six wins by submission. This is the second time he will fight Shogun Rua. The first time he lost in what is considered one of the greatest fights of PRIDE history. His opponent, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is 22-10. Shogun has won 10 of his last 18 fights with a total of 19 wins by knockout or TKO. Shogun is the only fighter ever to score back to back knockout victories over UFC Hall of Famers. Shogun has excellent punches and is lethal with kicks and knees. Antonio Nogueira has an iron chin just like his brother so Shogun will need to come out guns blazing if he thinks he is going to get a victory by stoppage. Not saying it’s impossible, especially when talking about someone like Shogun, but he will need to bring his “A” game if he wants to avoid it going the distance. Personally I think the longer this fight goes the greater the chance of Nogueira getting the victory. I probably speak for both Matt and myself when I say I almost want to see Nogueira win for the fact that it would create Rua vs Nogueira 3 in the future. The problem with that plan is Nogueira would be in his forties by the time that fight came around, and that’s if he was still fighting. By that time I doubt we would see the same Nogueira and may make that third match something to regret wanting. With that in mind I still hope this is every bit the war it was the first time and I’m predicting that Shogun will pick up a last minute victory by TKO.
(C)Ronda Rousey vs. (#5)Bethe Correia: Now we are finally at the main event for the evening and possibly the most interesting fight of Ronda Rousey’s career. I could go on all day about everything that has happened between these two so I will try not to ramble. First off, both of these fighters are bantamweights and this is a title match. Next, both fighters are undefeated. The contender Bethe Correia has a record of 9-0 and the Champion, Ronda Rousey, has a record of 11-0. Ronda trains with a group of friends that call themselves the “Four Horsewomen.” Two of Bethe Correia’s wins are from two other members of that group, so Ronda will be looking for vengeance. On top of that, Correia has been on many interviews making this as personal as possible trying to get into Ronda’s head. Unfortunately for her I am going to paraphrase the movie Pearl Harbor because I think all that did was, “awaken a sleeping giant.” I am going to dig a little into stats for people that would like to know. Correia has two wins by knockout and the rest of her wins are by decision. She also has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a purple belt in Kung Fu. Rousey has nine wins by submission, all of them by armbar and eight of them in the first round. She has two knockout wins on top of that and her last three fights lasted a total of 96 seconds. Rousey says she finishes people quick because it is her way of showing mercy. Everybody who has been following all the hype knows not an ounce of mercy will be shown to Correia tonight and with that I think it’s certain we see a second round and possibly a third. I still think no matter how long this fight goes that Ronda is still going to keep her belt with another beautiful armbar.
UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia
Pre-lims on Fox Sports 1 (8PM ET)
#13 Iuri Alcantara (31-6) vs. Leandro Issa (13-4): This opener to the fights on TV are in the bantamweight division. This fight has the very experienced Iuri Alcantara who has won 25 fights by stoppages of his 31 wins. Those stoppages display his very well-rounded game by having 13 KO victories and 12 by submission. He has won 3 of his last 4 fights, his last fight was the lone loss in those 4 coming by way of a unanimous decision. Iuri is a BJJ black belt and is a monster to fight and have to deal with on the mat. Iuri is a great fighter standing as well with great striking skills and the ability to end fights with good combinations. Now standing opposite of him is Leandro Issa. He is a great fast paced fighter with the ability to end fights quick and early stopping 6 of his 13 wins in the very first round. He is a stoppage machine finishing 10 of his 13, 8 by submission and 2 by way of KO making this a fight that could end quickly and could be fun for all the fans in attendance. He is a second degree black belt in BJJ which means his ground game is absolutely incredible and this will become an interesting fight if it goes to ground. I think if this fight goes to the mat it will become a technical chess match and could go all three rounds if so. I don’t believe either fighter will use their standup game too long but I think if anyone will Iuri would be happiest to stay standing of the two but I am not convinced he will want to stay there. I am taking this fight to go three rounds and go to a split decision for Iuri Alcantara.
