The UFC returns on Saturday, May 18 after a three-week break from action and airs live again in three parts with the main draw occurring on FX. The event, which takes place in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil at Arena Jaragua features the return of “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort and his battle with former Strikeforce middleweight king Luke Rockhold. The co-main event features another ex-Strikeforce middleweight champ as Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza takes on late replacement Chris Camozzi.
Before the main event goes down on FX, preliminary action will broadcast live on both Facebook and FUEL TV, respectively. The fights, to no surprise, will cater to the hosting country and spotlight a wealth of Brazilian talent. In case you have trouble recognizing some of the names, Caged Insider was nice enough to offer you a preview of the upcoming Brazilian-heavy card and some predictions to go with it.
The first fight of the night belongs to two men coming off defeats in their previous bouts. Larsen, an “Ultimate Fighter 15” cast member, was TKO’d in June on the show’s finale by fellow alumni Joe Proctor. His return won’t be any easier as he takes on Brazilian Lucas Martins, who will look to rebound from a loss to striking wizard Edson Barboza in which he submitted to strikes in the first round at UFC on FX 7. In what will be a more favorable striking match this time out, Martins will be able to punch his way to a TKO win early.
Top flyweights collide as Cariaso takes on Formiga in the second Facebook prelim fight. Cariaso, who was last seen submitting to a John Moraga guillotine at UFC 155 after pushing the pace and landing well-placed standing strikes, will try to impose his will with striking and movement. His opponent, Formiga, also looks to re-establish himself after a TKO loss to top flyweight contender John Dodson at UFC on FX 5. With a heavy grappling edge, he will attempt to ground his opponent and use his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pedigree to secure a victory. That attempt will prove to be futile as Cariaso will use superior footwork and striking to cruise to a decision victory.
To close out the Facebook prelims, grapplers will do battle as aggressive Brazilian, Lineker, takes on the Russian, Gashimov. Known for pushing a furious pace, as shown in his two UFC appearances that resulted in both a win and a loss, Lineker will use his more well-rounded skill-set to try and overwhelm his Russian opponent. The young Gashimov, now training with Jackson’s MMA, was submitted by tough veteran Ivan Menjivar in his Octagon debut. As he prefers to grapple, his best chance lies in putting Lineker on his back and out-working him there. The more experienced Lineker, however, will refuse to allow him to have his way and use his fast pace to punish Gashimov with mixed strikes en route to a decision win.
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