UFC Fight Night Repercussions: Who's Next for the Headliners?

This Sunday in Porto Alegre, Brazil the UFC brings us a card sure to be filled with action!  Here are my thoughts on the main card, highlighted by Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva vs Former Champion, and submission specialist Frank Mir, and what is sure to be a fast-paced, action-packed brawl with Explosive striker Edson Barboza set to face heavy hitter Michael Johnson. Let's start from with the opening fight.

UFC Fight Night Bigfoot vs Mir

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Sean Strickland

Vegas has Sean Strickland as a slight favorite this Saturday and has somewhat good reason to. The 15-0 fighter nicknamed "Tarzan" is unbeaten as a pro and 2-0 in the UFC with a first round submission victory over Bubba Mcdaniel and a split decision win over Luke Barnatt.

His opponent is scrappy striker, 20-2 Santiago Ponzinibbio. Nicknamed "Gentle Boa" Ponzinibbio has split his only two UFC fights. After losing a unanimous decision to Ryan LaFlare in his UFC debut, "Gentle Boa" rebounded quite nicely with a first round TKO victory over Wendell Oliveira.

My Prediction? 

I'm siding with the favorite, Sean Strickland, in this one. Tarzan by Second Round submission.

#8 Iuri Alacantara vs Frankie Saenz

The biggest favorite on the card according, Iuri Alacantara is ranked as the number eight bantamweight fighter in the world. After losing a unanimous decision to superstar, Urijah Faber in August of 2013 

Alacantara has reeled off three straight wins inside the octagon, propelling him into the top 10 bantamweight rankings.

His opponent Frankie Saenz is looking for a step up in competition after a successful UFC debut against Nolan Ticman.

My Prediction?

Frankie Saenz may have bitten off a little more than he can chew. I'm picking Iuri Alacantara; TKO in round 2.

#14 Rustem Khabilov vs Adriano Martins

It seems like Dagestan, Russia never runs out of extremely talented wrestlers to throw at the UFC. Rustem Khabilov ran through everyone he faced until he ran into former champion Benson Henderson to whom he fell victim to in his last octagon appearance via rear naked choke in the fourth round.

He squares off against Adriano Martins. Martins has looked impressive so far in his UFC career, going 3-1 with his only blemish being a first round Knockout at the hands of Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (who faces another wrestling superstar out of Dagestan, Russia later this year).

My Prediction? 

Martins strongest weapon is his Jiu-jitsu. Meaning; Khabilov's ultra-aggressive style of wrestling may play right into the hands of Martins. Nonetheless, expect a steady diet of slams and smothering Sunday night, as Rustem Khabilov should take home the W via unanimous decision.

Cezar Ferreira vs Sam Alvey

Cezar Ferrera is one of the heavier favorites on the card. I'm guessing mainly because of his UFC resume. Ferreira is 3-1 with his only loss belonging to The Ultimate Fighter finalist CB Dolloway.

Sam "Smile'N" Alvey doesn't quite have the resume Ferreira does; however, he is a long, talented and well-rounded fighter that is always gonna bring a "fight of the night" mentality.

My Prediction? 

I'm going with the upset in this one. Sam "Smile'N" Alvey, with a 3rd round TKO victory.

#6 Edson Barboza vs #12 Michael Johnson

A matchup of two top-ranked lightweights that love to strike. This is set to be fight of the night without a doubt. Explosive striker Edson Barboza is best known for winning Knockout of the year in 2012 with a wicked spinning heel kick against Terry Etim. That move is what really catapulted his career. He could now be on the cusp of a title shot if he can get past heavy handed Michael Johnson.

Johnson is a Former Finalist on The Ultimate Fighter who has since gone on to have more success than the man who defeated him. He's rolled off three straight wins over UFC veterans, Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, and Melvin Guillard launching him to #12 in the lightweight division.

My Prediction? 

Get the popcorn ready. This is a must see fight! Both fighters love to stand and bang. I'm predicting Edson Barboza to win this "fight of the night" slugfest by split decision.

#8 Antonio Silva vs #13 Frank Mir

And finally we've reached the main event of the evening, another battle of top-ranked fighters, this time in the heavyweight division. Bigfoot Silva vs Frank Mir. A true UFC veteran; Frank Mir has been in the company since UFC 34 way back in 2001. That's over a decade in the UFC. As you may expect, Mir has had his ups and downs throughout his career, from recovering from a near fatal motorcycle accident to becoming the former 2-time champion that he is. However; he has never experienced a low such as the one he is currently in. Mir has lost 4 straight fights with his last win coming in 2011 against aging Minotauro Nogueira. He is always facing one of the most dangerous men the whole division in Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

Silva is also experiencing a low in his career with having no wins in his last 3 fights (1 being a draw, the other 2, first-round KOs). However, one cannot ignore the skill Silva possesses along with his enormous size. Silva holds KO/TKO wins over, Travis Browne, Allistair Overeem, and the legendary Fedor Emelianenko.

My Prediction? 

While both men seem to be equal on the feet, the technical advantage going to Mir, the power to Silva, Mir would seem to have the advantage on the ground. Even at his advanced age he is still the most feared submission fighter in the heavyweight division. Although, Mir has struggled with Large opponents on top of him in the past. (Brock Lensar). I expect this to look similar to Silva's Strikeforce fight with Fedor. Somewhat even on the feet with bigfoot closing the distance and finishing Mir on the ground. 2nd round TKO Victory for Bigfoot Silva.

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