By Brian Beard
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira (6-2-0) vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos (8-1-0)
Ferreira was originally slated to fight Clint Hester on this card but Hester had to pull out due to injury recently. Who could they get to step in and fill his shoes on such short notice? They found a hometown boy from Rio that gladly accepted the challenge. This will be a grappler vs. striker type of match up. Santos is an explosive striker that is very well versed in Muay Thai. This cat can bang. Ferreira is a great ground fighter that also has some decent striking. I look for Ferreira to try to close the distance early and push Santos up against the cage to look for the take down.
My Prediction: Ferriera will grind out a submission in the second round.
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (19-3-0) vs. Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis (11-1-0)
Here we have another striker vs. grappler matchup in this one. Davis is an absolute beast and his wrestling is top notch. Not only that, but his only loss is to Rashad Evans who is also a great wrestler. Machida is a very unorthodox striker who tends to do well against wrestlers. He mollywhopped Rashad when they fought. He also handled up on Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson. I really like Phil Davis but I see this as a very tough fight for him. Machida will use his superior footwork to keep Davis at bay and will be able to ding him with all of his fancy/weird striking. It won’t be enough though. Davis will eventually secure a takedown and make Lyota pay dearly.
My Prediction: Davis via TKO in the third round. ‘Merica.
Jose “Junior” Aldo (22-1-0) vs. Chan Sung “The Korean Zombie” Jung (13-3-0)
This is going to be a war. The little cats are going to put on a show! Both men are outstanding fighters that always come to bang. Don’t look for this one to go to the ground at all. Aldo has not lost since 2005 and is the most dominant fighter to date in his division. His last seven fights have been title defenses. Jung, aka The Korean Zombie, is a very powerful striker for this weight class and always puts on a show. He also has a good chin on him and can take a power punch and keep rolling. I think this will be one of Aldo’s toughest tests to date. I still think he passes with flying colors. Look for Aldo to simply be the better athlete in this one.
My Prediction: Aldo will win a unanimous decision.