Nogueira faces Werdum in 'Ultimate Fighter: Brazil' finale

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, top, lands a blow on Tito Ortiz during UFC 140 in Toronto, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, top, lands a blow on Tito Ortiz during UFC 140 in Toronto, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
Matt Ramsay
Special to theadvocate.com

The two coaches of the "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil II," Antonio Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum, face-off in a rematch this Saturday, June 8, in Fortaleza, Brazil. In their previous bout, which dates back to their Pride Fighting Championship days, Nogueira defeated Werdum by unanimous decision. Nogueira has also dominated Werdum in the coaching challenge of this "Ultimate Fighter," as the finale features members of Team Nogueira only.

In the co-main event, which will decide the "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" Season 2 winner, William "Patolino" Macario will take on Leonardo "Nenhum" Santos.

The entire card will be free of charge, the main card free on TV and the preliminary card free on the Internet.

Main Card: Free on FX Channel

Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira vs. Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum

Antonio Nogueira - Bahia, Brazil, 6-3, 240 pounds, 34-7-1
Fabricio Werdum - Porto Alegre, Brazil, 6-4, 239 pounds, 16-5-1

These two elite jiu-jitsu practitioners will battle Saturday night to put some clarity into the heavyweight division and see who could be in a possible title run in the near future.

Fabricio Werdum, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, has been on a very long lay-off, coaching Brazil's "Ultimate Fighter." It will be just shy of a year since Werdum last stepped inside the Octagon. Werdum is on a two-fight winning streak, and there's a slight possibility he could be on the brink of a title match with a win over Antonio Nogueira.

Nogueira is certainly on the backside of his career, suffering quite a few injuries in the past years and being brutally knocked out by current champion Cain Velasquez. Nogueira has already secured his spot as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history and has showed he still has some gas left in the tank, winning the past two of his three fights. Nogueira needs a win here badly or he could be in retirement talks.

A win over a solid Top 5 opponent like Werdum could keep him around for potential contender talks, but another loss will have him heading off into the sunset.

Werdum by Unanimous Decision

William "Patolino" Macario vs. Leonardo "Nenhum" Santos

William Macario - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 5-10, 170 pounds, 6-0-0
Leonardo Santos - Rio de Janeiro, 6-0, 170 pounds, 11-3-0

Leonardo Santos gets a second chance at the "Ultimate Fighter" title after finalist Santiago Ponzinibbio had to pull out of the bout due to injury. Santos made his way to the finale by decisions, while William Macario won two out of the three by TKO. Macario also has finished all fights in his professional career, five of which have come by the way of TKO.

As of now, Macario looks like the clear favorite, but if history has taught us anything in the "Ultimate Fighter" finale, the heavily favored always seem to blow it. Maybe the heavily favored is finally due for a win. Just remember, there's apparently some truth to the so-called infamous UFC Jitters.

Macario by TKO (Strikes)

Thiago Silva vs. Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante

Thiago Silva - Sao Paulo, Brazil, 6-1, 205 pounds, 14-3-0
Rafael Cavalcante - Sao Paulo, 6-1, 205, 11-3-0

A total of 25 professional wins with 22 by the way of knockouts are the totals for these two sluggers. Rafael Cavalcante has had all 11 fights come by the way of knockout or submission from strikes.

Thiago Silva has three wins by decisions, but only because his opponents did all they could not to engage with him. These two are aggressive, and all fear is out the window. They are both technically sound but will brawl. This fight, to put it simply, is for the fans.

These two are big and powerful and will straight-up fight. There will be no dancing or stalling, just nothing but business.
Saying all that, unfortunately these two are skating on thin ice, as both have failed drug tests and are in danger of being cut if they fail another one. Until then, grab a seat in the front row and expect to be sweaty by the end of this bout.

Silva by Knockout

Daniel Sarafian vs. Eddie Mendez

Daniel Sarafian - Sao Paulo, 5-9, 185 pounds, 8-3-0
Eddie Mendez - Sun Valley, Calif., 5-10, 185 pounds, 7-1-1

A finalist in the very first edition of "The Ultimate Fighter - Brazil," Daniel Sarafian looks to get back on the winning track after losing a close decision to "Ultimate Fighter" alum C.B. Dollaway. Sarafian will have the home field advantage in many ways, having competed in the "Ultimate Fighter," fighting professional for the UFC and fighting in his home country.

Eddie Mendez has a decent résumé, but he has a huge hill to climb. This will be the biggest fight to date for Mendez, facing an elite black belt in jiu-jitsu with a mound of experience to boot.
Sarafian, if healthy, should win this handily.

Sarafian by Unanimous Decision

Erick Silva vs. Jason "The Kansas City Bandit" High

Erick Silva - Espirito Santo, Brazil, 5-11, 170 pounds, 14-3-0
Jason High - Kansas City, Mo., 5-8, 170 pounds, 17-3-0

An up and comer in the welterweight division, Erick Silva is perhaps the most underrated fighter in the division. Silva is coming off a close decision that earned Fight of the Night honors with Jon Fitch. He looks to be the future of the division, and despite a drastic injury, he looks to have a very bright future in the UFC. He trains with Team Nogueira, which will only force him to get better.

Jason High has a great résumé and record, but I don't see him getting past Silva on foreign soil.

Silva by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Rony Jason vs. Mike "The Warrior" Wilkinson

Rony Jason - Ceara, Brazil, 5-6, 145 pounds, 13-3-0
Mike Wilkinson - Wigan, England, 5-8, 145 pounds, 8-0-0

Jason by Split Decision

Undercard: Free on facebook.com/ufc

Raphael Assuncao vs. Vaughan Lee

Ronny Markes vs. Derek Brunson

Godofredo Pepey vs. Felipe Arantes

Ildemar Alcantara vs. Leandro Silva

Rodrigo Damm vs. Mizuto Hirota

Caio Magalhaes vs. Karlos Vemola

Antonio Braga Neto vs. Anthony Smith