It's time for a mixed martial arts (MMA) ground war.
This next Hump Day evening (Weds., Oct. 9, 2013), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will once again grace your screens, bringing you a clash between top Welterweight grapplers way down in Barueri, Brazil. Demian Maia and Jake Shields will lock horns in the five-round main event inside Jose Correa Gymnasium, while Dong Hyun Kim takes on Erick Silva in a classic Judo vs. Brazilian jiu-jitsu showdown.
That's not all.
The next Bantamweight championship contender might also be decided when Raphael Assuncao and T.J. Dillashaw put their four-fight win streaks on the line against one another on UFC Fight Night 29 main card, which will air live on FOX Sports 1.
We examined the first two UFC Fight Night 29 "Prelims" under card bouts that will air on FOX Sports 1 yesterday right here. Today, we dig into the remaining two "Prelims" that will also air on FOX Sports 1 television network prior to the main card.
Here we go:
170 lbs.: Ildemar Alcantara vs. Igor Araujo
Brother of 135-pound standout Iuri Alcantara, Ildemar Alcantara (19-5) entered UFC on late notice and above his normal weight, facing The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 2" alum Wagner Prado of Team Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira this past January. Impressively, he survived the bigger man’s power shots to secure a second-round kneebar.
Alcantara elected to drop to Welterweight his next time out, defeating TUF: "Brazil 2" competitor Leandro Silva to claim win No. 13 in his last 14 appearances.
Like every member of the much-maligned TUF 16 who didn’t make the semifinals, Igor Araujo (23-6) was not invited to UFC after losing to Colton Smith in quarterfinal action. Oddly enough, his first professional opponent after the show was the man he beat in the elimination round, Nic Herron-Webb, who he defeated a second time by five-round decision.
The Jackson Winkeljohn MMA-trained product has 18 finishes among his 23 victories, all but one via submission.
I can’t track down any recent footage of Araujo and damned if I’ll pay UFC for complete episodes of TUF 16, so take this prediction with a grain of salt. What I can gather, however, is that Araujo is a very skilled jiu-jitsu player, but capable of being ground out from the top.
Against a giant like Alcantara, that’s not good enough.
As mediocre as he looked against Silva, Alcantara is still a massive Welterweight with decent power and good enough grappling to handle himself on the mat if he gets dragged down. I do not see Araujo having any great success getting into top position nor capitalizing on Alcantara’s imperfect stand up technique.
In all likelihood, this will be another unpleasant affair, Araujo trying and failing to score takedowns as Alcantara misses with long punches and knees. Alcantara’s power might show up, but I see him taking home the win whether that occurs or not.
Prediction: Alcantara by unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Yan Cabral vs. David Mitchell
Though he may be known by most for his submission of the walking mound of torn ligaments and scar tissue once known as Kazushi Sakuraba, Yan Cabral (10-0) proved his chops in a big way on TUF: "Brazil 2," tapping out second-degree black belt David Vieira before a broken hand forced him off the show. The Nova Uniao-trained product has in fact tapped out all 10 of his professional opponents, half of them by way of arm-triangle choke.
Cabral has not competed professionally since the bout with Saku back in Sept. 2011.
David Mitchell (12-3) opened his Octagon career winless (0-2), but managed to breathe new life into it this past January, taking out Joachim Hansen protege Simeon Thoresen via decision. He looked well on his way to pulling a massive upset his next time out, stifling the wrestling attack of Mike Pierce, but ate a short left hook in the second for his first career stoppage loss.
I will admit that Mitchell surprised me against Pierce -- I know he isn't always the best at finishing takedowns on the fence, but "Daudi's" takedown defense still impressed me considering how poor it looked against Paulo Thiago.
I still think he loses to Yan, though (I just felt like giving him props).
Mitchell has good jiu-jitsu, while Cabral has world-class jiu-jitsu and a fantastic team behind him. If this hits the mat at all -- Mitchell on top or bottom -- it favors Yan more than the stand up favors Mitchell.
I could see Mitchell having success on the feet, especially considering Cabral's long layoff; however, I feel like it's going to hit the mat at some point, though, and Mitchell is not getting back up once it does. Arm-triangle win No. 6 for the Brazilian prospect.
Prediction: Cabral via first-round submission
Lots of contender bouts and the chance to see truly great jiu-jitsu at work .. not bad for a mid-week card.
See you then, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 29 card on fight night (Weds., Oct. 9, 2013), starting with the FOX Sports 1-televised under- and main-card bouts at 5 and 7 p.m. ET, respectively.