Special to theadvocate.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship heads out to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the first time since 1998 to host another live UFC bout -- this time for free live on network cable television. As expected the card will feature a slew of Brazilian competitors, including former UFC heavyweight tournament champion Vitor Belfort. All bouts will be shown at no charge.
Main Event: Live on FX
Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort
Michael Bisping – Manchester, England, 6-2, 185 pounds, 24-4-0 (The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner)
Vitor Belfort – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 6-0, 185 pounds, 21-10-0 (former light heavyweight champion)
Michael Bisping has done it again, this time ticking off the most devout Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fan base in the world. He still has a way to go to catch up with Chael Sonnen, but unlike Sonnen, Bisping will fight in the lion’s den of Vitor Belfort’s backyard. One man to whom you don’t want to show disrespect is Vitor Belfort. Belfort has some of the fastest hands in all of MMA with brutal knockouts on his resume to prove it. I’m not sure what Bisping’s plan of attack will be, but whatever it is, Belfort should have the advantage. Belfort’s standup is light years ahead of Bisping’s, and Bisping does not want to go to the ground with this highly-ranked black belt in jiu-jitsu. If Belfort is healthy, he could make very quick work of Bisping.
Belfort by TKO (Strikes)
Daniel Sarafian vs. CB “The Doberman” Dollaway
Daniel Sarafian – Sao Paulo, Brazil, 6-0, 185 pounds, 8-2-0
CB Dollaway – Mt. Gilead, Ohio, 6-2, 185 pounds, 13-5-0
Two Ultimate Fighter finalists from different seasons will face off in the co-main event. CB Dollaway and Daniel Sarafian both made it to their final fights, with Dollaway losing by submission and Sarafian having to forgo the bout due to injury. Because of the injury that Sarafian sustained prior to his Ultimate Fighter finale bout, this will be his UFC debut. Dollaway, on the other hand, has been in a slump recently, winning only one of his past three fights. If he loses this bout he could see himself at the very back of the line in the middleweight division with the danger of being cut.
A win here for Sarafian would be a great step in the right direction, while a loss would not be devastating. Dollaway has more on the line in this bout.
Both competitors are very well-rounded with the edge going to Dollaway who has more experience in the Octagon.
Dollaway by Unanimous Decision
Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell
Gabriel Gonzaga – Rio de Janeiro, 6-1, 242 pounds, 13-6-0
Ben Rothwell – Kenosha, Wis., 6-4, 265 pounds, 32-8-0
The lone heavyweight fight on the main card looks to be a terrific one. Gabriel Gonzaga has some great Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but also has some fierce standup with one of the best highlight reel kicks in MMA history.
Ben Rothwell is a long time journeyman in MMA, going 9-0 in the famed International Fight League and holding a 2-2 record in the UFC. Rothwell is also known for one of the hardest heads and biggest hearts in all of MMA.
These two behemoths should be a great battle for any fan to watch, casual or devoted.
Gonzaga by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov
Thiago Tavares – Florianopolis, Brazil, 5-7, 155 pounds, 21-4-1
Khabib Nurmagomedov – Dagetsan, Russia, 5-10, 155 pounds, 18-0-0
An early favorite for fight of the night candidate will be this bout. This will be a great clash of styles with Thiago Tavares’ jiu-jitsu and muay Thai versus Khabib Nurmagomedov’ wrestling and Russian sambo.
These two are great prospects in a very crowded lightweight pool of talent. This division is as stacked as they come, so any loss in this weight division will be a big setback.
Nurmagomedov by Unanimous Decision
Undercard: Live on Fuel TV
Godofredo “Pepey” Castro vs. Milton “Miltinho” Vieira
Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig
Diego “The Gun” Nunes vs. Nik “The Carny” Lentz
Edson Barboza vs. Lucas “Mineiro” Martins
Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo vs. C.J. Keith