For the first time since 1998, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Brazil for UFC 134:
Silva vs. Okami. The night’s main UFC Betting event features Brazilian Middleweight Champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, as he looks to defend his belt for a record ninth-time against the last man to ever defeat him, Yushin “Thunder” Okami.
Every fight on the main card features a native Brazilian which will have fans at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, buzzing. All of the Pay-Per-View fun starts at 9:00 ET with hard hitting action also coming in the Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight and Lightweight divisions with names and former champions like Minotauro Nogueira, Shogun Rua and Forrest Griffin all scheduled to step into the octagon.
Middleweight Championship Bout: Anderson “The Spider” Silva (28-4) vs. Yushin “Thunder” Okami (27-5)
It’s been over five years since Anderson Silva last lost a MMA gambling bout; coincidently enough, it came at the hands of Yushin Okami. Though there was, and is still, controversy surrounding Okami’s victory (due to Silva being DQ’ed following an illegal kick), the longest Middleweight Champion in UFC history will now have a shot at revenge in his home country of Brazil, where he has not fought since 2003. Silva (-500) is the best striker in the world and holds black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Jude and Taekwondo; 17 of his 30 wins have come by way of knockout and he’s finished 12 of the men he’s faced in compiling a 14 fight win streak.
Though Okami is a strong grappler with a big gas tank and the ability to finish, all of the cards are stacked against him in this fight; the crowd alone should be able to score Silva the victory. If by some chance Okami (+350) wins, even by decision, it could very well be the biggest upset (and disappointment) in UFC history.
Prediction: Silva by KO (1st Round)
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Light Heavyweight Bout: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-5) vs. Forrest Griffin (18-6)
This is another wonderful rematch set up by Dana White and Joe Silva as Shogun (-200), another native Brazilian, makes his return to the octagon following his brutal loss of the Light Heavyweight title to Jon Jones back in March. Though Rua is just 3-3 in his UFC career, the former Pride Champion is lethal with his strikes, scoring 16 of his 19 victories by knockout.
Griffin (+160), who was once the Light Heavyweight Champion as well, defeated Shogun by rear naked choke in the Brazilian’s UFC debut, and enters off of back to back wins over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin respectively. Griffin is never one to back away from a slug fest and this war has “Fight of the Night” written all over it!
Prediction: Rua by TKO (2nd Round)
Having never been knocked out in his first 35 UFC gambling contests, Minotauro Nogueira, an MMA legend, has been KO’d in two of his last three fights. Though just 35, Minotauro has taken a lot of damage recently and his career (at least in the UFC) could be in jeopardy if he suffers another vicious loss.
And sadly, that could be the case as Brendan Schaub enters the biggest fight of his career. Schaub (-200) has incredible stamina, determination and most importantly, power, with all but one of his victories coming by knockout. Though Big-Nog (+160) will be fighting in his own backyard, the 28 year-old American could easily steal the show.
Prediction: Schaub by TKO (3rd Round)
Lightweight Bout: Edson “Junior” Barboza (8-0) vs. Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson (14-4)
Edson Barboza has been extremely impressive since making his UFC debut last November. Six of Junior’s eight wins have been stoppages and he’s shown ridiculous striking ability with his legs since competing on the world’s biggest MMA betting stage; now he’ll look to do the same in his home country.
England’s Pearson likes to get inside and if the fight goes to the mat, he’s shown he can finish with an array of submissions. The Brit needs to press if he hopes to negate Barboza’s striking, but don’t be surprised to see Junior do just enough to stay undefeated.
Prediction: Barboza by Decision
Light Heavyweight Bout: Luiz “Banha” Cane (12-3-1) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (11-0)
Though Luiz Cane has a BJJ black belt, he’s recorded just one career victory by submission. Banha likes to throw his hands, but recently its cost him, losing two of his last three fights by KO; he does enter off of a KO win, however.
The Brazilian will be opposed by undefeated Bulgarian, Stanislav Nedkov, who is making his long awaited UFC debut. Nedkov can win with strikes, submissions and/or stamina, but he’s yet to face someone as aggressive as Cane. This should be a wonderful way to kick start the Pay-Per-View MMA gambling card!
Prediction: Cane by TKO (3rd Round)
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