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X-Factor! Some UFC Fight Night 164 main card predictions

This Saturday (Nov. 16, 2019), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) travels to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for UFC Fight Night 164. This may come as a shock to our readers, but the latest “Fight Night” event in Brazil features — wait for it — a bunch of Brazilian scrappers! Luckily, there’s a fun mix of up-and-coming talent and old school killers, so let’s analyze some main card fights!

Remember: Later in the week, Jesse Holland will be back to preview and predict the biggest fights of the night.

Lightweight: Charles Oliveira vs. Jared Gordon

Best Win for Oliveira? Jeremy Stephens For Gordon? Hacran Dias
Current Streak: Oliveira has won five straight all via finish, while Gordon enters off a single win
X-Factor: Gordon’s toughness
How these two match up: What the hell does Charles Oliveira have to do to face off with a top 10-ranked opponent?

Look, I understand that Oliveira’s career has seen some ups-and-downs, but the jiu-jitsu ace has never looked better. His Muay Thai is genuinely punishing, his opportunistic submissions remain otherworldly, and overall, Oliveira has simply put it all together at 30 years of age. He’s not a scrappy young prospect anymore — “Do Bronx” is the real deal.

Jared Gordon, meanwhile, has definitely shown some talent in his much shorter UFC career, winning three of five fights. “Flash” pushes a really hard pace, constantly throwing heavy punches and looking for takedowns. Gordon thrives in wars of attrition, where cardio and grit determine the winner.

Oliveira has lost fights in the past simply because opponents were tougher, it’s true, yet he is an absolutely terrible style match up for Gordon. For one, toughness no longer seems a concern for the Brazilian, who’s happy to throw down and no longer backs away from adversity.

Besides that, Gordon simply gets hit too much. Oliveira is going to land a lot of hard shots, and there will be no safe place for “Flash.” If he stays standing, the damage will build very quickly, while even the slightest misstep while taking a shot will result in strangulation.

I don’t expect this one to last long.

Prediction: Oliveira via submission

Middleweight: Andre Muniz vs. Antonio Arroyo

Best Win for Muniz? Bruno Assis For Arroyo? Stephan Regman
Current Streak: Both men are making their UFC debut, but Muniz has won four straight and Arroyo has five consecutive wins
X-Factor: Cardio!
How these two match up: This is two jiu-jitsu guys fighting at 185 lbs. — the potential for ugly fighting is high.

In short, this is a mirror match up. Let’s briefly compare these two Brazilians: both men won twice on “Contender’s Series” to earn their spot on the roster. Both athletes win a majority of their bouts via submission. Muniz is 29 years old, Arroyo is 30, and they both stand precisely 6’2”.

Shockingly, the betting odds have them at even odds.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the regional Brazilian scene, but I like what I’ve seen better from Muniz. Of the two grapplers, he seems the more natural kickboxer, which could be a deciding factor. Plus, he has a pretty significant reach advantage, which is actually among the best success indicators in this goofy game of fighting.

Prediction: Muniz via decision

Middleweight: Markus Perez vs. Wellington Turman

Best Win for Perez? Anthony Hernandez For Turman? Marcio Alexandre Jr.
Current Streak: Perez enters off a win, Turman following a close defeat
X-Factor: Perez’s slick submission game
How these two match up: I hope everyone is excited for even more Middleweight grappling.

Perez has evenly split four fights in the Octagon, proving himself something of a wild man in the process. He’s a jiu-jitsu fighter with fairly mediocre takedowns, but Perez can surprise his foes with a spinning back fist or ripping body kick on the feet. Plus, if he does hit the mat, Perez is quite dangerous.

Turman was handed an incredibly difficult task in his UFC debut, when he squared off with Karl Roberson in Sacramento. The Brazilian nevertheless found a great deal of success with his wrestling, only to controversially lose the decision anyway.

Turman is the younger fight by eight years.

Perez is likely the more dangerous hitter, but neither of these men are particularly great strikers. Instead, it seems a match up of Turman’s wrestling and top control vs. Perez’s jiu-jitsu acumen. Perez is genuinely dangerous on the mat, and a submission would not surprise me, but betting on the better wrestler is the safer play.

Plus, there’s always a chance that no takedown is scored, and Turman wins just by holding him against the fence.

Prediction: Turman via decision

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 164 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+“Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, then the main card portion that will also stream on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Fight Night 164: “Jacare vs. Blachowicz” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

‘X-Factor’ Picks for 2019: 52-25-1 (2)

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