We’re doing this, apparently.
A light heavyweight rematch takes center stage in Sao Paulo this Saturday evening (Nov. 19, 2016) as Ryan Bader steps in for Alexander Gustafsson against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. In the co-feature, Thomas Almeida returns to the cage opposite Albert Morales, while Claudia Gadelha takes on Cortney Casey and Thales Leites faces Krzysztof Jotko.
Prior to that, UFC Fight Night 100 will fire off six preliminary card matches on both UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1, starting at 6 p.m. ET. To get you primed for this mixed martial arts (MMA) extravaganza, we've gone ahead and previewed each contest below.
Let's get to it.
185 lbs.: Cezar Ferreira (10-5) vs. Jack Hermansson (14-2)
"Mutante" won the inaugural Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and proceeded to win his first three UFC bouts, including one over former show finalist Daniel Sarafian. A 1-3 stretch, all losses by first-round knockout, put his back against the wall, but he came back with wins over Oluwale Bamgbose and Anthony Smith. He has three wins by knockout and two by submission.
Sweden’s Hermansson washed out of Bellator with two losses and two appearances, but went on to win eight straight and punch his ticket to the UFC. He debuted in September, defeating former BAMMA champion Scott Askham in Germany. Eight of his wins have come by knockout.
There are basically two "Mutantes:" one is the wild striking powerhouse whose ability to inflict punishment is badly outstripped by his inability to take it, while the other is the mediocre grinder he turns into, Jekyll-and-Hyde-style, when faced with adversity. Neither is well-equipped to take out Hermansson.
Hermansson is the stronger, more durable, and more skilled striker on top of having the takedown defense to keep it standing. He should dispose of Ferreira early and with considerable authority.
Prediction: Hermansson by first-round knockout
205 lbs.: Gadzhimurad Antigulov (18-4) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (14-3-1)
Russia’s Antigulov jumped right into the deep end of the eastern European scene, facing Adlan Amagov in his debut and taking on the likes of Abdul-Kerim Edilov and Viktor Nemkov within his first ten fights. He enters the UFC having won twelve straight, eleven by stoppage and ten in the first three minutes. Thirteen of his professional wins have come by submission.
After an unsuccessful run on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, "Pezao" opened his UFC career with two knockouts in a combined 2:19 before running into Nikita Krylov. He last entered the cage in March, dominating and choking out Clint Hester at UFC 197. He’s scored ten professional wins by knockout and another three by submission.
There’s a lot to consider here. de Lima hits as hard as any light heavyweight aside from "Rumble" and will have a significant weight advantage over Antigulov, who regularly weighs in below 205 and has fought at middleweight before, but the style matchup isn’t in his favor. Antigulov is a suffocating, ridiculously-aggressive wrestler who should be able to drag the Brazilian out of his comfort zone.
The key to this analysis may be the fact that de Lima didn’t react well to Krylov’s pressure. Antigulov is a better technical wrestler than the rising Ukrainian and every bit as capable of ruining "Pezao’s" day once it hits the mat. I say Antigulov earns the win in hostile territory, bulldozing the big Brazilian to the mat and ultimately locking up an early submission.
Prediction: Antigulov by first-round submission
135 lbs.: Manny Gamburyan (15-9) vs. Johnny Eduardo (27-10)
Following a three-fight losing streak from 2010 to 2011, "The Anvil" went 4-1, 1 NC in his next six, including a decision over fellow Ultimate Fighter 5 veteran Cole Miller. He last fought in April, falling to John Dodson in forty-seven seconds at UFC on Fox 19. He’s submitted seven opponents as a pro, though just one since 2008.
Eduardo shocked fight fans in 2014 when, after nearly two full years out of the cage, he knocked former title challenger Eddie Wineland cold in one of the year’s biggest upsets. A nineteen-month layoff followed, after which he suffered a submission loss to Aljamain Sterling for just his second defeat since 2007. He is two inches taller than Gamburyan at 5’7".
He may have made some slight improvements, but Gamburyan is more or less the same fighter Jose Aldo thrashed in 2010, a decent brawler and takedown artist with an iffy chin. Eduardo may be injury-prone to such an extent that I’m convinced he pissed off the same witch doctor Antonio Silva used against Fedor, but he’s an incredibly skilled striker whose camp is legendary for its takedown defense.
