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UFC Fight Night: Fortaleza


(Last Week’s Record 3-1, Overall 12-15)

The UFC returns to the heart of Brazil with another exciting card with big ramifications across several divisions. Before we get into our weekly fun of breaking down the matchups, here’s a quick recap of UFC 209

  • Alistair Overeem looked impressive. Apart from a elbow in the second round he was able to neutralize Hunt’s power by keeping his distance and picking him apart. He closed in the third round with two big knees the the head which sent Hunt face first to the canvas for the big knockout win.
  • Cynthia Calvillo made quick work of Amanda Cooper, submitting her with a rear naked choke in the first round. She was very impressive on the ground and looks like a future contender.
  • Aussie Daniel Kelly was able to keep Rashad Evans off his rhythm and take a split decision. It is time for him to to start facing ranked opponents, and it might be time for Rashad to hang up the gloves, though I doubt the proud former champ will.
  • David Teymur and Lando Vannata put on a show. After Khabib was hospitalized and the fight against Tony Ferguson was called off, this fight was elevated to the co-main event and they put on a show with Teymur pulling off the victory in one of the few fights that excited the crowd.
  • Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson however was disappointing. Wonderboy never let his hands go, and Woodley was equally as cautious. Woodley at least landed a knockdown late in the 5th which most likely sealed the decision for him. Expect a big test for him next from the winner of Damien Mia vs Jorge Masvidal

Now let’s turn our attention to Fortaleza, Brazil with a 6 pack of picks coming up for the main card, starting at 10pm eastern on FS1.

Alex Oliveria (+195 underdog) vs Tim Means (-250 favorite)

If this fight seems familiar, it is. These two met at UFC 207, but the fight was called off due to an injury Oliveria suffered after taking two illegal knees from Means. The UFC changed rules regarding what constitutes a fighter being on the ground, and Means was unaware that the new rules would only go into effect the next week. Means is clearly going to come out and be the aggressor again, as he feels he won the first fight. Oliveria will look to clinch and land elbows and knees, or take the fight to the ground and work his submission game. After the performance at 207 though, Means seems to have the advantage physically, and psychologically.

(My Pick, Means by TKO, 1st Round)

#9 Bethe Correia (+100 underdog) vs #13 Marion Reneau (-130 favorite) 

Both of these ladies are heavy strikers. Both have also faced high level talent. Reneau has lost to Holly Holm, and Correia lost to Rhonda Rousey. In the 135 division, it seems the talent level is rising. It’s going to be important to pick up a win in order to keep up. Correia is the veteran of the two, and seems to be just a little bit better. Plus she’s fighting on her home turf. I’m willing to give her the nod in this one.

(Correia, by TKO, 3rd Round)

#3 Jussier Formiga (-125 favorite) vs #8 Ray Borg (+105 underdog) 

Jussier Formiga is just outside the title picture at 125. He even owns a win over current title challenger Wilson Reis. He’s a grinder who typically wins by decision. Ray Borg is fierce wrestler, who has a bit of trouble making weight in this division. A win over Formiga would move him to the top of the heap. Pray that he makes weight and this one doesn’t get taken off the card. Borg has a crazy work rate, and if Formiga can’t defend the take down its going to be a long 15 minutes for him.

(Borg, by Decision) 

#5 Edson Barboza (-175 favorite) vs #9 Beneil Daruish (+155 underdog)

These are two fighters who could benefit from Khabib pulling out of his most recent fight. Someone is going to have to fight Tony Ferguson now and it could very easily be the winner  who comes to face him for the interim belt (or a #1 contenders match). Daruish is a submission guy, but he’s been working on his hands and seems to have some pop there. He’ll have his hands full with Edson Barboza, a lightweight contender just outside the title picture looking to finally earn his shot. He’s won Fight of the Night honors 5 times, so you know he’s going to bring it. He’ll kick yours legs till you can barely stand and he’s got lightning quick hands. Daruish is game but this level is above where his game is right now.

(Barboza by Decision) 

#6 Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (-140 favorite) vs #12 Gian Villante (+120 underdog) 

Shogun is a legend in the game and a former champion. He’s enjoyed a long and storied career and can still fight at a very high level. He’s lost some speed, power, and durability but its so hard to count him out of any fight due to his experience. Villante is a young and hungry fighter, who’s also go terrifying power. If Villante can be accurate he can catch Rua and eventually he’ll put him down. Eventually the torch has to get passed and this has a chance of being one of those fights.

(Villante by TKO, 1st Round) 

#9 Vitor Belfort (+300 underdog) vs #10 Kelvin Gastelum (-360 favorite) 

The great thing about these Brazil cards is that we get to see the legends like Shogun or Belfort fight before a raucous crowd. Vitor is a known commodity. He’s going to explode at some point and get close to ending the fight, most likely within the first 2 rounds. Gastelum is a good fighter, and best at middleweight even though he disagrees. This isn’t a cakewalk fight for him, he has to survive the early onslaught. Vitor is dangerous at any point of the fight, but Gastelum looked so good in his last fight. I’m letting nostalgia sway this one.

(Belfort by TKO, 2nd Round)

All odds come from and from in no way endorses gambling. Do you have a gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER 

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