clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC Fight Night 61 'Prelims' preview and predictions for Porto Alegre, Pt. 2

More fights are coming to Fight Pass online digital network and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sun., Feb. 22, 2015) when UFC Fight Night 61: “Mir vs. Bigfoot” kicks off from Ginasio Gigantinho in Porto Alegre, Brazil.'s Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC Fight Night 61 "Prelims" party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part under card preview series.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The last four rounds are a formality.

Two Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight veterans with a penchant for early, violent finishes will do battle this Sunday (Feb. 22, 2015) when Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva pits his tremendous power and overwhelming top game against the bone-crushing submissions of former division champion Frank Mir.

The two make up the main event of UFC Fight Night 61, which will go down inside Ginasio Gigantinho in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

In addition, 155-pound beatdown artists Edson Barboza and Michael Johnson will lock horns in a clash of Top 10-ranked lightweights, while Sam Alvey looks for his sixth win in seven fights against Vitor Belfort protege Cezar "Mutante."

We examined the first half of UFC Fight Night 61's "Prelims" buffet yesterday right here. Let's preview and predict the balance, which will air on FOX Sports 1, below:

135 lbs.: Jessica Andrade vs. Marion Reneau

Jessica Andrade (12-3) faced a stiff test in her Octagon debut, taking on and falling to former title challenger Liz Carmouche in July 2013. "Bate Estaca" has since rattled off three straight wins, most recently choking out top prospect Larissa Pacheco.

Her two UFC decision wins are her only trips to the judges in victory.

Despite three straight first-round finishes, Marion Reneau (5-1) entered her debut as an underdog to the towering Alexis Dufresne. Defying expectations, "The Bruiser" tore apart Dufresne, earning multiple 10-8 scores from the judhes on her way to a decision win.

She stands four inches taller than the 5’2" Andrade.

This one actually has a lot of potential to sneak away with "Fight of the Night." Both women are aggressive, powerful and always in pursuit of the finish. Andrade has the experience and grappling, while Reneau appears the more devastating puncher.

It’ll be close, but I think Andrade will take it.

"Bate Estaca" has almost three times the number of fights as Reneau and has some lethal submissions to go along with her rampant striking aggression. Reneau’s length and power will give her trouble at the start, but I expect Andrade to power through and eventually wear her down, locking up her signature guillotine late in the second round.

Prediction: Andrade via second-round submission

170 lbs.: William Macario vs. Matt Dwyer

Following his loss to Leonardo Santos on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 2" Finale, William Macario (7-2) bounced back with a brutal thrashing of Bobby Voelker, nearly finishing the durable vet in the second round. The young Brazilian proved no match for the surging Neil Magny, however, suffering the first technical knockout loss of his career.

Voelker was the only "Patolino"victim to make it the distance, with five getting knocked out and the other submitted.

Matt Dwyer (7-2) survived a back-and-forth affair to score his seventh career knockout in May 2014, putting away UFC veteran DaMarques Johnson in the second round. Russian bruiser Albert Tumenov proved a tougher nut to crack, demolishing Dwyer with a pair of head kicks in his UFC debut.

At 6’4," he is five inches taller than his opponent.

My takeaway from this matchmaking is that UFC really doesn’t like Dwyer. The big man can crack and is fairly durable, but he’s slow and incredibly easy to hit. Tumenov may have been the worst match up for him in the entire division and I don’t see him having any more success against Macario.

Though the Magny fight showed that the Brazilian has a way to go, he’s still only 23 and packs tremendous power in his hands. Whether or not he’s made improvements since the loss, I expect him to steamroll Dwyer for his first UFC knockout victory.

Prediction: Macario via first-round technical knockout

155 lbs.: Tiago dos Santos vs. Mike de la Torre

Tiago dos Santos (19-4-2) entered UFC having won his last nine fights, earning finishes in eight of them. "Trator," as he is known, continued his winning ways against Akbarh Arreola, taking home the unanimous decision win in his UFC debut.

The Team Nogueira-trained product will give up three inches of height to Mike de la Torre (12-4).

Despite a solid effort, de la Torre came up just short in his first promotional appearance, a split-decision loss to Mark Bocek. A subsequent 99-second submission loss to Brian Ortega seemed to signal the end of his UFC run, but a failed drug test from Ortega left him with just one promotional loss once more.

He has finished 11 opponents, six by form of submission.

Though neither are household names, this also has some potential to be an entertaining fight. "Trator" is an angry ball of Muay Thai aggression and de la Torre has a habit of finishing things in a hurry. This may boil down to where the fight takes place -- if de la Torre takes it to the ground, he should have a sizeable advantage, while the Brazilian’s volume makes me favor him on the feet.

I think the latter comes to pass. "Trator" should be able to make it a bangfest, edging out de la Torre for an entertaining three-round decision.

Prediction: dos Santos via unanimous decision

Two scary heavyweights in the main event and some quality match ups to round out the card.

Don't sleep on this Sunday special, Maniacs.

Remember, too, will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 61 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under- and main-cards, slated to begin at 6 and 8 p.m. ET, respectively.

Current UFC "Prelims" Prediction Record 2015: 7-3

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania