Two former Pride champions will meet inside the Octagon for the second time when Mauricio “Shogun” Rua squares up against Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 38.
The event is set for March 23 at the Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 38 predictions and picks:
Maurício Rua vs. Dan Henderson
Hendo and Shogun put on an entertaining show during their last encounter, going back and forth throughout their 25-minute encounter. It was one of the most entertaining MMA bouts in 2011, so there’s a decent chance mixed martial arts fans will be in for another memorable bout at UFC Fight Night 38.
Henderson (29-11-0, 13 KOs) successfully used his superior grappling to grind Rua (22-8-0, 19 KOs) down -- in between exchanges -- during their 2011 showdown, but that might not be enough to lead him to victory in Brazil.
The first fight between the two was a close encounter that could have gone either way on the judges’ scorecards, so the odds seem to favor Rua this time around given the fact he’ll enjoy home-Octagon advantage.
Not sure the fight will last 25 minutes though.
Henderson was viciously knocked out during his last encounter against Vitor Belfort, and I’m not sure the 43-year-old’s chin (which has been one of the hardest in MMA for years) will ever be the same. On the other hand, Shogun did some brutal knocking out of his own during his last bout against James Te Huna (who is no slouch striking wise), and he’ll be highly motivated to rack up another ferocious finish in his native Brazil.
Prediction: Shogun wins via TKO.
Cezar Ferreira vs. C.B. Dollaway
The middleweight tournament winner of the first installment of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” will be in for a serious test when he squares off against Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 38.
Ferreira (7-2-0, 3 KOs) is a talented middleweight who remains undefeated inside the Octagon, but he’s never faced a true UFC veteran like Dollaway (13-5-0, 5 KOs).
‘The Doberman’ is a pretty decent middleweight when he brings his A-game. And he certainly brought that during his last fight in Brazil, upsetting Daniel Sarafian early 2013.
I expect him to do more of the same at UFC Fight Night 38.
Prediction: Dollaway wins via decision.
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Steven Siler defeats Rony Jason
Diego Brandao defeats Will Chope
Ronny Markes defeats Thiago Santos
Scott Jorgensen defeats Jussier Formiga
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