A week away from what could be a make or break PPV for Ronda Rousey’s burgeoning star power we have a card with just as many implications for UFC titles emanating from Brazil. Ryan Frederick will have coverage for the site, of course, but until the Fight Pass undercard starts at roughly 6pm CST we’ll have some time to kill. Thus I’ll be predicting the main card fights in detail, with some quick picks of the Fight Pass fights underneath.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Lyoto Machida
This is either going to be 25 minutes of exceptionally brutal to watch television … or something magical could happen. A Machida fight is either of those things … nothing in between. It’s because his counter style tends to either have guys stupidly rush in and get caught, like Ryan Bader did, or people fight super cautious and it becomes a point sparring match. Jack Slack of Fightland broke down Machida’s style, and how it’s been countered before, and if Machida can solve the riddle of “The Dragon” a great fight could commence. He’s a terrific, technical striker and if anyone can figure it out I think he can.
I like Machida in another maddening split decision that causes him to get passed over for a title shot again. This just feels like a massive, massive letdown fight.
Francis Carmont vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
You aren’t a true fan of MMA if you’re not excited for this. Carmont has rode a wave of decision wins that weren’t really wins for him to a deciding fight against Constantinos Philippou … and promptly dismantled the former Serra/Longo product. Now comes a chance to prove it again. However it’s against arguably the best submission artist in MMA with exceptional explosive athleticism and a burgeoning, slick boxing game.
Souza stepped in against Yushin Okami and promptly blew him out of the water like no one in MMA has since Anderson Silva. Carmont has all the pedigree of being an elite fighter, from his gym to his training partners, but Jacare is the truth. If Carmont can keep him at a distance and leg kick him for three rounds he can take this. I just don’t see Souza being content to chill and check leg kicks all night. This … this could end violently with a couple of coffin nail shots to seal.
Erick Silva vs. Takanori Soto
Silva is a guy many people, myself included, pegged as a potential title contender shortly before he debuted in the UFC. A couple of big wins, and a tough fight against Jon Fitch, and Silva looked to be getting the proper seasoning to be put into the mix. A fight against Dong Hyun-Kim seemed to be the right match up against a Top 10 talent at the right time in his career.
Unfortunately Silva wound up asleep in a wild, wild fight.
This is a rebound fight as Soto is a solid Japanese prospect making his debut in Brazil. He’s got a pedigree from his time in Pancrase, much less significant now than it used to be, but this isn’t a fight he should win. If he does it means we were profoundly wrong on the Team Nogueira fighter, for sure. Silva is in a winnable but tough fight; he should walk through Soto and finish him. This will be a good test to see how much he’s improved, and how that knockout affected him.
Viscardi Andrade vs. Nicholas Musoke
This has all the makings of a fight of the night between two guys who are a good match up for one another. I’ll go for the upset in this one.
Andy Ogle vs. Charles Oliveira
Oliveira lost a very close decision win to Frankie Edgar, an elite P4P talent. Edgar may have won all three rounds but Oliveira showed he should be considered a Top 10 talent in the near future at featherweight. Ogle is what he is at this point; we know his ceiling. He’s a tough banger, solid all around, but he’s a smaller and less skilled version of Ross Pearson. He’ll stick around for a long time in the UFC because he’s never dull and can be just good enough to stick around.
Ogle odds are will never fight in the Top 10 unless it’s against someone on the rebound; he’s a good gauge for talent, nothing more, and this is a tough but winnable fight for the Brazilian. Oliveira is being prepped for a run to the Top 10 after losing to Cub Swanson and Edgar, needing a good rebound fight before facing on tougher competition again. This is it.
Cristiano Marcello > Joe Proctor
Rodrigo Damm > Ivan Jorge
Francisco Trinaldo > Jesse Ronson
Iuri Alcantara > Wilson Reis
Felipe Arantes > Maximo Blanco
Ildemar Alcantara > Albert Tumenov
Douglas Silva de Andrade < Zubair Tuhgov
Tags: Andy Ogle, Charles Oliveira, Cristiano Marcello, Erick Silva, Felipe Arantes, Francis Carmont, Francisco Trinaldo, Gegard Mousasi, Ildemar Alcantara, Lyoto Machida, Maximo Blanco, Mixed Martial Arts, Rodrigo Damm, Ronaldo Souza, UFC, UFC Fight NIght 36, Wilson Reis