clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bonus watch! Potential UFC 190 'Rousey vs Correia' award winners tonight in Brazil

Will anyone top "Rowdy?" Can you figure out which of the 14 fighters on this overloaded main card tonight (Sat. Aug. 1, 2015) in Rio de Janeiro will notch a performance bonus? Down the rabbit hole we go ...

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Back to Brazil Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) goes for the UFC 190 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Rio de Janeiro TONIGHT (Sat. Aug. 1, 2015).

A women's Bantamweight title headliner between the destructive 135-pound queen Ronda Rousey and undefeated No. 1 contender Bethe Correia will cap off the night of fights (more on the card here) for the Brazilian crowd inside HSBC Arena.

Rousey aims to silence the brash Brazilian in what will be her sixth-consecutive title defense. Correia has taken out a couple of Rousey's teammates en route to an unblemished record (9-0).

In the co-main event, Pride FC greats Shogun Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira go head-to-head in a rematch of their June 2005 bout in Japan. Both men have been tallying more "L's' than "W's" of late.

There are a total of seven main card fights, including The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" 4 Lightweight and Bantamweight finals.

On a night where living legends continue to cement their legacies in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), a new set of combatants will begin their journey in the Octagon. Each of the evening's 14 fighters can bang, but they can also get it done on the ground.

Which styles will prevail? Read on for my bonus award predictions ...

Claudia Gadelha vs. Jessica Aguilar

Tale of the tape -- Four (technical) knockouts, 14 submission (total career finishes between both fighters)

Aguilar will make her Octagon debut against No. 1-ranked women's Strawweight Gadelha for the right to face champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

The American Top Team-trained star and former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Bantamweight titleholder is a near spitting image of her opponent. Aguilar possesses above average hands and excellent takedowns.

She would prefer to get the trip from the clinch, but is capable of shooting on an opponent. Rarely have fans seen her tested -- it is usually Aguilar doing the dominating.

However, she can be overwhelmed with precision strikes, which is something she would definitely encounter with Jedrzejczyk, if she gets past the Brazilian.

In a May 2012 bout against former Japanese women's MMA star Megumi Fujii, her submission defense was tested as she was put in an armbar towards the end of the first round.

If she was controlled by Fuji on the ground in their Bellator 69 tilt, what will she do when faced with Gadelha's jiu-jitsu?

The Nova Uniao staple sports a somewhat controversial 12-1 record coming into tonight's tussle after judges sided with Jedrzejczyk in her last fight with the Polish striker. Gadelha was able to sneak several solid punches through the guard of the muay-thai champion on the feet and even took her down multiple times.

Do not let her black belt fool you, Gadelha can trade and trade hard.

As I said in an earlier article, regarding the breakdown of Aguilar's career, I believe Gadelha holds the slight advantage having fought in UFC twice already.

With that being said, the Mexican has fought quality competition outside of the promotion -- she holds two wins over Fujii, as well as one over former UFC 115-pound champion Carla Esparza.

What to watch for: Aguilar's takedown defense

Prediction: Gadelha via split-decision

Antonio Silva vs. Soa Palelei

Tale of the tape: 31 technical (knockouts), seven submissions

One man is likely going to hit the floor before the final bell rings. Two of UFC's biggest Heavyweight fighters collide, each going in opposite directions in their respective careers.

"Bigfoot" is 0-3-(1) in his last four fights and was knocked out in all three losses. Silva is credited with only having landed one strike against Frank Mir in February. Against Andrei Arlovski, he was equally as tentative, partially landing a body kick and a solid right hand before crumbling from a "Pitbull" right hook.

He just has not been the same since this Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) stuff was banned.

Palelei might as well be named Mark Hunt because it is like he is the second coming of the "Super Samoan." The 37-year-old is very light on his feet and menacing.

"The Hulk" can drop for a takedown on a whim and initiate brutal, short-range punches in top position. The only time we have seen the Aussie in trouble is when he was up against someone with superior grappling, like Jared Rosholt.

Palelei's wrestling was stifled by the equally big and talented Rosholt during their June 2014 scrap, which saw the former revert to defensive mode. Lucky for him, Silva has never been mistaken for a fighter with good takedown defense.

It is sad to say, but Silva has seen better days. Palelei has the style to wash Silva, who may or may not be let go by UFC following another "L." Who knows? Maybe it will make him fight harder.

What to watch for: Palelei's takedowns

Prediction: Palelei via first-round technical knockout (performance bonus)

Stefan Struve vs. Antonio Minotauro Nogueira

Tale of the tape: 10 technical (knockouts), 37 submissions

What is the saying? The bigger you are, the harder you fall.

For someone who is 7'0," one would think the Dutch kickboxer Struve would keep his hands up. "Skyscraper" finds himself on a two-fight losing skid coming into his match up with the renowned jiu-jitsu specialist.

Struve has a tendency to hold his hands low, leaving openings for the 265-pound division's heaviest of hitters. Despite being proficient on the mat, he also packs a punch, as evidenced by his knockout win over current elite heavyweight Stipe Miocic back in Sept. 2012.

However, that is not the most impressive aspect of his MMA game. Struve is technically sound in grappling; he has pulled guard on multiple occasions and submitted men off of his back with his long legs.

He will not be the only fighter comfortable off of his back in his bout with the former Pride heavyweight champion Nogueira, though.

The 39-year-old has been through hell and back with his body. Between injuries and Octagon wars versus Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia and Frank Mir, Nogueira has undoubtedly lost a step, but that does not mean he is not a threat. He can still pull guard and submit fighters and he can, believe it or not, tag you on the feet.

