UFC Fight Night 36: Machida vs Mousasi Preview

UFC Fight Night 36 will be the UFC’s first visit to Brazil in 2014—after 7 total visits the previous year, Dana White had originally told the media and fans that they have planned for 13 visits to Brazil in 2014. The two featured bouts on this card held at Arena Jaraguá in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil on February 15, 2014, will be contested in the middleweight division between four potential title contenders. The main event features two counter strikers that are both former light heavyweight champions. The co-main pits two top 10 middleweights on huge win streaks colliding. The full 5-fight main card also features the return of a promising Brazilian welterweight against a relatively unknown new comer. A matchup between two welterweights hoping to carry over the momentum of their UFC debuts. And an opener featuring two once promising young featherweights needing a win to remain relevant. The entire 13 fight card features at least one Brazilian in each fight, so expect a lot of “UH Vai Morrer!” chants throughout the night.

Main Card (10:30 PM ET on Fox Sports 1)

Lyoto Machida (20-4) (-250) vs Gegard Mousasi (34-3-2) (+210)

When this fight was first announced, it was met with excitement given the two fighters stylistic matchup, both are great counter strikers, and possess that one strike finishing power. Both are former champions in the light heavyweight division, Lyoto in the UFC, Mousasi in Strikeforce and DREAM. The previous week, UFC President Dana White had said that Machida would likely be in line for the next title shot against the winner of Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort at UFC 173.

Lyoto Machida quickly made his presence known in his middleweight debut, knocking out top 10 contender Mark Munoz with a headkick in the first round. Machida, who had been flirting with the weight class change, finally decided to make the move after his friend and long-time middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva lost the middleweight title. He currently ranks #4 in the Middleweight UFC Rankings.

After a successful UFC debut against late replacement opponent, Illir Latifi, in which Gegard Mousasi won by decision to improve his unbeaten streak to 7 fights. He returns after a successful knee surgery and rehab, and returning to a division that he hasn’t fought in since 2008. Mousasi last fought at middleweight in the DREAM Grand Prix, defeating Denis Kang, Yoon Dong-Sik, Melvin Manhoef, and Ronaldo Souza in the finals to capture the title. Mousasi, who walks around at 90kgs ~ 200lbs, was previously against dropping back down to middleweight having competed at both heavyweight and light heavyweight the past 5 years.

Mousasi is one of the most well rounded strikers in the sport, having successfully competed in kickboxing, boxing, in addition to mixed martial arts. He holds an undefeated 8-0 record in kickboxing, defeating the former K-1 heavyweight champion Kyotaro in his final bout back in 2010, in addition to a 12-1 record in amateur boxing. And has never been knocked out in competition in his 60 combined fight career.

Expect a tactical stand up fight between two technical strikers, Machida’s karate style vs Mousasi’s dutch kickboing style, with a takedown option available for Machida if he so chooses. Both Machida and Mousasi absorb a low 1 significant strike absorbed per min (SApM), with Machida absorbing a slightly higher 1.39 (62% defense) to Mousasi’s 1.08 (72% defense). Offensively, both are in the upper tier when it comes to accuracy, with Machida landing 57% of his significant strikes, and Mousasi’s 51%. While Mousasi is the much more active striker, landing a high 3.81 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM), to Machida’s 2.78.

Machida has always possessed great takedown defense (79%) and has shown the ability to take the fight to the ground when needed, he should have the advantage if he decides to take this fight to the ground, a 66% takedown accuracy to Mousasi’s susceptible 52% takedown defense.

MATCHUP:

Lyoto Machida

“THE DRAGON”

TALE OF THE TAPE
Wins/Losses/Draws 20-4-0 34-3-2
Average Fight Time 11:10 07:02
Height 6′ 1″ (185 cm) 6′ 1″ (185 cm)
Weight 185 lb. (84 kg) 185 lb. (84 kg)
Reach 74.0″ (187.96 cm) 76.0″ (193.04 cm)
Stance Southpaw Orthodox
Age 35 28
STRIKING (Significant Strikes)
Strikes Landed per Min. (SLpM) 2.78 3.81
Striking Accuracy 57% 51%
Strikes Absorbed per Min. (SApM) 1.39 1.08
Defense 63% 72%
GRAPPLING
Takedowns Average/15 min. 1.62 1.78
Takedown Accuracy 66% 65%
Takedown Defense 79% 52%
Submission Average/15 min. 0.56 1.6

 

Take these numbers with a grain of salt, as Machida has clearly fought more of the tougher competition than Mousasi has in the past.

Francis Carmont (22-7) (+375) vs Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (19-3) (-470)

In the co-main event, two fighters that have not tasted defeat in multiple years, the Tristar product, Carmont riding an 11 fight win streak, so far undefeated 6-0 in the UFC. While Jacare has been undefeated in 5 fights since losing his Strikeforce middleweight title in 2011 to Luke Rockhold.

Currently ranked 8th in the division, Francis Carmont has been able to impose his wrestling heavy gameplan on most of his opponents in the UFC, recently defeating Constastinos Philippou at UFC 165. Before finally getting a top 10 opponent in Philippou, Carmont had previously won disputed decisions over Tom Lawlor and Lorenz Larkin. While, his fighting style may not win him many fans, you cannot argue that it isn’t effective. However if he decides to use his takedowns in this fight, he will have to deal with a multiple time BJJ world champion on the ground.

