Saturday approaches, and with it comes another UFC installment – this one dubbed UFC Fight Night 36: Machida vs. Mousasi and coming at us from Brazil by way of UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1. What’s in store for those who tune in? Well, besides the promise of violence and a Brazilian crowd chanting about death, there should be some title implications involved with the main event and possibly the co-main event. If that alone doesn’t seal the deal for you, then here’s a closer look at UFC Fight Night 36’s cast of characters.
Lyoto Machida - Machida briefly wore the belt at light-heavyweight, and was long considered one of the most dangerous in that division. But now the middleweight class is where he hangs his hat, and if his destruction of Mark Munoz is of any indication, it’s a weight class that he’s well-suited for. If he gets past Mousasi, consider him on the shortlist for 185-pound title contention.
Gegard Mousasi – Mousasi earned championship belts in Strikeforce and DREAM, and did so with the kind of striking that gives opponents nightmares. When he takes on Machida in Saturday night’s main event, the chances of the two engaging in a “hugfest” are virtually slim to none.
Erick Silva – He ate a Hail Mary knockout punch in his last UFC outing, but other than that and a bout where Jon Fitch dry-humped him for three rounds, Silva has been a beast in the Octagon, visiting sudden and overwhelming violence upon opponents. At UFC Fight Night 36 he gets to take on a Pancrase champ, and this one could get bloody.
Charles Oliveira – Oliveira only loses to the Frankie Edgars, Cub Swansons, Donald Cerrones and Jim Millers of the world (i.e., the absolute elite), and his opponent at UFC Fight Night 36 is TUF washout Andy Ogle, who probably can’t even spell the word “elite”. Oliveira is going to shine in this one, and when he shines, it’s “must see” TV.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza – He was a champ in Strikeforce, and since losing that belt to Luke Rockhold, has stayed undefeated in his five Strikeforce/UFC bouts since – a feat that’s especially impressive because Jacare took out Yushin Okami in his last fight and sent the Japanese fighter to the World Series of Fighting organization. On Saturday the Brazilian will face Francis Carmont, so expect Jacare to chew the Frenchman up and spit him out.
Felipe Arantes - He may have had some ups and downs in the Octagon, but when Arantes is “on”, he’s one deadly dude. Expertly blending Muay Thai with jiu-jitsu, the Sao Paolo native is a threat to anyone in the featherweight division, and if he can string together some wins, could make a run at the title.