If Struve is not careful, which he has known to be at times, he could end up staring up at the rafters, while Nogueira celebrates with his hometown crowd.

What to watch for: Struve's striking

Prediction: Nogueira via first-round submission (performance bonus)

Dileno Lopes vs. Reginaldo Vieira

Tale of the tape: Four technical (knockouts), 21 submission

Lopes takes on Vieira in a 135-pound TUF 4 final, pitting two grappling artists against each other. Make no mistake about it, this fight will end up on the ground one way or another.

Lopes is a counter striker, who remains patient on his feet. The 27-year-old will not open up and overextend himself. He will typically wait for his opponent to throw so he can counter with a straight left or jab.

When Lopes finds his opening though, best believe he will back you into the cage with a barrage of punches and try to take you down, or pull guard. His submission of choice? The guillotine choke.

Nowhere is his opponent's neck safe as he can grab a hold of it in a sprawl or by simply standing in the clinch.

Vieira, meanwhile, is just as potent in submitting foes. The Sao Paulo native likes to drop for heel hooks and will seek out openings for the guillotine choke.

Vieira is a little bit more open on the feet and will take chances. He also does a solid job of working in kicks, both high and low, every now and then.

Where he runs into trouble is when he is overmatched in the strength department; something that could come into play against Lopes, who is a handful to move in the clinch. Lopes will stop at nothing to try and throw you or pursue a shot.

He will not wilt under the pressure of Vieira.

What to watch for: Vieira's takedown defense

Prediction: Lopes via first-round submission

Glaico Franca vs. Fernando Bruno

Tale of the tape: Six technical (knockouts), 13 submission

Two Lightweight TUF: "Brazil" 4 finalists will look to enter UFC with a big win when these two grapplers meet.

Bruno, a 33-year-old from the Nova Uniao camp, is a southpaw who does not throw too many shots from a distance, but from the clinch. He can light you up with knees, or drive hard for a slam or trip.

Additionally, he is solid at scrambling and is savvy at cinching up a variety of chokes. His only career loss was somewhat controversial split decision against Marcos Rodrigues dos Santos in July 2013.

In that fight, Bruno was clipped, albeit he was slightly off balance, with a right hook by Dos Santos in the second round, which changed the complexion of their fight.

The 24-year-old Franca can hang with Bruno in the strength department and is pretty tall for a lightweight at 6'0." He can threaten with takedowns in the clinch and is also capable of reversing his fortunes, if he is put on his back, by sweeping his opponent.

The difference between both of these men will lie in the speed department. Bruno gets the nod there, despite being nine years the elder of Franca. His movements are more fluid compared to the robotic-like striking of Franca.

However, Franca can finish quickly. Eight of his 12 career wins have come in the first round.

What to watch for: The clinch battle

Prediction: Franca via second-round submission

Shogun Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Tale of the tape: 25 technical (knockouts), seven submissions

Brazilian heroes throw down in front of a raucous Rio de Janeiro crowd in the Light Heavyweight division.

Shogun and Nogueira each enter the fight on a loss -- the former has lost four of his fast five. One has to think all of the wars Shogun has participated in might be catching up with him.

The 33-year-old owner of 32 professional fights has been clobbered by Ovince Saint Preux, Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen in recent outings.

Shogun is still an above average striker; he just needs to protect himself better. He was doing just that in his rematch with Henderson back in March 2014, but unfortunately was a few feet too close to an H-bomb.

Similarly, Nogueira has also proved that his time spent among the world's best at 205 pounds is up. In fact, it was up when he fought and lost to wrestlers Ryan Bader and Phil Davis a few years ago.

The 39-year-old is slow and not athletic enough to keep up with today's light heavyweights. He should not, however, be counted out.

Nogueira's boxing is still crisp and his guard is still as tricky to penetrate as ever. One could argue he may beat Shogun in a stand up battle.

And I would not disagree. Nogueira's more strategic attack will pay dividends against the more reckless approach of Rua's.

What to watch for: The right hook of Nogueira

Prediction: Nogueira via unanimous decision

Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia

Tale of the tape: Four technical (knockouts), nine submissions

What else is there that Rousey cannot do? That seems to be the questions plaguing most fight fans and commentators.

Good luck finding it.

The former Olympic Judoka, turned women's MMA pioneer, continues to lead the way for her fellow combatants, setting the bar higher and higher each and every time she sets foot in the cage. Since her UFC arrival in Feb. 2013, Rousey has revamped her overall game to include faster hands and more impactful strikes.

Her fights will end up on the ground at some point, though. It is inevitable, whether it be from a punch or a throw. From that point, there is little an opponent can do about what happens next.

Rousey has crafted solutions to whatever answers you have for her 10 times over.

Not many people are putting much stock into Correia to give Rousey much of a challenge and it is easy to see why. The 32-year-old has not beat anyone inside of the Top 10 of the female bantamweight division.

If you add in the fact that she was in competitive fights with Shayna Baszer and Julie Kedzie, the choice to slot her against a fighter of Rousey's caliber seems startling.

In addition to her sound kickboxing, Correia can go to work on the ground a bit, but she does not want to test those waters.

Over/under Correia makes it past the first round? Under.

What to watch for: Rousey annihilation

Prediction: Rousey via mauling round one (Fight of the Night)

That takes care of my bonus predictions for UFC 190. Thank you for reading along.

See something I did not cover, or have a gripe? Sound off in the comments section.

Enjoy the fights, ladies and gentleman!

Remember to stay with MMAmania for all of your UFC 190: "Rousey vs. Correia" coverage, including live updates and play-by-play, post-fight recaps and analysis; plus much more!

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