The biggest left hand at 205 pounds versus the biggest right hand in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Owners of some of the most impressive knockouts in the history of the sport, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson will look to add another one to their respective highlight reels at each others' expense tomorrow night (Sat., Nov. 9, 2013) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 32 from Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil.
Their Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight tussle will be joined by a clash between The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" standouts Cezar Mutante and Daniel Sarafian, who were unable to settle their score on the Finale. Also on the FOX Sports 1-televised main card, blue-chip prospect Brandon Thatch will also take on BOPE badass Paulo Thiago.
We examined the first three UFC Fight Night 32 "Prelims" under card bouts that will air on Facebook / YouTube yesterday right here. Today, we dig into the remaining two "Prelims" that will also air online prior to the FOX Sports 1 main card broadcast.
Here we go:
145 lbs.: Godofredo Castro vs. Sam Sicilia
The submission assault of Godofredo Castro (9-2) carried him all the way to the Finale of TUF: "Brazil," where he suffered the first professional loss of his career at the hands of Rony Jason. He has since gone even (1-1), narrowly edging Milton Vieira and getting knocked out quickly by Felipe Arantes.
The Vieira win was Castro’s first trip to the judges, having never even gone past the first round on eight occasions.
An eight-second starching of Erin Beach led Dominick Cruz to pick Sam Sicilia (11-3) second for his TUF 15 squad. While he lost a narrow decision to Chris Saunders his next time out, he managed to stop Cristiano Marcello in his UFC debut on the Finale. He has not tasted victory since, getting stopped by Rony "Jason" and losing a wild slugfest against Maximo Blanco.
"Pepey" has a pretty solid ground game, but Sicilia strikes me as all wrong for him. Sam’s a decent enough wrestler to avoid getting put on his back and will likely prove a handful to control should Castro attempt to pull guard. While Sicilia’s knockout ability was greatly overstated on the show, "Pepey" has a very limited arsenal himself, meaning the two most likely locations that this fight takes place both favor Sicilia.
Simply put, one cannot use guard pulling as a Plan A without tremendous Jiu-Jitsu, and while Castro is no slouch, he’s not good enough to play that kind of game in the UFC. Sicilia tags him enough on the feet and stays out of trouble on the mat for a decision.
Prediction: Sicilia via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Thiago Perpetuo vs. Omari Akhmedov
A former Light Heavyweight top prospect, Thiago Perpetuo (9-1-1) seemed an early frontrunner to win the inaugural TUF: "Brazil," grinding down the powerful Francisco Trinaldo and forcing him to bow out because of exhaustion. Cezar Mutante proved a stiffer test, however, knocking out "Bodao" in the first with a massive left high kick.
Perpetuo has not seen action since knocking out castmate Leonardo Mafra at UFC 147, pulling out of a bout with Michael Kuiper in Jan. 2013.
Yet another addition to UFC’s growing collection of Dagestani standouts, Omari Akhmedov (11-0) owns first-round finishes in his last eight fights, split between knockouts and submissions. In addition, he has achieved the rank of International Master of Sport in both hand-to-hand combat and combat sambo.
This will mark Akhmedov’s first fight outside of Europe.
As much as it pains me to pick a debuting fighter on foreign territory for the first time, I like Akhmedov in this bout. Perpetuo struggled early with the aggression of Leonardo Mafra until he could drag him down and implement his trademark half guard ground-and-pound.
Even though Akhmedov isn’t the crispest striker, he throws hard and should theoretically win the wrestling battle.
Really, the wrestling battle will likely be the deciding factor. Perpetuo is relatively weak off his back and showed porous takedown defense in his last fight before TUF, losing two rounds handily before pounding out his opponent in the third round. So long as Akhmedov’s cardio holds up and he isn’t too disoriented by the cage, I see his power-punching and aggressive pursuit of the takedown carrying him to victory.
Prediction: Akhmedov via unanimous decision
Two massive punchers and a main card loaded with the potential for fireworks. We can't ask for more than that for a free card.
See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 32: "Belfort vs. Henderson 2" fight card this weekend (Sat., Nov. 9, 2013) right here, starting with the Facebook "Prelims" at 6 p.m. ET and then main card action on FOX Sports 1, which is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET.