The UFC returns to Brazil this Saturday in week six of a nine week run of events. The main event features one of Brazil and WMMA’s biggest stars, in Cris Cyborg. As has become the case in recent times, the event is stacked with Brazilian talent on their return to Brazil and this card promises to be exciting from start to finish.
Cyborg is the first fighter in the modern era to demand a main event slot, without being ranked in the promotion due to her not being able to make the 135lb limit for bantamweight. Her star power is only undermined by the apparent lack of talent at 145lbs. However, there is an argument that the Brazilian super-star is a big enough name to carry a division.
Our staff attempted to predict the outcomes of the main card fights and we expect some finishes right the way through the card.
In the opening bout on the main card submission specialist Godofredo Pepey takes on Mike De La Torre, with this one highly unlikely to go the distance. Pepey has 11 finishes in his 12 wins and De La Torre has 12 finishes in his 14 wins. Pepey will fancy his chances on the mat against De La Torre but the California native is no slouch there.
Prediction: Pepey by sub
Up next is number 15 ranked middleweight Thiago Santos, who takes on Eric Spicely in an exciting affair. With both fighters coming off a loss, normally one would expect this to be a cagey opening to the bout but both fighters tend to come out of the traps quickly and this one could be a banger. Santos will certainly believe he has the advantage on the feet and will look to engage early.
Prediction: Santos by KO
Paul Felder returns to Brazil, looking to upset the home crowd once again as he takes on Francisco Trinaldo, This is an extremely tough one to call as both have KO power and are extremely durable. We expect fireworks in this one but can’t be confident on a winner. Very possibly fight of the night.
Prediction: Felder by dec
The heavyweights take centre stage next as two fighters who have found themselves on the slide down the rankings of late look to revive their careers as Bigfoot takes on Big Country. Look for Bigfoot to try and out-strike Nelson, while steering clear of Nelson’s devastating right hand.
Prediction: Nelson by KO
In the co-main event, Renan Barao looks to get his first win at 145lbs as he takes Phillipe Nover. The former bantamweight champion has lost three of his last four and is dire need of a victory here. The key to victory against the tough New York native will be his movement and perhaps using his superior jiu jitsu to control the fight when it goes to the mat.
Prediction: Barao by dec
Simply put expect another Cyborg destruction against the relatively unknown Lina Lansberg in the main event. Lansberg is 6-1 fighting in European competition but this may be the biggest leap in quality seen in MMA history.
Prediction: Cyborg by KO
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