Gamburyan’s only real path to victory is to pursue the takedown early and often, a strategy I doubt he can pull off without getting clobbered. Eduardo sprawls-and-brawls his way to a stoppage win.
Prediction: Eduardo by first-round TKO
265 lbs.: Christian Colombo (8-1-1) vs. Luis Henrique (9-2)
Denmark’s Colombo brought kickboxing experience and a six-fight winning streak into his UFC debut, which pitted him against Syria’s Jarjis Danho. Due to losing a point from an illegal knee, Colombo had to settle for a majority draw in his first slip-up since losing to Viktor Pesta in 2012. Six of his eight wins have come by knockout.
Henrique, twenty-three, stepped into the heavyweight division for the first time since 2012 in his UFC debut, which saw him get sparked by one vicious uppercut from Francis Ngannou. Undaunted, he proceeded to dominate Russian newcomer Dmitry Smolyakov in Illinois seven months later. He will give up three inches of height to the 6’5" "Godzilla."
Henrique may be fighting well above his ideal weight, but he has remarkably good cardio for a man of his build and his wrestling ought to be more than enough to drag the big Dane south. If Colombo couldn’t shut down Jarjis Danho without emptying his gas tank, he’s not going to have any luck doing so against someone with legitimate grappling skill.
Colombo’s more than a decade older than his opponent and has doesn’t have much to offer here besides his height and body attack. Henrique grinds his cardio away before locking up the submission.
Prediction: Henrique by second-round submission
135 lbs.: Pedro Munhoz (13-2) vs. Justin Scoggins (11-2)
"The Young Punisher" roared back from his UF debut loss to Raphael Assuncao with consecutive first-round stoppages of Matt Hobar and Jerrod Sanders. A failed drug test and a loss to Jimmie Rivera followed, after which he dispatched Russell Doane with his signature guillotine. He has submitted eight opponents and knocked out another two.
"Tank" rumbled through Richie Vas and Will Campuzano in his first two UFC appearances, then suffered upset losses to Dustin Ortiz and John Moraga in subsequent fights. He came back with wins over Josh Sampo and Ray Borg, but bungled his weight cut against Ian McCall for his third canceled fight in his previous four bookings. This will be his UFC bantamweight debut.
Among the flyweight division’s many young guns, I had Scoggins pegged as the best of the bunch. He may not reach quite the same heights as a bantamweight, but he’s still bewilderingly well-rounded, elite striking backed by an excellent wrestling game.
Munhoz is pretty damn talented himself, but the stylistic matchup isn’t in his favor. His heavy swings aren’t a good match for Scoggins’ range control and his submission edge doesn’t make much difference when he doesn’t have the necessary takedown prowess to take "Tank" down.
So long as he stays healthy and doesn’t barrel directly into a guillotine again, Scoggins has what it takes to own this battle of prospects. He makes a triumphant entrance to the division with a decisive decision victory.
Prediction: Scoggins by unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Francimar Barroso (18-5) vs. Darren Stewart (7-0)
"Bodao," the biggest representative of Nova Uniao yet seen in the UFC, opened his UFC career 3-1 with the only loss a split decision. This set up a fight with rising prospect Nikita Krylov, who handed Barroso the first submission loss of his career. He was last booked to face C.B. Dollaway at UFC 203 before the latter lost a fight with an elevator.
Known as "The Dentist," Stewart has given his namesakes quite a bit of work with five knockouts in seven fights. In addition to earning and defending the Killacam light heavyweight title, he went 4-0 with four knockouts under the Cage Warriors banner. He went 5-0 as an amateur before turning pro in June of 2014.
Stewart is not ready for this. He’s strong, game, and packs some scary ground-and-pound, but he’s extremely raw and I’m not sure his cardio’s there. Just last December, he got badly touched up by a 1-1 fighter and only survived thanks to his opponent’s nonexistent wrestling. Further, he’s only 5’10" and regularly weighs in between 202 and 203 pounds.
Barroso’s a good enough wrestler to keep it standing and a good enough striker to keep Stewart at bay until his gas tank gives out. Stewart’s lack of striking polish and questionable defense bite him hard as Barroso pounds him out late.
Prediction: Barroso by third-round TKO
There are some fun fights and quality prospects scattered about; I certainly have no complaints about tuning in. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Current UFC "Prelims" Prediction Record 2016: 138-86-5
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