Another Brazilian card is in the books and this one despite a lack of fanfare and intriguing match ups beforehand will go down in this history books. UFC on Fuel TV 10 went down from Fortaleza, Brazil this weekend and the event set a UFC record of the highest number of submission finishes in a single event. Of the twelve bouts on the card, a whopping eight ended with someone tapping out, the other four featured two decisions and two knockouts.
Featherweight Bout: Rony Mariano Bezerra defeated Mike Wilkinson via Technical Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:24 of Round One
Like most of the fights on the main card, this bout didn’t last very long. Many people complained that this card featured a number of showcase fights for Brazilian fighters, against less than optimal competition. Rony Jason proved them right in this opening bout. Wilkinson immediately shot for a takedown, but Jason immediately threw his legs up and locked in a triangle choke and earned a quick technical submission when Wilkinson lost consciousness.
What’s next for Bezerra? He’s been brought along slowly thus far, but it’s likely that he gets a pretty serious step up in competition for his next fight. I don’t expect they throw him in with a top contender yet, but a top fifteen fighter is surely in the cards. Nik Lentz would be an exciting styles clash for Bezerra, so would Dennis Bermudez
What’s next for Wilkinson? He was previously undefeated in professional competition heading into this fight, but he was soundly dispatched by Jason. He’s going to take a step backwards after this loss, but the UFC probably will keep him around for their next trip to England or Europe for an undercard bout. Godofredo Castro got stopped on the undercard and is in a similar funk after his time on TUF, that fight probably makes sense.
Middleweight Bout: Daniel Sarafian defeated Eddie Mendez via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) at 2:20 of Round One
After a fairly uneventful first thirty seconds or so, Sarafian immediately found a way to take this bout to the ground. After landing a trip takedown he rushed Mendez on the ground and quickly reversed Mendez’s half-guard into an arm triangle choke. It was impressive to watch Sarafian work as he immediately sunk the choke in deep and forced a tap out relatively quickly.
What’s next for Sarafian? Many people have been calling for this fight for a while, but Sarafian should be fighting Cezar ‘Mutante’ Ferreira. An injury forced Sarafian to withdraw from the finals of the first season of TUF and allowed Ferreira to win, provided he wins his next bout, these two should definitely be in a featured match on a Brazilian card.
What’s next for Mendez? Anthony Smith lost a preliminary card bout to Antonio Braga Neto on this same card. They are both equally unproved in the UFC and could easily fight in a loser leaves the UFC type of match up.
Welterweight Bout: Erick Silva defeated Jason High via Submission (Triangle/Arm Bar) at 1:11 of Round One
Erick Silva apparently learned his lesson after his fight with Jon Fitch, the easiest way to beat a wrestler is definitely to submit him within the first minute or so. Silva showed very impressive grappling as he stopped a takedown, swung onto High’s back before transitioning to the triangle/arm bar combination. Just an impressive showing of Jiu Jitsu from Silva.
What’s next for Silva? He’s lost a bit of the luster as an elite prospect, but he’s still very young and very talented, which means his ceiling potential is incredibly high. The UFC should continue to build him slowly, but he needs a step up in completion. Silva was originally scheduled to fight British prospect John ‘Hitman’ Hathaway on this card, before an injury forced Hathaway to pull out. That fight still makes plenty of sense, so the UFC should pursue it.
What’s next for High? He’s well traveled but he didn’t impress during his second chance in the UFC. Still, he took the fight on late notice in hostile territory, so the UFC will give him another shot. Recent Strikeforce import Bobby Voelker could be a suitable dance partner for High. So too could Nah-Shon Burrell another recent Strikeforce import.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Thiago Silva defeated Rafael Cavalcante via KO (Punches) at 4:29 of Round One
This was one was just four and a half minutes packed with violence and flying fists. I often tell you guys when a fight is worth watching and not just reading about, this one is one of those fights. It won the Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night bonuses all in one for a reason. Check it out.
What’s next for Silva? Provided his piss test comes back clean, this is definitely going to push him back up the Light Heavyweight rankings slightly. There are two paths the UFC could go with here. They could throw Silva back against a tough match up against a wrestler, who he has struggled against to see how he does, that opens Ryan Bader as a suitable opponent. The other option is to keep putting him against sluggers to produce fun, exciting fights. If that’s the case, Jimi Manuwa or Wanderlei Silva would make sense.
What’s next for Cavalcante? He’s going to take a pretty bad drop after this loss, especially coming off the heels of a positive drug test in his last bout. He’s still a top slugger who is willing to brawl and will produce exciting fights, which means he’s probably safe. James Te Huna needs a rebound opponent, might as well be Cavalcante.
TUF: Brazil 2 Welterweight Finale Bout: Leonardo Santos defeated William Macario via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) at 4:43 of Round Two
Santos started a bit slowly in this one, as he was unable to work the fight to the floor during the early part of the match. Once he finally got to the ground, it was his opponent who held the advantage, delivering strong ground and pound. In the second however, Santos enjoyed far more success. Santos scored a nice trip in the later half of the second and transitioned beautifully into a full mount. From there it was a textbook Arm-Triangle choke that sealed the deal.
What’s next for Santos? He’s talked about dropping to 155 pounds, but I think the UFC will likely match him up with the man he replaced in the finals of the tournament; Santiago Ponzinibbio. If they let him drop to 155 pounds before that fight there are a number of American TUF veterans for him to face. Fighters like Mike Ricci or Michael Chiesa would be good choices.
What’s next for Macario? The UFC will probably keep him around as filler for their many return trips to Brazil. He’ll be brought along slowly and is probably going to be given a favorable match up in his next fight. Quinn Mulhern from Strikeforce or Brad Scott from TUF: The Smashes would be decent candidates.
Heavyweight Bout: Fabricio Werdum defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via Submission (Armbar) at 2:41 of Round Two
Many people thought that Werdum’s improvements in the stand up would help lead him to victory, myself included. It turned out that Werdum had other plans. He dominated almost the entirety of the fight, whether the action was on the feet or on the mat. In the second round Werdum scrambled excellently working to free himself from a guillotine he snatched an armbar and forced Nogueira to submit.
What’s next for Nogueira? Retirement is certainly going to be tossed around, and why not? His performance wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring. But even heading into the fight he said he had no desire to call it quits yet. Strangely there are a number of more intriguing bouts for Nogueira coming off of a loss than Werdum who won. He could fight Mark Hunt, Stefan Struve, Antonio Silva or even Matt Mitrione.
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