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UFC 179 'Prelims' preview and predictions, Pt. 1

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More fights are coming to Fight Pass online digital network and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Oct. 25, 2014) when UFC 179: "Aldo vs. Mendes 2" kicks off from Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg kicks off UFC 179 "Prelims" party with part one of a two-part under card preview series.

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Almost three years and several fellow unconscious Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight contenders later, it's time for the rematch.

With five wins, including four knockouts, since his lone career defeat, Team Alpha Male standout Chad Mendes is back for revenge, taking on 145-pound champion Jose Aldo -- who has not tasted defeat in eight years -- in the main event of UFC 179, which takes place this Saturday night (Oct. 25, 2014) from Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, Glover Teixeira and Phil Davis will attempt to rebound from recent defeats at each others' expenses. In addition, fan-favorite Fabio Maldonado will also be in action, facing Dutch import Hans Stringer.

That't not all.

As has become custom, the first two "Prelims" under card bouts will air online via Fight Pass, with the rest leading up to the show on FOX Sports 1.

Let's see what we've got in store:

145 lbs.: Felipe Arantes vs. Andre Fili

Chute Boxe’s Felipe Arantes (16-6-1) opened his UFC career with a loss to Iuri Alcantara, but has enjoyed some success since, going 3-1-1 with the loss a close one to Edimilson Souza and the draw an inexplicable one against Milton Vieira. Most recently, he turned away Venezuelan bruiser Maximo Blanco, winning a unanimous decision in an entertaining fight.

"Sertanejo" has stopped eleven foes inside the distance ... seven via (technical) knockout.

Andre Fili (13-2) stormed out of the gate for his UFC tenure, demolishing Jeremy Larsen in his debut. Despite an excellent effort, though, he fell to fellow surging youngster Max Holloway in April, tapping to a guillotine late in the third round.

"Touchy" had previously won nine straight and has scored ten finishes among his thirteen victories.

As beastly as Fili is, "Sertanejo" is going to give him hell. The Brazilian is a very capable striker in his own right with the cardio to keep up with Fili’s aggression and the durability to trade with him all night. If Fili slows down late, Arantes is more than capable of punishing him.

Fili may have to lean on his wrestling, but luckily for him, it’s pretty damn good wrestling.

If "Touchy" can keep up the pressure for all fifteen minutes and consistently bring "Sertanejo" to the mat, he should be able to take the victory. Arantes will make him earn it and should dish out some quality punishment of his own, but expect Fili to edge an entertaining bout by using his wrestling whenever the tide of the striking battle turns against him.

Prediction: Fili via unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Gilbert Burns vs. Christos Giagos

Citing difficulties with the weight cut, Gilbert Burns (8-0) opted to debut in UFC at welterweight, facing talented Swede Andreas Stahl on this year’s "Lawler vs. Brown" card. Unable to consistently bring down Stahl, Burns was forced to exchange on the feet, showing an improving striking game en route to a unanimous decision victory.

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion had never before gone the distance, ending all previous bouts in the first round.

Christos Giagos (10-2) earned the biggest win of his pro career in August, laying out Dakota Cochrane with a flying knee to lift the RFA lightweight title. He had earlier posted victories over The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veterans Chris Tickle and Sevak Magakian.

Eight of the professional wins for "The Spartan" have come inside the distance ... six by form of knockout.

This fight has some sleeper potential -- Giagos is a very entertaining and well-rounded fighter, while Burns has shown the ability to finish both on the feet and on the mat. In all likelihood, this fight will come down to how Burns handles the cut.

The extra 15 pounds -- combined with his takedown ability -- should allow Burns to bring Giagos to the mat as needed. That said, Giagos is a good scrambler who strikes very well in transition and, as such, can be very taxing to grapple with. If "Durinho" can’t put him away early, Giagos could very well take over.

Still, Burns’ grappling should be enough to do the job. "Durinho" taps him after a fun opening frame.

Prediction: Burns via first-round submission

155 lbs.: Fabricio Camoes vs. Tony Martin

Fabricio Camoes' (14-8-1) first UFC run was brief and unsuccessful, going 0-1-1 with a submission loss to Kurt Pellegrino. On his return to the promotion, he tapped out Tommy Hayden, only to lose consecutive bouts to Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller.

He was scheduled to face Gray Maynard in Maine before "The Bully" replaced Abel Trujillo against Ross Pearson, resulting in his removal from the card.

American Top Team (ATT)-trained Tony Martin (8-2) came up short in his first UFC appearance, fading after nearly submitting Rashid Magomedov and eventually losing the decision. His gas tank betrayed him again in his second appearance, this time resulting in a submission loss to Beneil Dariush.

He stands three inches taller than his foe.

Martin’s bigger than Camoes, should have the better wrestling and can hold his own on the mat. I’m going to pick him to win knowing full well that if he gasses again I’m going to look like an idiot.

In my opinion, that’s the one question here. If Martin gets his cardio together, he’s too strong fro Camoes and should win with relative ease. If he slows down after one good round for the third time in a row, Camoes is going to grind him into oblivion. As I have stated repeatedly in the past, I have no sense of pattern recognition, so I’m picking Tony by 29-28s across the board.

Prediction: Martin via unanimous decision

Three more "Prelims" under card matches to preview and predict tomorrow, featuring some quality prospects and the possible last hurrah of a World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) veteran.

Keep it here, Maniacs!

Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 179 fight card on fight night, starting with the two Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.