Warlley Alves (9-0) vs. Nordine Taleb (10-2): This fight should be a really exciting clash in the middleweight division between two great fighters with less than 4 fights in the UFC, one being a young up and coming fighter. Warlley is a good coming to age 24 year old undefeated fighter with a ton of skill and a lot of things to be excited about. Warlley is entering his third fight in the UFC going 2-0 in his first two winning those by way of a submission and a unanimous decision. Warlley has finished 5 of his 9 wins 4 by way of submission and the other by KO. He has stopped 3 of his wins in the very first round all in under 1:58 in those first rounds showing how quick this kid can get on top of his opponent ending the fights. Now Alves does have a good showing of submissions in his MMA career but he has incredible striking skills with amazing footwork and extremely underrated power in his hands. Now the great thing about his striking is that he can keep it on his feet if he wants because he has yet in his 2 fights been taken down in the UFC. This kid is someone we should all be excited to watch grow in the UFC. Now standing opposite of Alves is the older fighter with very few miles on his MMA career Nordine Taleb. Nordine is entering his 4th fight in the UFC which he is 3-0 so far in the UFC and entering the biggest test of his career. He has won 8 of his last 9 professional fights and just on fire with his wins as of late. Now he has finished 5 of his 10 wins all of them by KO. He has not finished a fight though in the UFC all three of his wins have been by decision, 2 unanimous and the other being a split decision. Nordine isn’t the best fighter on the mat and I believe it would be in his best interest to keep this fight standing up if he wants to have a chance of winning here. I think this fight will be either a grind out fight and go all three rounds or be a quick ending but either way I see the same ending. I think the beast Alves is going to be just too much for Taleb and end in the first round by way of a KO/TKO improving to 10-0 and probably getting himself ranked in a stacked division.
#10 Rafael Cavalcante (12-5) vs. #14 Patrick Cummins (7-2): This fight in the light heavyweight division is between two of the older fighters in the division that are both holding on to their rankings. Rafael Cavalcante Rafael is an exciting fighter for the fans as he has won all 12 of his fights by way of a knockout. Now 7 of those 12 wins by KO are all in the very first round which displain the very first round which displays his ability to come out swinging early and often looking to finish fights quickly. Now regardless of his standing abilities being proven by way of his KO numbers but he said he is very confident in his ground game. I think Rafael’s strategy for this one will be to come out quick and look to end the fight standing with his strong and quick hands. Now standing opposite of him looking to avoid getting hit by the strong hands is Patrick Cummins. Patrick is a strong fighter with great striking and the ability to finish on the mat as well. He has finished 5 of his 7 wins 3 by KO and the other 2 by submission showing that he has the ability to finish the fight on the mat which seems to be the one unseen in his opponent. Patrick has great cardio and if it makes it out of the first round I think he is in the advantage because his opponent doesn’t seem to be in as good of shape as he is. I think this fight will be extremely entertaining if it goes to the mat it favors Cummins and if it stays standing it has a slight edge to Rafael. I am going to pick Patrick here with this fight by way of a third round submission after these two trade punches early and then take it to a striking match.
#6 Demian Maia (20-6) vs. #13 Neil Magny (15-4): The main event of the prelims is a welterweight bout between a legendary fighter in Maia and one of the most active fighters in the UFC who is on the rise and I can’t wait to see get a title shot one day. Demian is a legendary submission and grappling artist. They say that he is the best grappler in the UFC today and is seriously someone to be scared of regardless of being 37 years of age. He is 5-2 in the welterweight division. Demian is a black belt in BJJ and a three time World Cup champion in BJJ competitions and a 2 time world champion in BJJ. I know that Demian is a freak on the mat that everyone should be scared to face in the clinch or on the mat because he is just a scary good fighter. Now that being said standing up he is an underrated fighter and shouldn’t be something to overlook because standing he is a good fighter with the ability to end a fight. Now standing opposite of Maia is Neil Magny who is one of the most exciting fighters and in my opinion could become the best in the division soon. Magny is a skilled and extremely coachable fighter with great talent and he seems dedicated to the cause as he has fought 10 times in the 2 years he has been in the UFC and is looking to fight his 11th now. He is fighting his third fight in just 2015 and man this kid has heart and determination and is coming into this fight on a 7 fight win streak, smoking hot. Neil is a great mat fighter, not as good as Maia obviously but he will be a great competitor for him there if it goes there. Now standing Magny is a better fighter because is he a great striking fighter with good range and great speed. He is a national guard SGT. From the state of Illinois which helps keep him in good shape and in great condition, probably able to last all 3 rounds without tiring too much regardless of the grinding style of fight this will probably become. I think this kid is going to be fun to watch especially as he grows more and more in the sport. Now this fight is hard to call because it has come down to legend vs. uprising star which makes this fight have so much importance in this division. I am going to take the young uprising fighter though who might be a bit of an underdog but I think Magny wins this fight in a second round TKO stoppage.
