The UFC heads to Rio de Janiero, Brazil this weekend and features some exciting Brazilian fighters on the card. Headlining the card is a fun light heavyweight fight between Stephan Bonnar and Anderson Silva. Both will be vying for a chance to cement their legacy in MMA.
Also on the card is a heavyweight bout between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Dave Herman. Both of these fighters will be looking to rebound off tough losses, and the winner is right back in the mix in this division. Let’s now take a look at the main card and make some predictions.
First on the main card is a welterweight fight between grappling wizard Demain Maia and Rick Storry. Maia thus far has had success since dropping down from middleweight. Granted, it was a bizarre accident that hurt Dong Hyun Kim, allowing Maia to end the bout with a TKO. Still, he has had some of the best jiu jitsu in all of the UFC and his hands have made marketed improvements. His grappling prowess will be enough to control Storry, who is always game for a war. Final prediction: Demian Maia wins via unanimous decision.
Next up is a light heavyweight bout between Phil Davs and Wagnor Prado. Their first fight ended in controversy when Davis landed an inadvertent eye poke to Prado, forcing the bout to be declared a no contest. Phil Davis comes into this fight with the superior wrestling advantage and he will use this to smother Prado for the majority of the fight. Final prediction: Phil Davis wins via unanimous decision.
A pivotal welterweight bout is up next when the gritty Jon Fitch takes on rising star Erick Silva. This fight certainly has the most meaning of all the fights on this card. Jon Fitch is coming off a long layoff after a brutal KO to Johny Hendricks. Erick Silva is riding high off his victory over Charlie Brenneman earlier in the year, and he has shown to be one of the most explosive strikers in the division. Jon Fitch has so many factors going against him in this fight. He is coming off a brutal loss, he has had a long layoff, and he is taking on one of the most athletic guys in the division. Final prediction: Erick Silva wins via KO in the second first round.
Glover Teixeira will be taking on Fabio Maldonado next in the light heavyweight division. Both of these fighters possess some great boxing and grappling skills, but Teixeira waited too long to be in the UFC. This fight is essentially Glovers to lose. He can end this fight standing or on the ground, but it will more than likely be the former. Texeira will come out of the gate and clip Maldonado early on after some good exchanges from both men. Final Prediction: Glover Teixeira wins via TKO in the first round.
The co-main event features a heavyweight bout between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Dave Herman. Both fighters want to prove their relevancy in their respective division, but it will be Nogueira’s experience and competent jiu jitsu skills that will allow him to control Herman on the ground. He will pick his shots and wait for the opening and get this fight to the ground. Herman has went on record saying jiu jitsu is a joke, but it will be Herman’s submission defense that will fail him in this fight. Final prediction: Antonio Nogueira wins via submission in round one.
In the main event, Anderson Silva will be challenging Stephan Bonnar in a light heavyweight showdown. This will be the third time Anderson has made the trip up to the light heavyweight division. The UFC is trying to sell this fight as being competitive, but I am not buying it and nor should you. Anderson is the greatest fighter MMA has ever seen. His pinpoint striking and movement will be the difference in this fight, and it could very well look like his fight with Forrest Griffin. Sure, Bonnar is a big light heavyweight and has never been finished, but this will surely change after Saturday night. Silva will do what he does best. He will gage Bonnar in the first few minutes of the fight and then he will strike, forcing Bonnar to crumble to the canvas. Final Prediction: Anderson Silva wins via TKO in the first round.