Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (21-5) vs. CB “The Doberman” Dollaway (16-6)
Former champion against young up-and-comer is the theme of these final fights of the night, where Machida ranked #4 in the division, is taking on a formidable young gun in the division, Dollaway ranked at #10.
A David versus Goliath storyline, you know if Goliath devoured David while an army of giants watching yelled enthusiastically. A huge opportunity for Dollaway to fight such an elite and seasoned veteran, but also an opportunity for Machida to take out a young top ranked division opponent that is not in his class.
What will decide this bout is Machida’s speed and ability to finish on the feet. Expect a knockout by the early stages of the second round, kick to the body connecting with the head of Dollaway as takedown attempt is failed.
Renan “The Baron” Barao (34-2-0, 1 NC) vs. Mitch Gagnon (12-2)
This matchup is even more lopsided even though their rankings aren’t too drastically separated, Barao being ranked as the #1 contender, and Gagnon fighting to make top ten ranked at #14. Former champ trying to redeem himself in front of his home country, after being dismantled by current change TJ Dillashaw, which came as a huge surprise to the MMA community with how dominant he has been over the years.
Gagnon is a hungry fighter trying to make a name for himself but this matchup is set for him to lose, and not only lose but to be blown away. He is extremely tough and has some tools to make this fight interesting, if he stays in the clinch and capitalizes on Barao’s anxiousness to get back to the belt.
Barao can’t afford to be upset once more and more so in front of the passionate Brazilian fans. Look for Barao to rough up Gagnon early in the first round and take his back, once there he will deliver a rear naked choke smiling up at the crowd.
Antonio “Cara de Sapato” Carlos Junior (5-0) vs. Patrick “Durkin” Cummins (6-1)
This will be a battle of styles, Junior will be vying for a finish while Cummins while try to wear out his opponent. Junior has heavy hands but will be looking to take this fight to the ground to release some submission attempts. Cummins wants no part of that so he will need to display his qualities — being his mental toughness, cardio, and strength.
Look for an upset to the Brazilian public with Cummins edging out a hard fought split decision.
Elias “Xuxu” Silverio (11-0) vs. Rashid “Goratz” Magomedov (17-1)
This may be the stand up war on the card, with Silverio wanting to display his array of kicks and use of his knees to gain a knockout, on the other side Magomedov will be working his counter strikes to try to pick his opponent apart.
This fight should stay on the feet all the way through. Silverio’s kicks will be the deciding factor in this unanimous decision.
Erick Silva (16-5-0, 1 NC) vs. Mike “Biggie” Rhodes (6-3)
Silva can be one of the most explosive and dangerous fighters in the game but his talent hasnt stayed consistent with his record, making losing after a big win a habit. He has reached a territory where fight fans know they will see a good fight even if he loses, but if he wants to reach the next level he needs to rack up wins.
Young up and comer Rhodes is faced against one of the UFC’s long time future stars in the making, will this be the fight to put him on the map?
Silva’s record indicates it’s time for a win, and his explosiveness will be too much for the well rounded Rhodes to handle.
Silva wins by technical knockout in the third round to put him back in the conversation of potential contenders.
Daniel Sarafian (9-5) vs. Antonio “Junior Alpha” dos Santos (6-1)
Sarafian’s explosive well rounded game against dos Santos’ speed and power. Expect a quick finish by Sarafian to set the tone for the crowd and MMA fans watching around the world.