UFC Fight Night 77: Belfort vs. Henderson 3 — Shortcut predictions for the entire card
This Saturday, Old Man Hendo and TRTitor are going to do the punchy dance for the third and likely last time. It’s a fight that has little bearing on the division. There is close to zero chance of it being pretty. But, it at least adheres to the Scott Coker philosophy: vets with name value still put asses in seats.
Main event aside, the under card is rock-solid. The time zone is compatible with people who like to enjoy the “day” part of Sunday. It could be the last time we see one or both of these guys. Works for me.
As always, every prediction below consists of five sentences or less per fight.
(Note: I wrote this article using the Hemingway App, so expect short, bullshit-free sentences.)
UFC Fight Night 77: Belfort vs. Henderson 3
November 7, 2015 | Sao Paulo, Brazil
Geraldo Jose De Almeida (Ibirapuera) State Gymnasium
FS1 Main Card – 10PM/7PM ET|PT
#4 Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (-335) vs. #12 Dan “Hendo” Henderson (+275): It’s actually hard to tell what to expect from this bout. Belfort cleaned Hendo’s clock in their last fight, but he’s deflated since then and looked his age vs. Weidman. The KO loss to “The Phenom” aside, square-jaw Dan’s been more active and defied father time in his last outing against Tim Boetsch. The ideal outcome is a unanimous draw on all the judges’ cards followed by a joint retirement by the two vets. In reality, Vitor has more options than Hendo, whose one-tune double-shuffle-to-overhand won’t cut it. Belfort by TKO.
#4 Glover Teixeira (-400) vs. #9 Patrick “Durkin” Cummins (+330): Phil Davis laid the groundwork for the perfect translatable strategy to use against Teixeira. The question is whether Cummins can emulate that game plan. The closest facsimile of Teixeira’s skill set Cummins has faced thus far was his last opponent, Rafael Cavalcante. Thing is, Glover is a much, much better grappler. Expect a fight, but also expect “Durkin” to hit his head on the ceiling. Teixeira by TKO.
#8 Thomas “Thominhas” Almeida (-420) vs. Anthony “El Toro” Birchak (+350): This has “Fight of the Night” written all over it. Almeida, used to being the big dog in the ring, is facing a rangier, game opponent in Birchak. “El Toro” broke out in his last fight against former title challenger Joe Soto, but many are counting him out of this fight. Not me. He’s the most well-rounded opponent Almeida has faced to date and will earn a ticket into the contender’s circle Saturday. Birchak by UD.
Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira (-200) vs. Piotr Hallman (+170): A testament to how deep the talent pool is at 155 pounds across the world, Alex Oliveira came in on short notice against Gilbert Burns, lost, and rebounded with two wins. He faces Piotr Hallman, a UFC roster member since late 2013, and is the deserved favorite. Hallman can’t seem to find a foothold amid the festering piranha pool of the lightweight division. He’ll get the old heave-ho with a third consecutive loss this weekend. Oliveira by UD.
Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (+140) vs. Rashid “Goretz” Magomedov (-160): Magomedov by UD.
#12 Fabio “Caipira de Aco” Maldonado (+375) vs. #14 Corey “Beastin 25/8” Anderson (-500): If you’re going to place money on one fight, this is the one. Despite the closeness of their current rankings, Anderson is taking an enormous step up in competition by filling in for Tom Lawlor, who dropped out due to injury. I had Lawlor losing this bout and, with even less preparation, I have Anderson getting creamed within two. Place yer bets on ol’ Eraserhead, peeps. Maldonado by TKO.
FS1 Prelims – 8PM/5PM ET|PT
Gleison Tibau (-125) vs. Abel “Killa” Trujillo (+105): Both men are recent recipients of the Tony Ferguson Ass-Beating Award. Both are 32 years. Both train in South Florida. One has abysmal takedown defense. The other has a ton of submission and decision wins. Tibau by SUB.
Yan Cabral (+205) vs. Johnny “Hollywood” Case (-240): Classic grappler vs. striker matchups are few and far between these days, but we have one here. While Cabral’s submission acumen is formidable, it’s reliant on getting the fight to the ground. Case’s 80 percent takedown defense does not bode well for that strategy. Case by TKO.
#11 Clay “The Carpenter” Guida (-170) vs. Thiago Tavares (+145): A win over Robbie “Problems’ Peralta seems to be the entry requirement for this bout, as both men earned recent victories over the Escondido resident. Even though Guida has twice as many fights under his belt, he’s the fresher fighter. Yes, both men are on the down slope, but Tavares’ wrestling deficiencies should be the difference here. Guida by UD.
Kevin Souza (+145) vs. Chas “The Scrapper” Skelly (-170): Skelly by SUB.
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims – 6:30PM/3:30PM ET|PT
Viscardi Andrade (+101) vs. Gasan “Cobra” Umalatov (-121): Andrade by UD.
Pedro “The Young Punisher” Munhoz (-175) vs. Jimmie Rivera (+150): Rivera by TKO.
Bruno Korea (+150) vs. Matheus Nicolau Pereira (-175): Pereira by TKO.
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