The UFC is back in Brazil for a Fight Night card. Except this one starts at 4 PM ET on Sunday because there’s some motocross action going down on Saturday (I can only assume that Donald Cerrone is racing his dirt bikes). If you want to know more about these fine folks, check out the UFC’s Fight Night 38 page, and if you want less information but a joke and a half, that can be found on my Event Primer. There are a lot of fights to dive into, so Burnsy, myself and special guest Eric “New York Ric” Jackman are going to start predicting.
Light Heavyweight – Francimar “Bodao” Barroso vs Hans Stringer
Jessica: Hans Stringer is totally the name of a 80s action movie villain. I don’t trust that at all, so I’m going with Barroso by TKO.
@NewYorkRic: This fight is good. It’s like a 40-degree day. Nobody give a fuck about 40. Nobody remember 40, and the UFC undercards are giving me way too many 40-degree days! Stringer.
Burnsy: I think it’s pretty strange that Stringer has 3 draws to his record, but that’s not the reason why I’m picking him. He looks just like Tommy Riley from Gladiator. I know, I know – “Burnsy, you think all white guys look alike.” Whatever, bro.
Featherweight – Godofredo Pepey vs Noad “Neo” Lahat
Jessica: It’s tough to gauge how good Brazilians are when they’ve beat up cans on Jungle Fight cards for three years. An Israeli dude beating up cans, including Shad Smith in 2013 is even harder to tell how good he is. Sorry Loaded Hat, I’m going with Pepey by submission.
@NewYorkRic: Right off the bat: I don’t know a lot about any of the TUF Brazil guys having not watch the show, but “Pepey” is one of the fighters I’ve seen a few times already in UFC competition and he’s yet to impress me. Lahat is making his UFC debut, but his grappling pedigree and time spent at AKA should be enough to get him the win here.
Burnsy: Pepey’s lost his last two, which means he’ll have to die his hair pink like the slip in his locker if he loses this one. Thank you, that’s the kind of grade A MMA humor you can always depend on from me. I guess I take Pepey here.
Welterweight – Thiago “Bodao” Perpetuo vs Kenny Robertson
Jessica: I don’t think Robertson has the best of chins, and Perpetuo has decent enough power. Perpetuo to continually punch him until he gets the knockout victory.
@NewYorkRic: This is a classic match-up of striker against grazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………
Sorry. Perpetuo wants to throw heavy leather and Robertson wants to get it to the ground. In his last fight, Perpetuo was able to rock Omari Akhmedov on more than one occasion, but once recovered, Akhmedov found some success controlling Perpetuo against the cage and landing takedowns. Robertson is relentless and should be able to do more with the grappling control than Akhmedov. Going with Robertson.
Burnsy: Both fighters are coming off a loss, but Perpetuo’s was a KO at the hands of Omari Akhmedov. Being back home should fire him up a little, so I’ll give him the win based solely on home octagon advantage.
Flyweight – Jussier “Formiga” da Silva vs Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen
Jessica: I know these dudes have lost a few recently, but I’m kinda shocked they are so low on the prelims. I’ll pretty much always pick for (No longer) Spotty Scotty, so I’m going for Jorgensen to win by decision.
@NewYorkRic: I consider this one of the most interesting fights on the card. Both guys were highly touted UFC prospects just a few years ago, but running into the buzzsaw at the top of the flyweight (and bantamweight for Jorgensen) division has dimmed their stars a bit. At his best, Jorgensen should be able to keep the fight standing and knock Formiga around a bit, but he’s looked flat lately and it wouldn’t shock me to see Formiga keep a high pace, using quick striking combined with takedown attempts to keep Jorgensen off balance. I’m taking Jorgensen, but he needs to use his physical advantages and stay active or Formiga will outwork him.
Burnsy: Scott “The Guy in the Next Cubicle” Jorgensen has lost four of his last five. I don’t know how he’s still ranked. I’m giving this one to da Silva, but I really hope Jorgy proves me wrong, because otherwise he’s probably fired.
Middleweight – Ronny Markes vs Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Jessica: Santos is one of those “I beat up a bunch of terrible dudes on regional Brazilian shows” guys, so I don’t give him a huge chance here. Markes wins by TKO.
@NewYorkRic: Cezar “Mutante” (fighting later on the card) submitted Santos in 47 seconds in Santos’ UFC debut, so I don’t have much to say about him. Ronny Markes however, has been racking up wins in the Octagon for a while now. Markes is a stifling grappler, who isn’t going to threaten with a bevy of submissions, but controls opponents from bell to bell. Before entering the UFC, he was a finisher, so I think this might be his best opportunity yet to break the decision-streak. I’m all-in on Markes.
Burnsy: It’s another night of a million Thiagos, but I’m not picking this one. Markes may have lost his last one – a KO in Round 3 against Yoel Romero – but he impressed me and I think he’s the kind of guy who could quietly sneak up on the middleweight division.
