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UFC São Paulo: Santos vs Anders - Sep 22


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On the same night as Joshua vs Povetkin at Wembley - Saturday 22nd September - over in São Paulo, Brazil the UFC has this. 


Thiago Santos vs Eryk Anders 

Alex Oliveira vs Carlo Pedersoli Jr

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Sam Alvey 

Renan Barao vs Andre Ewell

Randa Markos vs Marina Rodriguez


Charles Oliveira vs Christos Giagos

Francisco Trinaldo vs Evan Dunham 

Luis Henrique vs Ryan Spann

Chase Sherman vs Augusto Sakai 


Sergio Moraes vs Ben Saunders 

Gillian Robertson vs Mayra Bueno Silva

Thales Leites vs Hector Lombard 

Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs Luigi Vendramini  

Livia Renata Souza vs Alex Chambers


Completely slept on this but, looking at the card there, I actually really like the look of this. For a standard Brazil Fight Night, this is pretty deep. 



Jimi Manuwa vs Thiago Santos should be bell-to-bell fireworks. I can't see it playing out any other way. This was originally supposed to be Manuwa vs Glover Teixeira which would've been fun. I think I like this new matchup even better though. Glover probably would've been looking to exploit Manuwa's lack of ground game. Santos is more than likely going to meet him head on with bombs and see who drops first. Both ridiculously heavy hitters with hands and feet, both aggressive, neither will shy away from taking a dig to land one. Love this fight. I like both but I'm a big fan of Santos and I'd love to see him make a splash and go on a bit of a run at 205. 



Ketlen Vieira vs Tonya Evinger co-mains. At first glance you might wonder why. Ketlen Vieira is why. She's undefeated at 10-0 with 6 finishes, she has black-belts in BJJ and Judo and she's a Brazilian national wrestling champion. And she's still only 26 years old. She's a legitimate prospect in a division which isn't exactly heaving with them. So it makes sense to put her in a prominent card position here. There hasn't been much hype on her but she's coming off back-to-back wins over Cat Zingano and Sara McMann and a win here could see her challenge for the title in 2019. She's up against veteran Tonya Evinger. 37 years old, been fighting since 2006 in the Gina Carano era, former Invicta champ. Was last seen getting mauled by Cyborg last July. She's experienced and crafty but at this stage she's someone Vieira probably beats fairly comfortably IMO. 



Little Nog vs Sam Alvey is a weird one. All Alvey fights seem weird to me. He's just an odd fucker with an awkward, uncoordinated style. But he's done OK with it, to be fair. Respectable journeyman 33-10 record and holds a win over Rashad Evans. Granted, it was the 2017 shot version of Rashad but it's a big scalp for the résumé nontheless. He's in with another legendary name here. Good to see Little Nog back, even if he's way past his best. It's nice to see a Nogueira on the card all the same. Huge fan of the Nogs. I hope he wins this but after a long layoff and at 42 years old, it's all diminishing returns at this point. 



Cowboy Oliveira vs Carlo Pedersoli could be fun. Oliveira is usually good value. He was meant to fight Neil Magny here but Magny was pulled to fight on another card vs Ponzinibbio instead. Oliveira is one of those guys who doesn't give a fuck who the opponent is though. He's coming off the biggest win of his career, a submission over Condit on short notice in April. Before that he had that barnburner against Yancy Medeiros last December. He's very rarely involved in anything dull. Can't really recall Pedersoli but he's 11-1 and won his UFC debut against Brad Scott a few months back. 



Shoeface! Antonio Carlos Junior is back. Love watching this guy fight. His grappling is a treat to watch. He comes across incredibly likeable as well. He's fighting Elias Theodorou but I couldn't bare finding a picture of him, his smugness would probably crack my screen. Proper baby(shoe)face vs prick heel fight for me, this. Theodorou is like a discount Rockhold but without the redeeming feature of at least being entertaining to watch fight. Hopefully Shoeface twats him down to Fight Pass. 



Trinaldo vs Dunham is a solid fight between two long time gatekeepers at 155. These two are never getting in title contention in the UFC but that's more to do with the insane depth of the 155 division than any lack of skills on these guys' part. In almost any other promotion either of these two are probably your champion. Trinaldo especially is a guy I've enjoyed watching over the years, since his stint on TUF Brazil back in 2012. He's gone 12-5 in the UFC (22-6 overall record) and was on a 7 fight streak at one point with wins over Paul Felder, Yancy Medeiros and Ross Pearson. This fight won't have an impact on rankings or title pictures but it's a good matchup in its own right. 



Sergio Moraes vs Ben Saunders should be entertaining however long it goes. Always been a fan of Saunders ever since he was on TUF 6 way back in 2007. That season was Team Serra vs Team Hughes for fuck's sake, that's how long he's been around! It hasn't really panned out for him and he's had a bunch of losses and suffered some bad knockouts along the way. But he's had his moments and he's always been exciting to watch due to his attacking Thai striking on the feet and his aggressive BJJ style from top or bottom. Moraes is an awkward, unorthodox fucker but I think Saunders should win this one. Especially if he can keep it standing. Moraes is a quality grappler though so it could be a better fight on the ground actually. 



Renan Barao vs Andre Ewell is a fight I'm not sure what to make of. Barao was considered the pound-for-pound king or thereabouts not too long ago but he really just doesn't seem at the races anymore. Whether it's the USADA effect or those prolonged attempted murder assaults he got from Dillashaw in 2014/15, or maybe a bit of both, who knows? But it's a fact he's a far cry from the terrifying fighter he once was. Since the Dillashaw losses he's gone 1-3 and just looks like a spent force. He's in with UFC newcomer Andre 'Mr Highlight' Ewell. He's 13-4, former bantamweight champ for CES (me neither) and 11 of his 13 wins have been finishes. Hasn't fought any big names although he did beat a Rick James last year! The fact that they're bringing in a potential prospect and throwing him straight in with Barao says everything about how the UFC view Barao these days. They'd never have risked a new prospect against someone like the old Barao in their UFC debut. But this 2018 Barao has become merely a stepping stone who they can build new guys off. It's a ruthless game. 



Red Randa is back :love: and she's coming off a loss. So going by her last 12 fights she's winning this one. Seriously, her last 12 she's alternated between W and L each fight. She's 33 now so I think it's safe to say she's probably not getting in the title mix. That ship has sailed. Shame because she really looked like a legit darkhorse contender on TUF a few years ago. I've got a feeling she's losing this one though. This Marina Rodriguez sounds quite promising. She's Brazilian, unbeaten at either 11-0, 10-0 or 9-0, depending on where you look. Primarily a Muay Thai striker as best I can tell. She recently appeared on Dana's Contender Series and won by first round knockout. 



Thales Leites vs Hector Lombard is a battle of veterans. This is a fight that would've been awesome between say 2008-2013. Now it's just kind of there. Leites has lost 3 of his last 4 and Lombard is a shell of the man he was pre-USADA. He's gone 0-5 since being popped for steroids in 2015. Still looks dangerous in bursts but it's not the same and he's lost so much of that scary aura he once had. The intimidation factor he used to carry is gone. I think Leites should be winning this. Lombard could always clip him but he's definitely further gone as far as form goes and I think Leites has the experience and tools to where he shouldn't be losing this fight. 



Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs Belal Muhammad is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** for this card. A fight which probably nobody is going to be talking about but I could easily see this getting FOTN. Dos Santos has gone under a lot of radars but he's good. 19-5 record, has won his last 5. Holds wins over Max Griffin, Lyman Good and knocked out Sean Strickland in May with a spinning kick. And he's up against Belal Muhammad who's become a bit of an undercard favourite of mine. He's 14-2, on a 4 fight streak himself and has had some slugfests on the prelims over the last couple of years. Most notably the forgotten Alan Jouban war in 2016. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if these two go out and steal the show. 

So not the most stacked card in terms of big names, hype, "needle movers" and all that jazz. But for depth of fight quality and appealing matchups you can't really knock this lineup. 

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Thales Leites is retiring after this fight. Would have been nice to see him get some main card treatment, great servant to the sport.

I go back and forth on Sam Alvey. Odd bastard no doubt and quite uneasy on the eye in terms of style, but the guy comes to fight no doubt. He was on UFC  Unfiltered a few months back and told his back story. He basically fought the first part of his pro career without ever training, he just turned up and fought, pretty crazy. Likeable guy too.

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Didn't know Leites was retiring. Always had a bit of a soft spot for Leites ever since I went to UFC 85 saw him have a really fun fight with a prime Nate Marquardt. Leites took a fucking piledriver of all things that night and he lost but I came away liking him. He had a good little run when he came back to the UFC in 2013 as well but he's noticeably slowed down in recent fights. 

You never know, he might well be on the main card. The bout order there is educated guesswork at the moment until it's confirmed. 

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Ketlen Vieira and Shoeface are both injured and off this show which is a bit of a blow to this card for me as I was looking forward to seeing both fight again. 

Vieira has suffered a knee injury, fuck knows when she's back. Shoeface vs Theodorou has been rescheduled for UFC 231 in December. 

They've added Charles Oliveira to the card though, always a welcome addition. And a heavyweight fight between Chase Sherman and Augusto Sakai who, without checking, I think had an absolutely rotten fight with Cheick Kongo in Bellator not too long ago. 

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I think Wand once described Smiling Sam as a jabroni on here, which sums him up well to be honest. This kind of reminds me of when Brendan Schuab beat Cro Cop and everyone was nervous that the gobshite was going to beat Big Nog in Brazil. He ended up getting smashed. I'm hoping Little Nog does the same here.

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I've only seen the main event, co-main and the highlight finish of Evan Dunham by Trinaldo. 

I had Santos winning every round up until that point against Anders as he really looked to be hurting him in the standing exchanges and it only seemed like aatter of time before he would get the finish. However, in the end, I think exhaustion was the key factor in it happening when it did. Anders was completely spent, probably due to a really short, late notice weight cut. Did Santos cut much, if at all? He came in at 203.5, it'd be interesting to see if he cut any weight leading into this fight. 

Cowboy Oliveira ran through Pedersoli like he wasn't there. Cowboy probably won't ever be a title winning calibre fighter, but he could certainly stop quite a few people from reaching that point. I'd say he's exceptionally dangerous for anyone that is trying to break into the top five in the division. He's a big and strong looking bugger too, it has to be said. 

Trinaldo's knee to Dunham? Ouch. Any wonder Dunham crumpled. That looked devastating. 

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Just got to this. Pretty good show. 

Thiago Santos vs Eryk Anders turned out to be a fun main event. Not for Anders though. Santos is an animal. Always been a fan of his. You could go back years to old Fight Night threads and you'd find me singing his praises back when he was jerking the curtain. Just love his style. It's great to see him in a headline spot on home soil. He deserves it. Good fighter and never a dull moment. He went to town on Anders here. Kind of a shame because Anders took the fight on such late notice that we didn't get the great fight these two could've had. It was more of a beatdown than it probably should've been because of that but fair play to Anders for even taking the fight. I doubt there's a long line of fighters asking for Santos with a full camp, much less on short notice. I'm hoping they reschedule that Santos vs Manuwa fight now. I was really looking forward to that. 

@WeeAl Santos probably doesn't cut much, if anything, to make 205. He looks jacked but he's really not that big by today's 205 standards. He's about average for Light Heavy. Maybe he does cut though. This was his 205 debut so maybe be just doesn't have the cut to 205 down 100% yet and was playing it safe cutting a bit extra. Both of these guys were 185ers making their 205 debut here. Although I'm not sure Anders will hang around at 205 after this. 

Cowboy Oliveira is never boring is he? Look at his last 5 fights. Subbed Tim Means, KO'd Ryan LaFlare, had a genuine FOTY contender with Yancy Medeiros, subbed Carlos Condit, now he TKOs Pedersoli in 39 seconds. He's nearly always fun to watch. Agreed with WeeAl that he's probably never going to make any waves in the title picture, he just falls into that weight range 155-170 where there's so much ridiculous talent and I don't think he's in that elite bracket. But yeah, he could be the spoiler and end up derailing a lot of other guys chances of getting there. 

Warmed my heart to see Little Nog back with a stoppage victory. I wasn't feeling good about this one after round one, thought Nog looked pretty cack. But he found a home for that left in the second and put Smiling Sam away. A win over Alvey is nothing to get too excited about but still, Alvey had only been stopped once with strikes before this (by Derek Brunson), in 44 fights. Not bad for a rusty Nog coming back after two years out. Can't see it getting much better than this for Nog sadly though. He'll probably get fed to one of the new upcoming prospects now at 205 - a Cutelaba, Rakic or someone like that - and that'll be that. Got a feeling we'll look back on this win as the ideal time that Little Nog should've retired. Like in hindsight, his brother retiring after KOing the shite out of Brendan Schaub in Brazil would've been the perfect way to bow out. Oh well. Nogs' gonna Nog. 

Ewell vs Barao was decent. I say it after every Barao fight though, I can't believe how far he's fallen. From arguable P4P king in 2014 to a 'where is he now?' in 2018. You see brief flashes of the old Barao from time to time but you know that guy's never coming back. Hopefully, if Aldo finally makes that move up to 155 like he's been on about then Barao will move back to 145 and stay there. I know he lost to Jeremy Stephens last time he tried 145 but it's clear he can't make 135 consistently anymore. Why kill yourself? If he can't make 135 but doesn't feel like he can hang at 145, it's probably time to do something else. Regardless, quite liked 'Mr Highlight' here, and while a win over Barao doesn't carry the same weight it used to, it's a great scalp for a fighter making his UFC debut. Seems a good guy as well. 

Red Randa finally broke that 12 fight (!) win one, lose one streak by going to a draw with Marina Rodriguez. Hopefully she can use this as kind of a restart and build from there. Wasn't the best of fights. Decent in spells and Randa looked good on top (...behave yourself) but never really got going. Think there might've been some of the old 'octagon jitters' for Rodriguez too, got a feeling there's better to come from her. 

Charles Oliveira with another submission. Love watching him. I'd like to see him fight Chiesa. Think that could be a fantastic ground war. But if he's going back down to 145, an all Brazilian fight with Renato Moicano would do nicely. 

Trinaldo's knee, fucking hell. Body shots are a killer. Such an underused thing in MMA compared to Boxing. And I don't know why because in MMA there's more ways to land that deathblow to the body, as you see here it was the lead knee right to the liver. Brutal. Dunham is a durable guy as well, he's been in some wars. But it doesn't matter how tough you are when a shot like that lands to the body. You're done, the body shuts down and there's no getting up from that. Seeing Dunham rolling around in agony after the stoppage just tells you how bad that knee was. Dunham retired after as well. 

Speaking of retirements, didn't see the fight but I was glad to hear Thales Leites went out on a win. Good to see one of the sport's nice guys end on a positive note. You've also got to think Lombard's getting let go now. He's been a total flop in the UFC. Came in with a long winning streak and a ton of hype and now 5 or 6 years later his stock has plummeted with the drug test failure and loss after loss since. Might as well just cut him loose and let him get back on the juice and go to Rizin or KSW or whatever because it's clear he's absolutely fucking useless in an environment with regular drug testing. 

And as a side observation, they showed BJ Penn sitting cageside at one point. Looking disinterested and, to be honest, like he'd been sedated. But the thing that strikes me every time I've seen Penn in recent years is how slim he stays these days. He clearly takes better care of himself now than he did in his prime when he'd be a fat fuck between camps. If only he'd kept himself in better nick when it mattered. All that said, I must admit I'm strangely intrigued by his upcoming fight with Ryan Hall. Until Hall inevitably rips his leg off anyway :angry: 

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