Carmont is one of the bigger middleweights in the division, and will enjoy a significant height (6’3″ to 6’1″) and reach advantage over Jacare (78″ to 74″). If Carmont does decide to take this fight to the ground, he possesses a 44% takedown accuracy to Jacare’s 50% takedown defense. While it’ll be more difficult for the ADCC champion to do the same, as Carmont has a 86% takedown defense (having been only taken down 3 times in 6 UFC fights). The Judo black belt, Jacare does have relative success in getting the takedown, landing a high 3.83 takedowns per fight, at an accuracy of 48%.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will be looking to do the gator chomp for a 3rd straight time in the octagon. It seems that since the loss to Rockhold in Strikeforce in 2011, Jacare has turned it up a notch in his next 5 fights, finishing all of them by knockout or submission, and his last 4 fights haven’t been out of the 1st round.

It will be interesting to see where this fight takes place, as Jacare—being the huge favourite—possesses the danger and finishing ability both on the feet and on the ground. Although he has a near 1:1 ratio of strikes landed to strikes absorbed (2.33 : 2.02), compared to Carmont, who has a low 1.3 SApM. It may be difficult for Jacare to score a knockout on Carmont, who has never been knocked out in his career. Carmont has been submitted 3 times in his 29 career fights, 2 of them early on in his career.

MATCHUP:

Ronaldo Souza

“JACARE”

Francis Carmont

“LIMITLESS”

TALE OF THE TAPE
Wins/Losses/Draws 19-3-0 22-7-0
Average Fight Time 08:37 12:14
Height 6′ 1″ (185 cm) 6′ 3″ (191 cm)
Weight 185 lb. (84 kg) 185 lb. (84 kg)
Reach 74.0″ (187.96 cm) 78.0″ (198.12 cm)
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Age 34 32
STRIKING (Significant Strikes)
Strikes Landed per Min. (SLpM) 2.33 2.15
Striking Accuracy 42% 47%
Strikes Absorbed per Min. (SApM) 2.02 1.3
Defense 67% 62%
GRAPPLING
Takedowns Average/15 min. 3.83 2.45
Takedown Accuracy 48% 44%
Takedown Defense 50% 86%
Submission Average/15 min. 2.09 0.82

 

No announcement has been made whether or not the winner of this bout will be in line for a title shot, but don’t be surprised if with a Machida loss, the winner of this fight may get the next shot at the middleweight title.

Erick Silva (15-4) (-900) vs Takenori Sato (32-8-7) (+600)

The biggest mismatch on this card, sees Brazilian prospect Erick Silva look to bounce back from suffering a 2nd round knockout loss to ‘Stun Gun’, against the debuting Welterweight King of Pancrase, Takenori Sato, replacing the injured Nate Loughran.

Erick Silva bursted onto the UFC scene in 2011 after a successful career in Brazil’s Jungle Fight, winning his first 3 fights in the UFC (counting the ‘loss’ to Prater) before suffering a loss to Jon Fitch. Since then he has been looking to regain that momentum that started his UFC career. Silva has a lower than 1:1 ratio of SLpM to SApM (2.31 : 3.34), despite landing at a high 57%, he has a low 47% defense, this should be concerning when going against a striker. However, Sato being primarily a grappler, Silva will have to worry about getting taken down, at 67% takedown defense—taking into account that the numbers are skewed from his one fight against Jon Fitch where Fitch landed 6 of 9 takedowns.

Takenori Sato comes into the UFC unbeaten in his last 10 fights, winning and defending the Welterweight King of Pancrase title a total of 6 times. Competing his entire career in Deep and Pancrase, this will be the Japanese fighter’s first fight outside of Japan, and in enemy territory. He has suffered a ko/tko in 5 of his 8 career losses.

Viscardi Andrade (17-5) (-135) vs Nicholas Musoke (11-2) (+115)

Both fighters were victorious in their UFC debuts, which both lasted less than 1 round. Andrade coming off a loss in TUF Brazil 2 to William Macario in the semifinals, defeated TUF 17′s Bristol Marunde via TKO in just over a minute. While Musoke took a more difficult route to his 1st UFC victory, absorbing heavy shots from opponent Alessio Sakara, and having to comeback from being rocked to submit Sakara via armbar. Both will look to carry over the momentum into their 2nd UFC appearance.

Expect this to be a very evenly matched fight, both well-rounded fighters.

Charles Oliveira (16-4, 1 NC) (-600) vs Andy Ogle (9-3) (+450)

The once promising Charles Oliveira comes into this, his 10th UFC fight at just 24 years old, having lost his last two to top 5 featherweights in the division, Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar. Despite that, the odds makers sees ‘Do Bronx’ as a huge 6-to-1 betting favourite over the Brit. Oliveira is 4-4 in his UFC career, still lacking that one win over a top 10 opponent, but has easily and impressively defeated the other 4 non-ranked opponents, all by submission.

