Just off his UFC middleweight title defeat, Lyoto Machida looks to get back on track against the tenth ranked C.B. Dollaway in his native country in Brazil. Renan Barao will also be making his return to the octagon for the first time since losing his title, facing against the young and rising Mitch Gagnon. Erick Silva and Patrick Cummins will also be fighting on the main card in Barueri, Brazil. Prelims kick off on Fight Pass at 7 pm EST, heading to FOX Sports 1 at 8 pm EST, and staying there for the main card that starts at 10 pm EST. This will be the last UFC event until the Jones vs. Cormier bout on January 3rd, so enjoy it and happy holidays!
#4 Lyoto Machida (21-5) vs. #10 C.B. Dollaway (16-6) Middleweight Bout – Machida has to get over his lackluster starts in order to regain title contention status. The slow start is what killed him in the UFC title fight against Chris Weidman, also in other past losses. “The Dragon” has fought the who’s who in two divisions, and is a former champion; C.B. Dollaway’s biggest win to date was over UFC castaway, Francis Carmont. Terms on quality of competition, experience, and overall ability; this should be a gift wrapped victory for Lyoto Machida to get him back on track in the middleweight division. C.B. Dollaway is tough outing though, and could pressure Machida early on in the fight. Do not expect Dollaway to pull a rabbit out of a hat here, Machida takes him out within five rounds. Lyoto Machida via Technical Knockout.
#1 Renan Barao (34-2) vs. #14 Mitch Gagnon (12-2) Bantamweight Bout – This is quite the step up for Mitch Gagnon, no matter the circumstances Barao has been through this last year. A 34 fight win streak, and three consecutive title defenses for the former champion were no fluke, during his run Barao was considered one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, let alone the UFC. Gagnon has become quite the prospect, and provides an aggressive style that has become very appealing to the audience. Once again though, this is an opponent whom does not own a victory over anyone inside the top 15 in the bantamweight division. There is a ton of potential for the young Canadian, but Barao is just too much for the kid at this moment in his career. Renan Barao via Technical Knockout.
Antonio Carlos Junior (5-0) vs. Patrick Cummins (6-1) Light Heavyweight Bout – An intriguing UFC bout between the two up and comers in the light heavyweight division, Cummins provides a strong wrestling base with some heavy hands to go along with it. Antonio Carlos Junior on the other hand, is a polished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner that has really turned around his striking game since being on the “Ultimate Fighter” show. If Cummins is able to negate the submissions of Carlos Junior , he should be able to control where this fight goes. He has the superior athleticism, and Brazilian does not boast a very strong take down defense. Patrick Cummins via Unanimous Decision.
Elias Silverio (11-0) vs. Rashid Magomedov (17-1) Lightweight Bout – The common theme on this card should be stapled as the “prospect” card, as these two once again fit the bill. Magomedov has racked up 10 wins in a row, while Elias Siverio has his own 11 fight win streak while holding an undefeated record. The thing about these Russians though are, they are just tough as nails and excellent wrestlers. With that comes a dangerous ground game against a Brazilian, so it becomes a tic or tac situation inside the cage. This one will be one to watch, just do not expect it to be full of fireworks when Magomedov continuously takes him down. Rashid Magomedov via Unanimous Decision.
Erick Silva (16-5) vs. Mike Rhodes (6-3) Welterweight Bout – Only if Erick Silva could actually last past the first two minutes of the first round, then the UFC may have something there. Silva is a spark plug within minutes of the opening frame, leaving his energy spent trying to throw everything in every single strike he attempts. If Rhodes can ride the furious wave in the early going, he could potentially out point and wear out an already drained Erick Silva through three rounds. Silva connects though, this fight is practically over, and he usually finds a home for a strike in the first round. Erick Silva via Technical Knockout.
Daniel Sarafian (9-5) vs. Antonio dos Santos (6-1) – Middleweight Bout – Sarafian has been wildly inconsistent in his UFC career, and could be a loss away from losing his spot on the roster all together. Antonio dos Santos is a new comer from Jungle Fight and has finished his last three contests via Technical Knockout. The book is out on dos Santos and how well he will perform in his debut, Sarafian is a power puncher, and likes to load up on his take downs. The inconsistency has been a killer for Daniel Sarafian, and it is hard to predict a positive outcome on Saturday night. Antonio dos Santos via Technical Knockout.
In other notable fights, ranked featherweight Darren Elkins takes on Barao’s teammate, Hacran Dias. Tom Niinimaki also comes in as a late replacement to tussle with Renato Moicano. For the following UFC Fight Night full results, please come back and visit the MMA Spotlight.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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