Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweights Cezar Ferreira and CB Dollaway will go to war this Sunday night (March 23, 2014) in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 38, airing live on FOX Sports 1 from Ginasio Nelio Dias in Natal, Brazil.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" 1 winner Ferreira has been on a tear as of late, winning his last three mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts. "Mutante" was last seen defeating Daniel Sarafian via split decision at UFC Fight Night 32.
After winning two straight over Sarafian and Jason Miller, Dollaway lost his last fight, a split decision to Tim Boetsch at UFC 166. Overall "Doberman" has lost three out of his past five and badly needs a win to hold onto any shred of relevancy.
That could make him a dangerous man, or one that's simply on the way out.
Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Ferreira vs. Dollaway:
Record: 7-2 overall, 3-0 UFC
Key Wins: Daniel Sarafian (UFC Fight Night 32), Sergio Moraes (UFC 147), Thiago Santos (UFC 163)
Key Losses: Antonio Braga Neto (XFC Brazil 1)
Record: 13-5 overall, 7-5 UFC
Key Wins: Jason Miller (UFC 146), Daniel Sarafian (UFC on FX 8)
Key Losses: Mark Munoz (UFC on Versus 3), Tim Boetsch (UFC 166), Tom Lawlor (UFC 100)
Vitor Belfort-trained protégé "Mutante" is a freakishly large and powerful middleweight, hence the nickname. His game has been progressing by leaps and bounds as a member of South Florida's Blackzilians team.
His takedown offense looked effective against Sarafian, but his stand-up left something to be desired. Still, he has three knockout wins in seven total victories, making him a serious threat to Dollaway, who's been finished by strikes twice.
With a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, "Mutante's" submissions are probably his best weapon. However, it's going to be tough to get NCAA Division I All-American wrestler Dollaway in many disadvantageous positions on the mat. Ferreira was able to take down Sarafian relatively easily; that most likely won't be the case against Dollaway.
Still, Ferreira has the skills to submit Dollaway.
"Doberman" has a decent record in UFC, but he lacks a signature win to give him any true relevancy. He's been extremely inconsistent in the Octagon, so defeating Ferreira is the only chance he has to right the ship. He has to stay focused on the task at hand because "Mutante" can end any fight in an instant.
The TUF 7 veteran has a well-rounded game, but hasn't really dispatched anyone with strikes lately. He's been mostly content to use his wrestling to decision his foes, and he may be able to do something similar to Ferreira. He just can't get careless and find himself in a fight-ending submission hold.
Although Cezar Ferreira vs. CB Dollaway is another close match-up on paper, I think it's "Mutante" who continues to grow in his MMA skills and abilities. It's tough to say the same about the stagnating Dollaway. Eager to put on a show for his homeland fans, expect Ferreira to score his fourth straight Octagon victory at UFC Fight Night 38.
Final Prediction: Ferreira def. Dollaway via submission