Hooray, more free Wednesday night fights. That’s what I always say, at least, and tonight we have yet another installment of UFC Fight Night and the latest UFC on Fox Sports 1 card, this time coming to us live from Brazil. Headlining this exciting card is 33-year old Glover Teixeira, who will take on 30-year old Ryan “Darth” Vader in his ongoing quest to cement himself as the next contender to the seemingly unbeatable Jon Jones and his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Ranked No. 2 among light heavyweights, Teixeira is also seemingly unbeatable, as he has won 19 in a row and his first four since joining the UFC last year. This bout against Bader was supposed to take place back in May at UFC 160; however, Bader withdrew due to injury. So here they are, Teixeira looking to prove that he deserves a title shot after Jones (possibly) defends his title at UFC 165 later this month, and Bader simply looking for the biggest win of his career thus far.
As for the rest of the card, I always recommend that you check out our good friend Lobster Mobster’s handy dandy fight primer for her picks, and once again, you can check out mine and Vince’s picks so you can laugh at whichever of us is the big loser. Make your own picks in the comments, as I’ll be giving out With Leather shirts.
The online preliminary fight begins at 4:30 PM ET, and then you can join us here for the prelims on Fox Sports 1 at 5 PM ET, followed by the main card on Fox Sports 1 at 7 PM ET. And as an added bonus, The Ultimate Fighter 18 debuts tonight, so we’ll be sticking around to chat about that as well.
Burnsy Prediction: Spencer. He has more fights under his belt, and since I know absolutely nothing about him, that will have to do.
Vince Prediction: I'll be honest, I don't know much about either of these guys. But when in doubt, always take the Brazilian fighting in Brazil. Villefort via uninhibitedness.
Burnsy Prediction: Jorge. I have two eyes that work. That’s all I need to determine which of these men is going to win.
Vince Prediction: Jorge is a late replacement for Marcelo Guimaraes, but I'm still picking the Brazilian coming off five straight rear naked choke victories over the guy coming off losses to Chris Clements and Josh Neer. Jorge via non-Polishness.
Burnsy Prediction: Zeferino. I haven’t invoked my “I pick the Brazilian because this is in Brazil” easy choice yet, so I’m going to use that now. And remember, I have an unlimited number of those, so I may just use them for every fight after this, too.
Vince Prediction: Silverio is undefeated, but also a puffed-up welterweight fighting at 185 on less than a month's notice. Other than that, I won't pretend I have any idea who these guys are. I'll take Zeferino because of a size and vowel advantage, but the big question is how Goldberg will pronounce "Joao." My money's on an Anglicization like "Joe." Sort of how he calls Caol Uno "Carl" and Rousimar Palhares "Paul Harris." Crap, I just realized this is a fight night and Florian/Anik will probably be calling it in place of Rogan/Goldberg. You've really robbed us of something special here, UFC. Zeferino via unpronounceables.
Burnsy Prediction: Martins. I was leaning heavily toward Hernandez, because any time I even read the name Lucas, I immediately start humming that song, “Lucas with the Lid Off,” and I thought that song was the sh*t back in the day, but I was also a huge idiot so being reminded of it makes me feel like an a-hole for ever buying that album. Why yes, yes I do expect to be on a major network as a UFC analyst soon.
Vince Prediction: Chute Boxe product Martins vs. Team Miletich fighter Hernandez. Again, not having seen either of these guys fight before, I'm picking the Brazilian. Martins via Rs that sound like Hs.
Burnsy Prediction: Souza. I don’t like picking fighters who are making their UFC debuts, because I’ve lost the last few of those picks that I’ve made, hoping that we’d have exciting new fighters, when they’re awkward and underwhelming. However, Arantes has been both awkward and underwhelming in his first four UFC fights (2-1-1) and Souza has been very dominant in his other promotions. Now watch what happens – I do a little research for once and Arantes wrecks this guy.
Vince Prediction: Damn, two Brazilians, this one could go either way. I'll say Souza, because he looks meaner. Though Arantes *is* wearing a cowboy hat in his Sherdog profile. ...Nope, still choosing the taller, meaner-looking guy. Souza via scowls.
Burnsy Prediction: Vinicius. I can’t take a guy seriously when his nickname is “Puncher.” Not unless there’s a Donkey in front of that.
Vince Prediction: Ugh, I hate trying to pick flyweight fights. Can't we just award them both a split decision victory and move on? Bagautinov is the favorite according to the odds makers, but let's say Vinicius, since Bagautinov has never fought outside of Russia before. Vinicius via screams.
Burnsy Prediction: Troeng. Identical records, similar numbers, but only Troeng grows hair above his knees, apparently. Plus, The Hammer is always a solid nickname.
Vince Prediction: I really want to pick the guy named "Tor," but he seems like more of a submission guy and I doubt he's going to sub the big tough Brazilian dude who's never been subbed before. Natal via pigment.
Burnsy Prediction: Trinaldo. I like that his nickname is so long that it doesn’t even fit into the UFC’s graphics template.
Vince Prediction: I've never seen either of these guys fight, but they're both coming off a lot of wins. I'm going to switch things up and bet against the Brazilian in this one, only because he's 35. Hallman via youth.
Burnsy Prediction: Formiga. I know this is probably pick suicide, but I always like to hope that a guy in the middle of the rankings can get a big W and shake up a division a little. I don’t think either of these guys would beat Demetrious Johnson if they were able to fight him tonight instead, but I’d still like to see some fresh blood get a title shot.
Vince Prediction: Benavidez comes in as one of the heaviest favorites of the night, and I'm going to go with that. Benavidez has only lost to Demetrious Johnson and Dominick Cruz, both dominant champions. Plus, what the hell kind of name is "Jussier?" I be Benavidez is gonna be all like "Jussier? More like Pussier," and then high five all his bros from Alpha Male. Benavidez by effective bullying.
Burnsy Prediction: Okami. This goes against everything I just wrote about that flyweight fight, but I like Okami’s momentum that he’s built over his last three fights, after he lost to Anderson Silva and Tim Boetsch. I know that this will be a head slapper in the first or second round, but I’m swinging for the fences with my picks tonight.
Vince Prediction: Finally, two guys I'm familiar with. Only it's a tough fight to call. Souza has been on a rampage, but Okami is one of the best at neutralizing his opponents' strength and boring the audience to tears. If there was ever a Japanese version of Hitler, I bet Okami would serve as his example of the archetypal, superior Japanese man. I'll take Souza because he's a Brazilian fighting in Brazil, but who the hell knows. I bet it's going to be a decision though. Souza via acai bowls.
Burnsy Prediction: Teixeira. Not a question in my mind. Quick, simple, statement.
Vince Prediction: Teixeira is everyone's favorite choice to be the next big thing, but I wonder about his chin ever since he got wobbled in the end of that Maldonado fight. Bader hits hard and wrassles real good, but he can't game plan for shit, and I hate every fighter from Arizona. Teixeira via non-Arizoniness.