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Preview for UFC on FX 7

By: Daniel Kendrick

Fresh off of the Strikeforce finale, the new year acceleration doesn’t let up. Yet another loaded fight card comes our way with another free installment on FX, courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Get the charcoal loaded, the grill fired up, & the beers on ice. Here we go fight fans!
Facebook Prelim
Lightweight
Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo (11-2-0) vs. C.J. Keith (8-1-0)
The freebees start off in the lightweight division on Facebook between TUF Brasil alumnist, Francisco Trinaldo and U.S. Army vet, C.J. Keith. Both men have their fair share of KO victories with Trinaldo being the only one with submission wins to his credit, as well. Keith will need to likely rely on his high school wrestling pedigree to stave off the more formidable striking of Trinaldo while simeoultaneously using that same wrestling to stuff the submission attempts should the fight find it’s way to the mat. As aforementioned, Keith also isn’t a stranger to putting opponents away so don’t be surprised if Trinaldo ends up needing some smelling salt assistance to regain consciousnous.
Prediction: Trinaldo by 2nd round KO.
Fuel Prelims
Light Heavyweight
Wagner “Caldeirao” Prado (8-1-0, 1NC) vs. Ildemar “Marajo” Alcantara (17-5-0)
Big boys bang it out as the card shifts from Facebook to Fuel. Team Nogueira protege, Wagner Prado goes heads up with #1 Brazilian light heavyweight, Ildemar Alcantara. Prado is trying to get back to the familiar winning side coming off of his loss to Phil Davis. A tough task considering the highly regarded opponent he’s going to be up against. With 10 wins coming by way of KO and 5 by submission, Alcantara is definitely the complete package. Fighting on the biggest stage of the sport could end up being the “straw that broke the camel’s back” in this one. Prado has been on this platform for a short while longer so control of nerves is definitely going to give him an edge in composure while overall experience and skill diversity leans in favor of Alcantara.
Prediction: Alcantara by UD
Bantamweight
Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara (26-4-0) vs. Pedro Nobre (14-1-2)
From big boys throwing big bombs, we travel down a few notches to the fast and furious bantamweight division. Adding another set of brothers to the UFC roster, younger brother of same card contestant, Ildemar Alcantara, Yuri Alcantara faces off against Brazilian Top Team product, Pedro Nobre. Nicknamed for the style of his homeland and BJJ black belt, Alcantara shares a diverse winning with his brother in that 10 of his wins come via KO with 12 happening by submission. Meanwhile, his adversary trains under the tutelage of MMA legend, Murilo Bustamante. This is likely to be very evenly matched both standing and on the ground so the very likelihood is that this is going to be fast paced and action packed through all 3 rounds.
Prediction: Alcantara by UD
Lightweight
Edson “Junior” Barboza (10-1-0) vs. Lucas “Mineiro” Martins (11-0-0)
The accelerator doesn’t come off of the floor anytime soon as we move it along to the ever entertaining and loaded lightweight division. Top KO of 2012 recipient, Edson Barboza looks to put a blemish on Lucas Martins undefeated record. A highly decorated Muay Thai practitioner, Barboza is coming off of the lone defeat in his MMA career against Jamie Varner so the motivation factor should be very high and being as that 10 of his wins have been first round finishes, he’ll quite possibly come out hell-on-wheels from the opening bell. With 6 first round finishes and 8 KO’s altogether, Martins is no stranger to putting on a striking display, but this time a ground battle may be in his best interest against a striker of Barboza’s pedigree.
Prediction: Barboza by 3rd round KO/TKO
Featherweight
Diego “The Gun” Nunes (18-3-0) vs. Nick “The Carny” Lentz (24-5-2, 1NC)
Not to be outpaced, the featherweights take over with Black House product, Diego Nunes and former state champion wrestler, Nick Lentz. More distinct in terms of striking versus grappling than its preview predecessors, Nunes has a clear edge in striking while Lentz should be best served by closing the
distance and grinding Nunes down on the mat. Both men have KO finishes and submissions to their credit, but having former training partners like division champion, Jose Aldo and an amateur muay thai background, Nunes will most surely exercise his striking advantage to stop the former Minnesota University wrestler. Going to the ground is no guarantee for Lentz, either since you’d be hardpressed to find a Brazilian mixed
martial artist who isn’t versed in the submission game.
Prediction: Nunes by 1st round KO/TKO
Middleweight
Ronny Markes (13-1-0) vs. Andrew Craig (8-0-0)
