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UFC Fight Night 56 preview and quick picks for 'Shogun vs. St. Preux' on FOX Sports 1 in Brazil

Editor's note: Post written prior to the loss of Ian McCall.

Esther Lin

Ready for more?

Less than 24 hours removed from the UFC Fight Pass event in Australia (results here), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back in action halfway around the world in Uberlandia, Brazil, bringing mixed martial arts (MMA) fans a top-heavy FOX Sports 1 offering with no marquee match ups.

But hey, you get what you pay for.

Leading the charge in tonight's (Sat., Nov. 8, 2014) televised bangfest is former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua, who despite several years of inconsistency, is still a pretty big deal. He was expected to throw hands against the dangerous Jimi Manuwa, but the Brit broke his foot and bailed on Brazil.

Enter Ovince St. Preux.

"OSP" was dumped and humped for five rounds against Ryan Bader just last August and will have to figure out how to impose his will without getting KTFO. Against the Brazilian, that usually means surviving the first round and letting conditioning do the rest.

In the co-main event, flyweight contenders Ian McCall and John Lineker will bang it out for a spot in the 125-pound title chase but since the division is so damn thin, a defeat doesn't necessarily spell doom for loser. A bunch of other guys (and gals) are fighting too, so I'll be sure to mention something about them (for our "Prelims" preview and predictions click here).

Let's get to it.

205 lbs.: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (22-9) vs. Ovince "OSP" St. Preux (16-6)

Odds: Rua (-180) vs. St. Preux (+150)

Mauricio Rua has quite the reputation among fans and his PRIDE run -- especially at such a young age -- was a sight to behold. Unfortunately, his UFC career has been pretty underwhelming at 6-7 and he doesn't hold any wins over active light heavyweights.

See for yourself:

Mark Coleman: retired
Chuck Liddell: retired
Lyoto Machida: dropped to middleweight
Forrest Griffin: retired
Brandon Vera: released
James Te Huna: dropped to middleweight

Rua is ranked in the top 10 based on his name and a nice win over Lyoto Machida over four years ago. He's still a great striker with an underrated submission game, but his knees are held together with Popsicle sticks and duct tape and he's got the gas tank of Kawasaki KFX 50.

Sorry folks, I would love a knockout too, but St. Preux is no dummy.

I expect "OSP" to stay out of the red zone and mix in takedowns when he needs to. The Strikeforce import will also get tired, but he won't be sucking wind like "Shogun" in the second half of the fight. Once that happens, expect St. Preux to shock the Brazilian fans and break the hearts of elitists worldwide.

Pick: St. Preux by submission

125 lbs.: Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall (13-4-1) vs. John "Hands of Stone" Lineker (24-7)

Odds: McCall (-185) vs. Lineker (+155)

On the surface this looks like a decision win for Ian McCall, but I have the feeling "Uncle Creepy" isn't taking this one seriously and perhaps even more so now that Lineker struggled to make weight. It's that overconfidence -- as well as his reckless abandon (because of this) -- that is going to get him dropped and waved off for the upset.

Pick: Lineker by technical knockout

170 lbs.: Warlley Alves (7-0) vs. Alan "Brahma" Jouban (10-2)

Odds: Alves (-240) vs. Jouban (+180)

Since Erick Silva turned out to be a bust, everyone is now jumping on the Warlley Alves hype train as the next big thing out of Brazil. Admittedly, he has looked pretty damn good in TUF and beyond, and I'm not sure Alan Jouban -- despite his toughness -- has the technical skill to keep himself from getting drubbed and subbed. The good news is, "Brahma" will still look good in defeat. Literally. That dude is handsome.

Pick: Alves by submission

170 lbs.: Leon "Rocky" Edwards (8-1) vs. Claudio "Hannibal" Silva (10-1)

Odds: Edwards (-195) vs. Silva (+160)

Here is a prime example of two guys who were pretty good at running the table on the international circuit trying to prove their merit on the big stage. They have similar records and even share a disqualification as their lone losses. But that's where the similarities end. Silva is a decent wrestler with an above-average ground game, but his hands are garbage and every fight starts out on the feet. "Decent" isn't going to cut it against a guy who strikes like Leon Edwards.

Pick: Edwards by technical knockout

115 lbs.: Nina "The Strina" Ansaroff (6-3) vs. Juliana "Ju Thai" Lima (6-2)

Odds: Ansaroff (-160) vs. Lima (+135)

I don't know what has gotten into Nina Ansaroff but holy hell that woman is on a tear. Outside of UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, it's rare to find a female fighter with five consecutive finishes and four of them have come by way of knockout. That's worrisome against Juliana Lima, who has a lot of hype behind her, but failed to live up to it in her Octagon debut back in July.

Pick: Ansaroff by unanimous decision

That about does it. will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 56 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" match online, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised main card, which is slated to begin at 10:30 p.m. ET.

See you then!

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