Glover Teixeira (blue glove tape) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

Glover Teixeira (blue glove tape) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Pic by SHERDOG.COM -click for source- Credit: Dave Mandel

UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs Bader

Taking place at the Mineirinho Arena located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, UFN 28 will be the fifth event in Brazil already this year. Watch it live on FS2 for the preliminary bouts and FS1 for the event’s main card.

UFN features eleven bouts in total. Brazilian fans will be in store for a highly important light-heavyweight bout between the hometown hero, Glover Teixeira, and the ASU NCAA Division 1 wrestler and TUF 8 season winner, Ryan Bader.

Glover Teixeira vs Ryan Bader

Before Teixeira finally made his way to the UFC’s Octagon, he was nearly unstoppable coming into the brand with an impressive (17-2) record. His only losses coming in his mma debut and third ever fight. Since then, Glover has done nothing but destroy who ever has been put in front of him.

Entering the UFC is never an easy task as the “octagon jitters” usually take effect for new members of the elite promotion. Not Glover Teixeira though. The first person to fall victim was UFC vet and “roughneck” Kyle Kingsbury.

Kingsbury was more than sure coming into the fight that he would indeed be the one deserving of the victory but the native of Sobralia, Minas Gerais Brazil had other plans. Glover was able to dominate the contest and eventually ended the fight via arm triangle stoppage.

Now carrying a four fight win streak on top of nineteen wins in a row combined, Glover looks to take one step closer to the belt, when he steps in the cage on September 4, 2013. With twelve KO’s along with six submission victories to date, it is easy to say that Glover will be looking to finish Bader in any round.

Ryan Bader has since developed from being a top rated wrestler in the U.S., to being one of the top ranked mixed martial artists at 205lbs in the world. With a record of 15-3 and his only losses coming to the current champion Jon Jones (before he won the title), and two former champions in Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida, Bader certainly can walk out of this fight, and get right back in line for a title shot going into 2014.

As stated previously, Ryan Bader has not only now able to take the fight to the ground with his wrestling abilities, but also has proven to have some punching power and developed striking skills. Although all three losses have come either by submission (twice) or KO, Bader has done his fair share of stopping the opposition with seven knockouts and three wins via submission.

Bader comes into the fight with momentum after his last outing against a true veteran of the sport, Vladimir Matyushenko. He stopped “The Janitor” with a guillotine choke in the first round with just under one minute left. Throughout his ups and downs, Bader has to realize with a loss against Glover, and his ultimate dream of becoming a UFC champion could turn in to a real life nightmare.

My prediction: Glover Teixeira winner by submission in the second round.

Yushin Okami vs Ronaldo Souza

In the co-main event, dangerous Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will square off with UFC middleweight former title challenger, Yushin Okami. Multiple times Jiu Jitzu world champion out of Veila Vehla, Brazil, Souza has the ability to out-work anyone on the mat.

On the last ever Strikeforce card, UFC fighter Ed Herman stepped up to come over and look to eliminate “Jacare” from the transition line into the UFC. Herman looked to control the fight by landing brawling punches but was outworked not only on his feet by Souza, but ultimately taken down and submitted, seemingly with ease.

The official UFC debut came against a TUF/UFC vet in Chris Camozzi. Fighting in Brazil while making his debut, it appeared that nerves would not disrupt Ronaldo’s mindset as he blew through Camozzi with an arm triangle finish in the first round.

Having beat Jason Miller, Robbie Lawler, Ed Herman and Tim Kennedy, not to mention stepping in the cage with the last ever Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, Souza anxiously awaits his turn to one day fight for UFC gold. With the Brazilian crowd in his corner, will he overcome the Japanese superstar “Thunder” Okami?

Yushin Okami has essentially done it all in his mixed martial arts career, and can safely say he has been the most successful Japanese fighter in the UFC to date. His American style of wrestling has been shutting down top contenders for years now, as Okami enters his seventh year with the promotion.

His record has been nothing but shy of superb, although falling short to Rich Franklin, Chael Sonnen, Anderson Silva and most recently Tim Boestch back at UFC 144. After giving up what seemed to be an easy victory for Okami, he’s not let himself or his supports down since walking away with three straight wins.

With a victory of Ronaldo Souza, Okami can definitely argue he might be the guy that should get the call for the winner of champion Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva 2 later this year in December.

My prediction: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souzza winner by unanimous decision.

Joseph Benavidez vs Jussier Formiga

Team Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez has evolved in to a devastating and feared striker since new head trainer Duane “Bang” Ludwig took over. Already known for their wrestling backgrounds, the members of Team Alpha Male felt they were missing something from their game, consequently deciding to bring in one of the best kick boxers in the U.S. and the world.

Since the switch, all members of Team Alpha Male (including Benavidez) have shown vast improvements in their footwork, timing, and over all striking. A prime example of this was shown at UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Melendez when three camp representatives all ended their fights with strikes including Benavidez over Darren Uyenoyama.

With seven submissions under his belt, and a respectable (15-2) record, Jussier Formiga has the ability to defeat a guy like Joseph Benavidez. In my opinion, Jussier will have to get the fight to the ground and maintain top control in order to do so. Nonetheless it will be a tough challenge for the Brazilian. With both men having solid backgrounds on the ground, I predict this one will stay on the feet, and therefore give Jussier the disadvantage in the fight.

MY prediction: Benavidez stops the fight early on and earns the late first round TKO victory.

Fransisco Trinaldo vs Poitr Hallmann

Fransico Trinaldo debuted as a middleweight in the UFC, and picked up his first win under the Zuffa brand. Three fights later at his normal weight class as a lightweight, he is looking to make his fifth appearance in the octagon.

Like he was welcomed, Fransico will look to upset and spoil his opponent’s plans in Poitr Hallmann‘s inaugural debut. Both men have very impressive records as Trinaldo carries a 13-2 record and his opponent at 13-1. Both men also can finish with their hands and by way of submission.

I’m picking Fransico Trinaldo, based off his experience in the UFC already, and it being Poitr’s debut. Octagon jitters could very well come into play in this fight.

My prediction: stoppage in the second round via strikes.

Rafael Natal vs Tor Troeng

“Sapo” Rafeal Natal has to get this fight to the ground and force Tor Troeng to work off of his back. If Natal decides to stand and “bang” with Tor, this one might end early on. With eight submission victories under his belt, it may not be a issue for Natal to control and make this his fight.

Tor Troeng can either win via submission or KO, with having six of each on his record already. The Swedish middleweight I’m sure will try avoiding the ground game though and make it a fight he can win by KO or TKO. Unfortunately for him, I believe he won’t be able to stop Natal from dictating where the fight takes place.

My prediction:  Natal will take this fight to the ground earlier in the fight, and earn his ninth submission win overall and fifth win in the UFC.

Marcos Vinicius vs Ali Bagautinov

A battle between the Brazlilan native and the Russian new comer should be rather interesting. Marcos Vinicius owns thirteen tap out wins and Ali Bagautinov has only lost twice, subsequently by submission.

If this is a foreshadowing for things to come, I expect Marcos to get this down to the mat and display some top rated jui jitsu. Bagautinov is also one to finish his fights but has evened things up when it comes to submitting or TKOing his way to victory.

This will mark his debut in the UFC. Add that in with a long trip from Russia, and I have to pick the hometown kid Vinicius to finish this fight. Although Ali has a solid background, I think that the odds are against him.

My prediction: Second round submission from Vinicius over Ali Bagautinov.

That wraps up my main card picks for the UFN 28 event. Be sure to watch September 4, 2013.