The Ultimate Fighting Championship will head over to Brazil once again for “UFC on Fuel TV 10.” The event is scheduled for June 8, at the Paulo Sarasate Gymnasium in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Here are my predictions for the entire UFC on Fuel TV 10 fight card:
Fabricio Werdum vs. Antônio Rodrigo “Big Nog” Nogueira
The past few years have been very kind to Werdum. He ended Fedor Emelianenko’s reign back in 2010, and he looked decent during his next fight against Alistair Overeem even though he ended up losing the decision. Werdum (16-5-1, 8 submissions) has looked even better since his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, manhandling Roy Nelson at UFC 143, followed by a first round knockout victory against Mike Russow.
Nogueira (34-7-1, 21 submissions) on the other hand has had his share of struggles lately, losing two of his last four fights.
Both men are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wizards, with solid striking to go with their phenomenal grappling skills. Werdum lost via decision when the two met back in 2006, but he’s exponentially improved as a fighter — particularly in the striking department — since then. Werdum should be able to dominate the standup exchanges during their UFC on Fuel TV 10 encounter, and he might even have the advantage on the ground as well, making this his fight to lose.
Prediction: Werdum wins via decision.
Thiago Silva vs. Rafael Cavalcante
Cavalcante (11-3-0, 10 KOs) looked awesome during his last fight under the Strikeforce banner, stopping Mike Kyle in 33 seconds. Unfortunately for him, the California State Athletic Commission changed the result of that bout to a “no contest,” after Cavalcante failed his post-fight drug test.
Silva (14-3-0, 11 KOs) also had the results of his last fight, which was initially a TKO victory against Stanislav Nedkov, changed to a “no contest” after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Unlike Cavalcante however, Silva didn’t particularly look good during his previous outing. Nedkov got the better of the striking exchanges during the first two rounds of their UFC on Fuel TV 6 encounter, and the Bulgarian would have probably emerged victorious if Silva wasn’t able to put him on his back and pound him out during the final round.
Silva will likely have a hard time dealing with Cavalcante’s striking as well at UFC on Fuel TV 10, and unlike Nedkov, Rafael is no slouch on the ground either.
Prediction: Cavalcante wins via TKO.
Daniel Sarafian vs. Eddie Mendez
Sarafian (7-3-0, 6 submissions) is coming off a loss to C.B. Dollaway, so he’ll be motivated to get back on the winning side of things when he welcomes Mendez (7-1-1, 3 KOs) into the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC on Fuel TV 10. Mendez is a solid wrestler, but he might have a hard time dealing with Sarafian’s strength. The Brazilian’s experience against Dollaway should have spurred him to improve his wrestling, so I expect him to do a better job of stuffing takedowns at UFC on Fuel TV 10.
Prediction: Sarafian wins via TKO.
Erick Silva vs. Jason High
High (16-3-0, 7 submissions) will have his hands full when he returns to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC on Fuel TV 10. Silva (14-3-0, 8 submissions) is coming of a decision loss to Jon Fitch (arguably one of the most entertaining MMA fights in 2012), so he’ll be highly motivated to redeem himself in front of his fellow Brazilians. Silva is the more-rounded fighter, and he also performed better against the one opponent they have in common, Charlie Brenneman. High was dominated by Brenneman at UFC Fight Night 21, while Silva manhandled Brenneman during their 2012 tilt, forcing the tap with a rear-naked choke during the first round.
Prediction: Silva wins via TKO.
Rony “Jason” Mariano Bezerra vs. Mike Wilkinson
Undefeated as a professional MMA fighter, Wilkinson (8-0-0, 4 submissions) will look to improve his record in the Ultimate Fighting Championship to 2-0 when he faces Bezerra (12-3-0, 7 submissions) at UFC on Fuel TV 10.
Jason is the more experienced fighter, and “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” season one winner will also get moral support from the Brazilian crowd.
Prediction: Jason wins via submission.
Leonardo Santos defeats William Macario (TUF Brazil 2 welterweight finals)
Raphael Assunção defeats Vaughan Lee
Ronny Markes defeats Derek Brunson
Godofredo Pepey defeats Felipe Arantes
Ildemar Alcantara defeats Leandro Silva
Rodrigo Damm defeats Mizuto Hirota
Caio Magalhaes defeats Karlos Vemola
Antonio Braga Neto defeats Anthony Smith
Previous fight card predictions (UFC 160): 8-4