“The Dragon” is back!
After more than two years on the shelf, Lyoto Machida makes his triumphant return to the Octagon this Saturday evening (Oct. 28, 2017) inside Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil, headlining UFC Fight Night 119 against Derek Brunson.
UFC Fight Night 119 will also host a crossroads match between Demian Maia and Colby Covington, not to mention a pair of phenomenal Bantamweight showdowns in Rob Font vs. Pedro Munhoz and John Lineker vs. Marlon Vera.
Fight Pass will host the first two “Prelims” udnercard matches, while FOX Sports 2 will handle the other four. Let’s first check out the afternoon delights:
125 lbs.: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Jarred Brooks
Deiveson Figueiredo (12-0) went the distance in his fourth professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fight and immediately decided not to do that again, stopping all subsequent comers on his way to UFC. He maintained this habit in his June debut, stopping Marco Antonio Beltran with strikes at the end of the second round.
He is two inches taller than Jarred Brooks (13-0) and will have a six-inch reach advantage.
Brooks — who saw a planned UFC 208 debut go up in smoke at the last minute thanks to Ian McCall’s immune system dropping the ball — finally got his first crack in the Octagon in July. He took on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 competitor Eric Shelton and went back-and-forth for 15 minutes before ultimately taking home the split decision win.
Brooks went undefeated (13-0) as an amateur before debuting in late 2014.
I, along with all but two members of the media according to MMAdecisions.com, believe that Brooks lost in his debut. That’s not a major knock against him, as Shelton is seriously underrated, but it’s worth keeping in mind. As strong as his wrestling pedigree is and as obvious his athleticism is, he’s still a raw talent, undersized for the division and reliant on gusto to compensate for technical shortcomings.
If there’s one thing Figueiredo isn’t short of, it’s gusto. He’s so wildly aggressive that he’s prone to getting badly hurt on the feet and losing position on the mat. Without the ability to control position against a superior wrestler, he’s stuck with trying to catch Brooks coming in, which is certainly doable but not a strategy I’d expect to find consistent success. Brooks scrambles out of some bad spots and spends enough time on top to get the decision.
Prediction: Brooks via unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Marcelo Golm vs. Christian Colombo
Marcelo Golm (5-0) has been nothing if not efficient since making his professional debut two years ago, stopping his last three opponents in a combined 2:07. He answered the call when promotional newcomer Carlos Felipe ran afoul of USADA.
He is 12 years younger than Christian Colombo (8-2-1).
Poland’s “Godzilla” joined UFC on a six-fight, five-finish streak, but had to settle for a majority draw in his debut thanks to a point deduction for an illegal knee. He had even less success against Luis Henrique, who overpowered him on the mat en route to a third-round submission win.
This will be his first fight in 11 months because of injury.
This is another of those situations where there’s almost no footage of one guy and plenty of terrible footage of the other. Golm has yet to fight a warm body while Colombo is slow, lacks cagecraft, has no ground game to speak of, and is pushing forty.
This is going to get ugly if it goes past the first round.
Colombo has the more proven cardio, but his defense is so leaky that even Jarjis Danho managed to repeatedly tag him. Golm, who nearly matches Colombo in height and badly outclasses him in handspeed, ought to be able to do the same, punishing Colombo with heavy punches before his gas tank has a chance to empty.
Prediction: Golm via first-round technical knockout
UFC Fight Night 119’s remaining undercard balance includes a pair of all-action Welterweight battles. Don’t miss it, Maniacs.
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 119 card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 2 at 8 p.m. ET before the FOX Sports 1 main card action kicks off at 10 p.m. ET.