Up and coming middleweights put impressive records on the line next. Brazilian standout Ronny Markes steps in against Houston, TX native, Andrew Craig. Markes has the deeper resume of experienced opponents including a non-UFC decision win over former WEC middleweight champion, Paulo Filho. Markes is a grinder who’s gone straight from college to a fighting career which has already landed him a spot on the sports biggest stage so he definitely brings a great deal of grittiness into the cage, but it might not be enough to keep his 0 in tact against a fighter with the background and training regiment of Markes.
Prediction: Markes by 2nd round submission
Featherweight
Godofredo Pepo (9-1-0) vs. Milton “Milthino” Vieira (13-7-2)
A battle of Brazilian prospects comprises the next bout. TUF Brazil finalist, Godofredo Pepo takes on Pride and Strikeforce veteran, Milton Vieira in his UFC debut. Pepo, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, has been training with Shogun’s coach, Andre Dida, in preperation for his more experienced foe, which will likely bolster his striking confidence. However, with 7 of his wins coming by submission, Pepo’s fallback will probably be to take the fight to the mat should he get in over his head in a striking exchange. Vieira will have an edge in experience, of course, having competed for other past giants of MMA.
Prediction: Vieira by UD
Main Card
Lightweight
Thiago Tavares (21-4-1) vs. Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (18-0-0)
BJJ vs. sambo is how the main card kicks off. Perennial contender, Thiago Tavares goes to work in front of the homecrowd against combat sambo specialist and undefeated, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Matching grappling techniques from their respective disciplines should make this interesting as well as a close equivalency in the striking department. Both have more than their fair share of finishes by both KO and submission so don’t be surprised if it’s decided by the scorecards, but it’ll be entertaining for all 3 rounds until it gets there.
Nurmagomedov by UD
Heavyweight
Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (13-6-0) vs. Ben Rothwell (32-8-0)
The big boys are next to duke it out when it goes down between UFC vets, Gabriel Gonzaga and Ben Rothwell. An undoubtable ground edge will be in favor of “Napao,” but the safe bet will be on these two trying to put the other away with some heavyweight bombs. Though having the aforementioned ground advantage, Rothwell has a world of experience and is proficient at finding his way back to his feet if put on his back. Having both come off wins, each man will also ride a big wave of confidence into the cage so don’t expect either to be tentative.
Prediction: Gonzaga by 3rd round KO/TKO
Middleweight
Daniel Sarafian (8-2-0) vs. C.B. “The Doberman” Dolloway (13-5-0)
The precursor to the main event is a battle of high level submission artist vs. high level wrestler. BJJ blackbelt, Daniel Sarafian brings his submission pedigree against the prestigious Arizona State background of C.B. Dolloway. Neither man is what you’d call a striking virtuoso so the likely end result will be determined on the ground. If Dolloway can use his wrestling to smother and stuff the submission attempts of Sarafian, he has scored TKO victories before and could possibly manifest another with some vicious ground ‘n’ pound. Stout submission games are always a wildcard so if the fight plays out according to how it looks on paper, Sarafian has a very good chance of catching a limb and taking it home with him.
Prediction: Dolloway by UD
Main Event
Middleweight
Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (21-10-0) vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping (24-4-0)
Time for the showstopper and it’s always juicy when Michael Bisping is involved. Pre-fight trash talk is as much a part of Bisping’s repetoire as his actual fight training preperation and this one is no different. Bisping’s comments might come back to burn him since his opponent is none other than a UFC legend renowned for his KO ability. Vitor Belfort has been using his rapid fire power punches to put very tough men to sleep since he was barely over the age of a minor. Hence the nickname, “Phenom.” Bisping’s trash talk may have written a check his butt can’t cash since it may light a fire under the frequent KO production that is Vitor Belfort. On the other hand, if Bisping can weather the early storm, history has shown that Belfort has a tendency to fade in the latter half of a fight. Bisping will need to once again expose that shortcoming by weathering the early storm that will certainly come at him and take it beyond the second round where Belfort has often shown that he loses starch. In other words, the early rounds will favor Belfort while the longer it goes, the more it’ll favor “The Count.”
Prediction: Belfort by 2nd round KO/TKO
The first prelim will be shown via livestream on the official Facebook page of the UFC. The following three hours of prelims can be viewed on Fuel TV through
your local cable/satellite provider. The four main card bouts will be featured on FX and FOX Deportes.

 

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