The UFC holds it's second event in the same day, this one airing on free television and providing the finals for the third season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. The card lost the Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva bout as well as Junior dos Santos, but has carried on with substitutes. In the main event, Stipe Miocic battles late-replacement and normally light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado. Will Miocic be able to beat a man not even in his weight class to keep his place in his own division? I answer these questions and more with my predictions for Saturday night's fights.
What: The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 Finale
Where: Ginásio do Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo, Brazil
When: Saturday, the three-fight preliminary Fight Pass card starts at 6:30 p.m. ET, the four-fight Fox Sports 1 preliminary card starts at 8 p.m. and the Fox Sports 1 main card stars at 10 p.m.
Maldonado has promised a bloodbath, but it's not going to be Miocic's blood he'll be bathing in. I respect the Brazilian's hustle and guts here, but Miocic isn't just a powerful heavyweight puncher, he's a skilled striker with angles that sets up his attacks behind the jab. For all of Maldonado's boxing prowess, especially his body work, he's the one more willing to trade to create an environment where he can throw in his Nick Diaz-esque pot shot style. That's not going to work for him here.
This is a tough one and a bit of a striker vs. grappler matchup. Miranda has legit kickboxing chops, but some decent mat jiu-jitsu as well while Junior is the better submission grappler outright. I really don't have a strong sense what the ultimate outcome will be, but it's going to be hard to pick against the sure-fire submission finisher.
Marcio Alexandre vs. Warlley Alves
It's hard to pick against a guy with the word 'war' in his name. That aside, he's also just the better fighter, particularly the better finisher. He punched his ticket to the finals with two first-round stoppages, a submission and knockout. 'Junior' had a bit of a tougher route to the finals having to get through the likes of 'Demente', but coasted on two split decisions.
Crazy things happen in MMA, but there should be no reason Maia loses this bout. Yakovlev has come a long way from the guy who lost to Karl Amoussou in M-1. He brings proactive offense and good wrestling to the game, but nothing Maia hasn't seen from better competitors before.
Peralta can bang, so this is by no means a walk in the park for Jason. But he isn't quite the threat Jeremy Stephens was or is. As long as Jason is a bit more patient and mixes up his offense, at least early, this is a completely winnable fight for him.
From the preliminary card:
Rashid Magomedov def. Rodrigo Damm
Elias Silverio def. Ernest Chavez
Paulo Thiago def. Gasan Umalatov
Kevin Souza def. Mark Eddiva
Richardson Moreira def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Ricardo Abreu def. Wagner Silva
Pedro Munhoz def. Matt Hobar