Featherweight – Diego “DB” Brandao vs Will “The Kill” Chope
Jessica: Jesus, Sean Shelby, could you be any more cruel (Oh, wait, yeah, when you put Chad Mendes against Cody McKenzie). Anyway, Brandao is going to be the most likely guy to fulfill the crowd’s “UH VAI MORRER” chants and wins by KO.
@NewYorkRic: Chope gave a decent account of himself against Max Holloway before succumbing to strikes. He has obvious physical advantages over the rest of the featherweight division, but utilizing them consistently is something he still appears to be learning. Holloway found success on the inside far too often against a Chope, whose reach advantage should have stifled that. I can’t shake the feeling that we’ll see a similar outcome, with Brandao being able to close the distance and land big shots. What Brandao lacks in striking technique when compared to Holloway, he makes up for in sheer aggression and bat-shit craziness. He threated to stab Dustin Poirier with a pen at weigh-ins. Brandao chops down the Chope tree.
Burnsy: I’m not trying to short y’all on any analysis here, but I don’t see how Brandao loses this fight. He’s just too good and experienced – and fighting at home – to lose to Chope.
Featherweight – Rony Jason vs “Super” Steven Siler
Jessica: Win or lose, Jason is going to cry, but if he loses, he smash through a wall and end up dead. For his sake, I’m picking Jason to win by decision.
@NewYorkRic: Siler is a game fighter who snatches up submissions when even the smallest opportunity presents itself. He’s not particularly technical or powerful on his feet, but somehow makes it work. Against Jason, he’s facing a fighter who’s better on the ground and standing. Early in the fight, these advantages will be very clear, but in the later rounds, Siler will have his chance to press the action and threaten Jason. I’m going with Jason, but expect Siler to come on strong near the finish line.
Burnsy: I always forget how long Siler has been in the UFC, because he’s just kind of “oh, that guy” to me. Jason, on the other hand, is one of the guys whose praises I sang until he lost at Fight Night 32 in November and made me look like a big old dumb dumb jerk. Do it again, Rony, and I won’t pick you anymore. That’ll show him.
Lightweight – Michel “Tractor” Prazeres vs Mairbek “Beckan” Taisumov
Jessica: Taisumov, because I will always pull for the North Caucasus dudes.
@NewYorkRic: Prazeres has the top-heavy grappling game to take down and control a dynamic striker like Taisumov, but for how long? Taisumov’s takedown defense seems capable, so at less than full power, Prazeres’ effectiveness in that regard will wane and the striking advantage will be pronounced. Taisumov is highly regarded as a prospect and I don’t see this being the fight that changes that stance; he’ll look good early and even better late.
Burnsy: This is a tough one. I don’t know much about either of these guys, because they’re both still relatively new in the UFC, so I’ll take the home fighter, Prazeres.
Light Heavyweight – Fabio Maldonado vs Gian Villante
Jessica: If this was just Gian Villante, Hofstra linebacker, I’d pick Maldonado in a body-shot filled cakewalk. Given that Gian is training at Serra/Longo and those guys are killing everything. However, I love Maldonado too much to pick in favor of STRONG ISLAND, BABY. Maldonado wins by TKO.
Pictured here: Gian Villante knocks out Fabio Maldonado
Burnsy: Fabio Maldonado sounds like a character in a bad boxing game, while Gian Villante sounds like an evil French hitman. Based on that scientific evidence, I’ll go with Villante.
Lightweight – Leonardo Santos vs “Stormin’” Norman Parke
Jessica: Both guys are grapplers, but Santos is just way better. Parke isn’t that great at striking, so it’s not like he’s going to fend Santos off with jabs or knock him out. Santos jiu-jitsuses his way to a decision over Parke.
@NewYorkRic: 3 words: Parke tastes victory.
Burnsy: I think this will probably be the Fight of the Night. At least it could be. Whatever, you’re the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Parke’s on a tear and fixing to get into the bottom end of the lightweight rankings. Yes, I’m aware I just wrote “get into the bottom end.” You really need to grow up.
Middleweight – Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira vs Clarence “C.B.” Byron “The Doberman” Dolloway
Jessica: Dolloway’s face is dumb, and that is the only criteria I’m using for this fight. Ferreira wins by KO.
@NewYorkRic: 2 words: Dollaway upsets.
Burnsy: Mutante is 3-0 since joining the UFC and fighting in front of his home crowd. I don’t see much more of a reason than that to pick him.
Light Heavyweight – Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Dan “Hendo” Henderson
Jessica: First off, there’s no way this fight is going to be as amazingly nutso as the original. I just hope Dan doesn’t get sent into low orbit like he did against Belfort. Rua will probably gas out and then Henderson can Big Right Hand him to death for the KO.
@NewYorkRic: 1 word: Shogun?
Burnsy: Three losses in a row for Henderson, but they were huge fights. Two of them were splits, one was, of course, a first round KO against Vitor Belfort. Rua is coming off his first round KO of James Te Huna, but he also lost to Chael Sonnen and that baffles me. This is a tough fight to pick, but I’m going with Henderson because I’d like to see him not lose his fourth in a row.