UFC Fight Night 38 takes place in Brazil on Sunday evening and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson
We know pretty much what to expect from these two heavy-handed light-heavyweight warriors after their last encounter which saw them both testing their chins to the limit in a five round slug-fest.
Both were grizzled veterans in 2011, and the couple of years since haven’t been all that kind to them, with ‘Shogun’ going 2-2, while ‘Hendo’ slumped to three straight defeats, so heading into this fight perhaps the big decider will be who has the most left in the tank at this stage in their careers.
Both men have declined somewhat, but Henderson in particular has looked to be slowing down and was even TKO’d for the first time in his career last time out by Vitor Belfort. Hardly surprising given that he’s now 43 years-old, and while injuries and numerous wars have also taken their toll on Rua, there seems to be more of a spark left in him and I think he’ll stop Henderson this time around.
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua to win by TKO in Rd3.
Cezar Ferreira vs. CB Dollaway
I must confess to never being a big believer in Dollaway who’s got an OK skill-set, but has never really shone in any particular area enough to rise above mid-level mediocrity.
It remains to be seen how far ‘Mutante’ can go – more than likely not right to the top, but I think he can best Dollaway by demonstrating superior striking and a higher overall tempo while limiting Dollaway’s opportunities to take him down, resulting in a late stoppage win.
Cezar Ferreira to win by TKO in Rd3.
Leonardo Santos vs. Norman Parke
Parke is the more well-rounded fighter of the two here, being able to push a good pace, with decent striking and a solid ground game.
Santos on the other hand is more of a specialist, being at his best on the mat with submissions, but I think he’ll struggle to get Parke down and will start to wilt under Parke’s pressure in the later rounds.
Norman Park to win by decision.
Fabio Maldonado vs. Gian Villante
I’m somewhat tempted to pick Maldonado here as I think in a straight-up striking affair he can get the better of Villante with his accurate punches from inside the pocket to the body and head, though his tendency to absorb a lot of punches in return is a concern.
However, the ace up Villante’s sleeve is his wrestling and if he’s smart enough not to just get sucked into a toe-to-toe stand-off I think he can nullify Maldonado on the mat and emerge with a decision victory.
Gian Villante to win by decision.
Michel Prazeres vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Prazeres will be eager to get this fight to the ground where he does his best work, but he might find that easier said than done against Taisumov who’s better on the feet and will enjoy a significant reach advantage.
That’ll help him keep the Brazilian at bay with strikes from range and and take this one to the scorecards.
Mairbeck Taisumov to win by decision.
Rony Jason vs. Steven Siler
Siler is a tough customer who’s often fun to watch, but I think he’ll have problems here against ‘Jason’ who’s crafty enough on the mat be able to nullify his submission threat.
While Siler is good offensively in that regard, he’s vulnerable defensively and I think the Brazilian will find a way to tap him out.
Rony ‘Jason’ to win by submission in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Diego Brandao vs. Will Chope
Ronny Markes vs. Thiago Santos
Jussier Formiga vs. Scott Jorgensen
Thiago Perpetuo vs. Kenny Robertson
Noad Lahat vs. Godofredo Pepey
Hans Stringer vs. Francimar Barroso