Fellow 24 year old, Andy Ogle comes into this fight 1-2 in the UFC, sandwiching loses to Akira Corrisani and Cole Miller with a win over Josh Grispi. ‘The Little Axe’ is as tough as they come, able to absorb a lot of punishment early on  due his slow starts, but is still able come on strong in the 3rd round. Those slow starts however have cost him in his two decision losses. Against Oliveira who is the opposite, a very fast starter who comes out looking to throw early and often by utilizing his muay thai arsenal—3.39 SLpM at 47% accuracy, but also a 3.4 SApM.

Ogle will likely look to utilize his wrestling to take this fight to the ground, but first he will have to overcome the lanky Oliveira’s 2 inch height and 4 inch reach advantage. Ogle lands 1.67 takedowns per 15min at a low 26% accuracy, if he were to get the fight to the ground—against Olveira’s 59% takedown defense—he will have to deal with the very dangerous guard of Oliveira, averaging 2.89 submission attempts per 15min.

Preliminaries (7:30 PM EST on UFC Fight Pass)

Cristiano Marcello (13-5) (+160) vs Joe Proctor (8-2) (-185)

Teammates on Team Faber of TUF 15 face off with both needing a win to stay in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division. Marcello, the former Chute Boxe BJJ coach has lost to Sicilia and Tokudome with a win over Medadi sandwiched in between. Proctor has gone 1-1 in his UFC career, defeating Larsen and having most recently lost to Nijem in December of 2012. He will have been out a total of 14 months between fights, originally suffering an injury and pulling out of his scheduled fight with Al Iaquinta at UFC 159.

Marcello has an incredibly difficult time getting a fight to the ground, where his advantage lies, landing 0.28 takedowns / 15 min, at a 14% accuracy.

Rodrigo Damm (11-6) (+115) vs Ivan Jorge (25-3) (-135)

Ivan “Batman” Jorge hopes to continue his winning ways, riding a 7-fight win streak dating back to Jungle Fight, and a victorious UFC debut over Keith Wisniewski. Batman’s strength is on the ground, however Damm will be quick to match that, the 3rd degree BJJ black belt is 2-1 in the UFC coming off TUF Brazil’s inaugural season.

Francisco Trinaldo (13-3) (-175) vs Jesse Ronson (13-3) (+155)

Just when it looked like Francisco Trinaldo, better known as Massaranduba, was starting to get on a roll, he had his momentum derailed by Piotr Hallman in his last fight—losing by 2nd round submission. Before that, Trinaldo had won 3 of 4 UFC fights coming off TUF Brazil.

Jesse “The Body Snatcher” Ronson will be looking for his 1st UFC victory in his 2nd fight, after losing a split decision to Michel Prazeres in his home province at UFC 165. Ronson now will have a tough test ahead trying to impose his technical striking game, fighting in Brazil and against a tough grappler, who will also look to take this fight to the ground. Ronson was taken down 7 of 15 times in his debut against Prazeres.

Iuri Alcantara (28-5, 1 NC) (-240) vs Wilson Reis (17-4) (+200)

Alcantara comes off the toughest test in his career, suffering a decision loss to top contender Urijah Faber, will now face former Elite XC bantamweight champion, Wilson Reis, who is on a 5-fight win streak, including a successful UFC debut defeating Ivan Menjivar. Alcantara will have the height and reach advantage in the striking, in addition to a dangerous guard, Reis will not be comfortable where ever this fight takes place.

Felipe Arantes (15-6-1, 2 NC) (-115) vs Maximo Blanco (9-5-1, 1 NC) (-105)

Arantes is 2-2-1 in the UFC, losing a split decision to Edimilson Souza in his last fight. And will be facing his toughest test in terms of wrestling, against Blanco.

Maximo Blanco may desperately need a win over Arantes to remain in the UFC, having lost 3 of his last 4 bouts–including a 25 second DQ to Akira Corassani after landing an illegal knee to the head of a downed opponent that ended the fight.

Ildemar Alcantara (19-6) (+130) vs Albert Tumenov (12-1) (-150)

The younger Alcantara brother is coming off his first loss in 10 fights–to Igor Araujo–takes on 22 year old Russian Tumenov, who comes into his UFC debut on an 8 fight win streak, finishing 7 of them by KO/TKO.

A classic striker vs grappler matchup, ‘Marajo’ will look to take this fight to the ground and avoid Tumenov’s powerful strikes. Thus far in 3 fights, Alcantara has been very successful in getting the takedown, landing 3.19 per 15 minutes at 89% accuracy.

Douglas Silva de Andrade (22-0, 1 NC) vs Zubair Tuhugov (15-3)

Andrade comes into the UFC as a late replacement for Thiago Tavares, just one week before the event—undefeated in his career has 18 victories by ko/tko. Tuhugov is a 23 year old Russian combat sambo national champion, who can also hold his own in the stand up.

All statistics courtesy of FightMetric

All odds courtesy of 5dimes on www.bestfightodds.com

Topics: Francis Carmont, Gegard Mousasi, Lyoto Machida, MMA, Ronaldo Souza, UFC, UFC Fight Night, Ufc Fight Night 36

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