UFC Main Card (10PM/ET):
#1 Claudia Gadelha (12-1) vs. #15 Jessica Aguilar (19-4): The opener to the main card is a battle in the Women’s strawweight division between two women on the opposite sides of the rankings in their respective divisions. Claudia is looking for a title fight with a win here in this one. She is a young fighter with the hopes of becoming champion one day as her last and only loss was her last fight and it was against the now champion who I think is unbeatable at this point, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Claudia has finished 8 of her 12 wins which is impressive in the women’s division because it seems a lot of the fights that don’t include Joanna go to decision. She has finished 6 of those 8 by submission and the other 2 by KO/TKO finishes. The best part is that 7 of those 8 finishes are in the very first round showing how fast she comes out of the gate and how good of a fighter she truly is. She is a great fighter standing but when it goes to the ground I think she is the best fighter on the mat in the women’s division with her BJJ black belt. Claudia should look to dominate this fight no matter where it is she will use her amazing talent and look to hold octagon control standing or on the mat. She is a really strong fighter which means she will look to overpower her opponent as well hopefully for her sake ending this fight quickly. Now standing opposite of her is Jessica Aguilar who is fighting her first fight here in the UFC. She is on a 10 fight winning streak entering this fight professionally outside of the UFC. She has finished 10 of her 19 wins, 7 of which by submission and the other 3 by knockout. She has 6 first round finishes and that means these two will be so exciting to watch early as they come at each other looking to end this fight quickly. Now Jessica has gone 5 rounds twice and has great cardio as well as great skills and could be so exciting to watch if it goes more than 3 rounds because she has the expertise in the championship rounds. Her BJJ is good but not as great as Claudia as she has a brown belt in BJJ but still could be exciting to watch when they take it to the mat. I think Claudia Gadelha will pick up a third round win by submission due to having better skills and being the overall better fighter.
#12 Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (18-7) vs. Soa Palelei (22-4): This battle in the heavyweight division has a legendary Antonio Silva against a good opponent Soa Palelei. Now the legendary Silva is looking like it is the end of his career as he has struggled of late losing his last 2 fights and the fight before that was a reversed decision that he originally won before testing positive for increased amounts of testosterone. Silva has out of this world ability at controlling his fights though and is a god given gift to watch fight due to his incredible skill set. His hands are extremely strong and has the ability to finish with one or two strong hands landing clean which could end any fight including this one out of nowhere. Silva has finished 16 of his 18 wins 14 of them display his extremely powerful hands by being by KO’s and the other 2 by submissions. He has lost 6 of his last 11 fights which is why I worry about coming into this fight and think that if he wins at home here in Brazil he should hang up the gloves and call his MMA career ending on a high note. Now opposite of “Bigfoot” is Soa Palelei another old fighter who is at 38 years of age and should be fighting one of his last fights in his career here. He has finished all 22 of his professional wins 19 of which by KO and the other 3 are by way of submissions. This guy is an extremely strong finisher with 16 wins in the very first round. He has finished 7 fights in under one minute and that alone is something for every single fan to be excited about and should be the most exciting factor of this fight. Soa is a great fighter and I think will be a real challenge between two aging fighters that can both knock out their respective opponents with just one good clean shot. I am going to pick against Silva and take Soa Palelei to win this fight in a second round KO stopping “Bigfoot”.
