Main Card (PPV – 10 p.m. ET)
• Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo (C) vs Chad Mendes
Dwayne Wolff: The quick version is I think that Aldo is still good enough to win this fight. Mendes has looked great but has not faced anybody like Aldo in that stretch. If Mendes can land a clean righthand he has the power to end the fight. Instead I like Aldo to take this one via a 4th round TKO.
Dave Reno: Aldo’s current run at featherweight will only become more important over time. It ends tomorrow night in Rio. It’s the Duane “Bang” factor that has put Mendes over the top. Nova Uniao is just going to have to take a back seat to Team Alpha Male for the time being. They’ll be back though. Mendes via TKO late.
• Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis
Wolff: This is the fight that will tell unless who has a chance to get back on the path to the title. It is a horrible matchup for Davis who does not do well against fighters he cannot takedown and he will struggle to get Teixeira down. Look for the power of Teixeira to win out in this one. Teixeira via a 3 Round UD.
Reno: This is the perfect come back fight for Teixeira following the loss against Jones for the strap. Davis can keep his distance but he cannot outscore Glover in the striking game like he did against Machida. Teixeira via UD.
• Fabio Maldonado vs. Hans Stringer
Wolff: After Maldonado’s failed heavyweight experiment he returns to light heavyweight. It was not a complete failure as we found out definitively that a big heavyweight hits much harder than a light heavyweight. Stringer does not hit as hard and this is exactly the type of fight Maldonado wins. He will absorb Stringer’s early punishment and take the fight on sheer volume of punches. Maldonado via 3rd round TKO.
Reno: Hans…Bubby, this is not going to be a good night. Maldonado via TKO.
• Darren Elkins vs. Lucas Martins
Wolff: I like Martins to use his power in this one to do enough damage to Elkins to take a three round UD.
Reno: Elkins’ style makes for an exciting night but he does tend to leave himself open from time to time. Martins will take full advantage and give the home crowd something to cheer for with a stunning TKO finish.
• Carlos Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush
Wolff: I like Ferreia with his high level of grappling to take this one via a second round submission.
Reno: Ferreira is one of the best Brazilians to enter the UFC in 2014. Look for him to put an exclamation point on a storybook year by submitting Dariush in the 1st round.
Preliminary Card (FS1 – 8 p.m. ET)
• William Macario vs. Neil Magny
Wolff: Look for Magny to use his length and reach to get the TKO win in the third round.
Reno: The rangy Magny looks impressive early but Macario pulls off the upset.
• Yan Cabral vs. Naoyuki Kotani
Wolff: It will be Cabral by relentless submissions in the first round.
Reno: Kotani endures Cabral’s initial onslaught en route to a comeback submission victory.
• Scott Jorgensen vs. Wilson Reis
Wolff: This will be a FOTN contender with Reis taking a hard-fought three round UD.
Reno: Scotty “Young Guns” probably needs a win here to save his job. Looks like he’s on his way to fighting for the title soon – somewhere outside of the UFC. Reis via submission. Scotty will put it all on the line.
• Felipe Arantes vs. Andre Fili
Wolff: The best nickname in the game today Touchy Fili bounces back with a TKO finish in the second round.
Reno: After being derailed by Holloway at UFC 172, the “Touchy” Fili hype train will be on the tracks following a dominant victory in Brazil.
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (7 p.m. ET)
• Gilbert Burns vs. Christos Giagos
Wolff: It will be Burns who stays perfect with the UD win.
Reno: Burns will light it up here back at lightweight.
• Fabricio Camoes vs. Tony Martin
Wolff: Going with Camoes with a submission in the first round. It is a great matchup for him.
Reno: Camoes wins this fights he’s supposed to win and this is one of them. Look for him to start things off right with a submission.
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