Tracy Cortez (6-1) Vs Vanessa Melo (10-6)
To kick things off you have debuting Contender Series contract winner Tracy Cortez taking on the tough Vanessa Melo, who just got pieced apart for three rounds against Irene Aldana. Both of these fighters are taking this on late notice. Cortez is moving up to bantamweight for this fight so it will be interesting to see how the extra weight helps her. I don’t really think Melo has any advantage in this fight unless it’s her size, so I think Cortez wins this by decision and gets her UFC debut win.
Ariane Lipski (11-5) Vs Veronica Macedo (6-3-1)
This is a tough fight to call. Both fighters had some hype when coming into the UFC. Lipski has yet to win since joining the UFC after having a 9 fight win streak. Macedo had dropped 3 in a row before picking up a submission victory her last fight against Poliyana Viana. So, what makes this interesting is Lipski did lose to Molly McCann and Joanne Calderwood who are two pretty tough opponents. If she wants to win, this is her chance. Macedo doesn’t offer much in the striking department, so she is going to look to take down Lipski. If Lipski can defend the takedown we might see her first win in the octagon.
Renan Barao (34-8) Vs Douglas Andrade (25-3)
If you know MMA, and even if you only know UFC, you know Barao is way past his prime. The fact he is still fighting is so shocking to me. Especially against a killer in Douglas Andrade who hits like a truck and only has lost to Petr Yan, Rob Font, and Zubaira Tukhgov. Douglas Andrade is going to win this by knock out any round he wants.
Warlley Alves (13-3) Vs Randy Brown (11-3)
This fight being this low on the card is so wild to me. Warlley Alves is coming off a knock out finish of Sergio Moraes, while Randy Brown just knocked out Bryan Barberena. So, I’m sure everyone’s breakdowns are basically Randy Brown is going to come out looking good in the first round, and then Warlley is going to shoot for the takedown and look for the submission. Well, if everyone is thinking that I’m sure Randy Brown is too. I think Randy Brown has a smart game plan, he watches for the takedowns. Warlley Alves will get slept going in for a lazy takedown with no set up, that is my BOLD prediction. I could be wrong but I think we’ll see a new Randy Brown.
Francisco Trinaldo (23-7) Vs Bobby Green (24-9-1)
Both of these fighters are coming off decision losses where they both should have gotten the win. I expect both fighters to throw heavy leather and look for the finish honestly, especially Bobby Green, he has been screwed over way too many times. I honestly don’t know who wins and if I have to pick between an American in Brazil or a Brazilian in Brazil I’m gonna go with the Brazilian.
Ricardo Ramos (13-2) Vs Eduardo Garagorri (13-0)
Ricardo Ramos could still be a promising prospect. He was 3-0 before running into Said Nurmagomedov and he picked up the unanimous decision win his last fight against Journey Newsome. Garagorri is an undefeated fighter with 9 first round finishes, but if you take a closer look to the opponents he’s fought, only 2 have had more than 6 wins. Another thing is Garagorri was taken down by Humberto Badenay too much his last fight for my liking. If Ramos gets the take down he’s going to get the submission finish, not just lay and wiggle around like Bandenay.
Sergio Moraes (14-5-1) Vs James Krause (26-7)
This fight doesn’t make any type of sense, but hey we’re here anyway. In the featured prelim, you got James Krause returning off a long layoff where he finished Warlley Alves. Sergio Moraes just got slept by Warlley Alves and I see people saying he’s going to win this by submission. That is not going to happen. Krause is too smart and too technical to lose by submission. I’m not sure how he wins but James Krause will definitely get it done and walk away with his win streak still in tact.
Markus Perez (11-2) Vs Wellington Turman (15-3)
This fight being on the main card is really questionable to me, but the UFC doesn’t always make sense. So, Markus Perez is coming off a submission victory against Anthony Hernandez, while Wellington Turman is coming off a decision loss against the tough Karl Roberson. I like Perez here in this one. Turman wasn’t too impressive and Markus Perez is a wild striker and backs it up with impressive ground game.
Antonio Arroyo (9-2) Vs Andre Muniz (18-4)
Both of these fighters were on the Contender Series this past summer and both won by submission rather quickly. Arroyo was originally supposed to take on Kevin Holland, but he had to pull out. Then he was supposed to take on Alessio Di Chirico. Andre Muniz is taking the fight on like 2 weeks notice give or take. Even though Muniz is a late replacement, I thought he was really impressive on the Contender Series and for that, I have him winning.
Charles Oliveira (27-8) Vs Jared Gordon (15-3)
Let me start this breakdown off by saying PUT SOME RESPECT ON CHARLES OLIVEIRA’S NAME. This man has consistently got the win and in impressive fashion. He has had 5 finishes in a row and I think he deserved a ranked opponent two fights ago. What has Jared Gordon been doing since Oliveira’s impresive streak, you may ask? Jared Gordon went to decision with Dan Moret, and was knocked out the two fights before that. In Jared Gordon’s defense, he isn’t a bad fighter, he’s just not on Oliveira’s level. I like Gordon as a person, but in this fight he has a very slim chance of beating the Brazilian Oliveira.
Shogun Rua (26-11) Vs Paul Craig (12-4)
Well, well, well, Shogun has decided to return from another long layoff, and this time it’s against Paul “Bearjew” Craig. Shogun was originally slated to fight Sam Alvey before Alvey had to pull out because of injury. Now, he gets the Scottish Paul Craig. Paul Craig is coming off a dominating performance against Vinicius Moreira, where he got the finish in 1 round. Craig has won 2 out of his 6 other fights though, so I wouldn’t be comfortable picking him against a legend like Shogun Rua. Shogun has only lost one fight since 2014 and it was against the wild UFC veteran Anthony Smith. I got Shogun winning this one, but he’s getting up there in age, so if he was to lose I honestly wouldn’t be surprised.
Jan Blachowicz (24-8) Vs Jacare Souza (26-7)
Now for the main event of the evening, you got Jan Blachowicz taking on Jacare Souza in his light heavyweight debut. This fight is hard to call just because you never know what to expect when a middleweight moves up to light heayweight. If history tells us anything, it doesn’t go well. Ask Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman how it worked out for them. On the flip side, it has worked for Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos. So, Jan is known as this Polish power hard hitter, which he is I guess, but he has only had a knock out finish once dating back to 2014. Jacare isn’t one to get knocked out either, he’s only been knocked out by Robert Whittaker since 2008. I believe Jacare’s path to victory is some good old fashioned wrestling. If he can take down Jan and keep him down, I see him winning by TKO or Sub. Personally, I think Jan continues his reign of terror and gets the knock out win here, but there is definitely a path to victory for Jacare Souza.