#15 Stefan Struve (29-7) vs. Minotauro Nogueira (34-9-1): Here is another fight in the heavyweight division in back to back fights which should keep the fans standing and excited. Stefan is a beast and absolutely ridiculously large yet still athletic. He stands at 7 foot tall and has incredible kickboxing skills that match his awesome technique which is great for a 7 foot tall athlete. He has finished 23 of his 29 wins 16 of them are through submission which is incredible for a heavyweight, the other 7 are by way of KO/TKO. I think Struve is incredibly underrated he is a very gifted athlete with great length and could truly be one of the most dangerous fighters in the heavyweight division when he is on his game. Struve could look to take this to the ground but I think he might use his range and keep this standing unless he seems to be getting outmatched standing then you could see him take it to the mat and look for the finish. Now standing opposite of Stefan is Minotauro Nogueira. Now Nogueira is a legend of the heavyweight division. This guy can fight all night long and never get tired. Just to symbolize how strong this guy is he was run over a by a truck at the age of 10 years old and he survived. Now his skills and amazing conditioning are going to have to be at their top level at 39 years of age he is coming in here with a bit of wear and tear. He is the only man in the history of the sport to hold the PRIDE and UFC heavyweight belts. Minotauro is one half of the fighting Nogueira’s in the UFC who I believe are the best fighting brothers in the UFC, yes better than the Diaz brothers. Minotauro has been training in MMA since he was 4 years old starting with Judo then at 14 years of age he started boxing, and finally at 18 he started learning BJJ. He is one of the most experienced fighters there is and his knowledge of the sport is incredible and something that is so enjoyable to watch him display. Now the worries behind Nogueira is that he has lost 5 of his last 11 fights and he is coming off an injury as well. I am convinced though that he is completely healthy and well-conditioned just due to the fact that he said he feels good. Now that being said I am going to pick Struve to pull off the win in a second round submission.
Reginaldo Vieira (13-3) vs. Dileno Lopes (19-1): Following two great fights is a fight a confusing battle in the bantamweight division, I say that because neither of these guys have fought in the UFC yet here they are on the main card over people like Demian Maia and Neil Magny. I know it’s a tough season 4 bout but I just don’t believe it should be in the main card over some of the other fights. Anyway Reginaldo Vieira is a submission artist who has finished 10 of his 13 fights and all 10 are by way of submission. He has finished 8 of those 10 submissions in the very first round which just tells you how fast he can get this fight to the mat and get control and before you know it finish the fight. He enters this fight on a 3 fight win streak professionally and will look to stay hot as he would love to kick off his UFC career with a 1-0 record. Now standing opposite of him is Dileno Lopes representing team Shogun of this season of TUF. Lopes enters his first professional UFC fight on a 6 fight win streak professionally and looks like he is getting hot at the right time. He has finished 16 of his professional wins through 4 KO’s and the other 12 by some pretty impressive submission finishes. He has also been a first round finisher with 12 finishes in the very first round but keep in mind both of these fighters have only fought lower level competition so far. This fight is hard to call for me only because I haven’t watched much of the TUF Brazil this year and what I have been able to catch, I only saw one of these two fight. So based off of the research I have been doing on the two I will make my best educated guess here. I am going to take Dileno Lopes who I know is the underdog, but I will take him in with a third round unanimous decision.
Glaico Franca (13-3) vs. Fernando Bruno (16-2): This fight is a battle in the lightweight division and is the second of the TUF 4 Brazil fights. This battle will as well be a fight then between two UFC first timers who can really bring some excitement. Glacio Franca is a great fighter with 12 finishes of his 13 professional wins. He has split those 12 exactly .500 with 6 wins by KO and the other 6 by way of submission. He comes out of the gate fast looking to finish fights as he has managed to finish 9 of his 12 stoppages in the very first round. Franca will be representing team Shogun and could pick up Shoguns clean sweep if he manages to pull off the win. Franca is a good fighter wherever the fight winds up but should get more recognition for his great striking abilities as I truly believe it’s the best element of his game. I think Franca is the more promising prospect for the UFC because in my eyes he is the more eager fighter and is only 24 years of age. Now standing opposite of him is Fernando Bruno who is 9 years the elder at 33 years of age. Bruno will be representing team Nogueira here and will be the slight underdog coming into this fight. He enters this fight the hotter fighter technically winning 5 in a row and will look to keep the hot streak going entering the UFC for the first time. Bruno has stopped 9 of his 16 wins all 9 stoppages are through submissions and really is the favorite if the fight goes to the mat. He is a great Judo artist who has been practicing Judo since he was 8 years old and will look to use Judo throws to get his opponent to the mat and if it goes there he will be the favorite. But I don’t think Franca will let the fight go to ground and I think Franca will score a first round KO and avoid the UFC first night jitters.
#9 Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (22-10) vs. #11 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-6): This is a battle among two legendary light heavyweight opponents that should have everyone excited because I know for sure that we are beyond excited. I truly am going to try and hold in my bias love for Shogun here and call this thing down the middle. The two coaches of TUF 4 Brazil will square off in the co-main event here and get the fans bumping before Ronda comes out in the main event. Shogun is a great fighter with an incredible aggression to his fight style that shows his love to come at his opponent and get the stoppage by wearing down his opponent. Shogun is a beast for his weight class he is one of the most built fighters you could ask for and his strength is shown in his past. Shogun is probably the second best muay Thai artist in the UFC possibly in UFC history behind Anderson Silva. Now there are things to worry about entering this fight for Shogun and to me it’s one huge thing, since his loss to Jon Jones losing his title, he has gone 3-5 in the UFC and has lost 2 in a row entering this fight. Shogun through the years though has been always been a fighter who can stop a fight early stopping 20 of his 22 victories and to me that is the one huge positive entering this fight. He doesn’t need to go full length of the fight if he can get in control because once he takes over he uses his Muay Tai so well that he will most likely get the stoppage he is searching for. Now if this fight goes to ground I know Shogun has only one submission victory in his professional career but he is a BJJ expert and should be a big threat to take to the mat. Now standing opposite of the former champion and legend Shogun is another legend of the sport in Antonio Nogueira. Antonio is like Shogun a BJJ expert, he holds a BJJ black belt. Now Antonio isn’t as much of a finisher as Shogun as he has finished only 12 of his 21 victories. Those 12 are split evenly being 6 KO finishes and 6 submission finishes in his professional career. Rogerio is a great boxer which makes him lethal having great BJJ skills and great boxing skills is what we call a double headed monster. Antonio is coming into this fight the older fighter by 6 years but he has been in a better winning shape lately winning 2 of his last 3 but that stat alone should be skipped over when making a pick because he has only fought 2 times since 2011. The two after 2011 have been split 1-1 with his last fight being a loss to Anthony Johnson in a first round KO early in the first round as well. Now this fight between two legends is going to be so much fun because it could be the last or one of the last times seeing at least Nogueira if not both fighters, though Shogun is only 33 years of age. I am not sure which one of these two will win honestly it comes down to just who is entering this fight in better shape and controls their element of the game. To help me make this pick was the small fact that Shogun has beat Antonio before and I think he will have the slight edge physically and mentally so I will pick Shogun to win by KO in the second round.
(C) “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (11-0) vs. #5 Bethe Correia (9-0): The main event we have all been waiting for and it shouldn’t disappoint unless you’re rooting for Bethe. I am going to start with the challenger here. Bethe has gone to decision 7 times and the other 2 are KO stoppages where she displayed her great ground and pound. Bethe is a purple belt in Kung Fu and a Blue belt in BJJ. Bethe has beat up Rousey’s teammates and is now targeting the final of the three horseman as they say. Her skills are pretty impressive and I believe that’s why she leapfrogged the other women in the Bantamweight division for this title shot, that and being undefeated probably was a good reason for Dana. The issue Bethe has to worry about is that I don’t think she has the skill set to match Ronda I truly believe only Meisha Tate can stand toe to toe with Ronda in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Standing opposite of Correia is Ronda Rousey. I could go on for days and days talking about Ronda and her skill set which somehow continues to get better. She is a Judo Olympian who will use her beyond incredible Judo skills to throw Bethe around like a rag doll. Ronda’s 11 professional wins have all been stoppages 9 of which are by arm bar submissions and the final 2 are by KO. She has finished eight of her 9 armbar submissions in the first round. Ronda is on a streak that is beyond hot as of late her last three wins have only taken 96 seconds to earn. I truly don’t believe Ronda is just the best female fighter in the UFC I think she is one of the top two fighters in the UFC in general along with Demetrious Johnson. Now the one thing they should teach you to never do is piss off Ronda Rousey because it will be the biggest mistake of your MMA career. Well Bethe is a little brain dead I guess because she said that she hopes Ronda doesn’t kill herself after her loss. Well suicide is never something to joke about but making that comment about Ronda to Ronda whose father killed himself was literally career suicide which is ironic. Ronda is going to fight this fight with her father in mind and make him proud and win this thing for her dad as well as the late great Roddy Piper. Ronda should be keeping her dad at heart because that comment Bethe made was really low and she can claim it was “ignorant” but I agree with Dana that it wasn’t something she was unaware of, she probably had full knowledge of what happened to Ronda’s father. Now I think Ronda is telling the truth when she said she would prolong this fight to punish Bethe but I think she still manages to end this thing in the first round by way of an arm bar.
- Matt Koontz.