Image via UFC
Mike Massenzio (13-5, 2-3 UFC).(13-3, 6-2 UFC) locks horns with
Palhares is currently ranked at number 18 at middleweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, while Massenzio is unranked. This isn't the type of bout that's going to make much of a rankings difference to be honest. If Massenzio gets the W he will definitely enter consideration, but probably come up short of cracking the top 25. And Toquinho isn't going to move up by beating an unranked opponent. This middleweight fight will be the third fight of the main card, and will be aired live on pay-per-view. The PPV broadcast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Palhares: 31 years old | 5'8" | 71" reach
Massenzio: 29 years old | 6'2" | 73.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares has a mystique surrounding him. Not a lot of fighters have folk tales told about them, and not a lot of fighters have the ability to separate joints from sockets like the "Tree Stump". I won't even claim to be unbiased here - Palhares has fascinated and entertained me from the minute he stepped into an MMA ring in Brazil. A 7-1 start to his career and a Fury FC grand prix win (that saw him finish every fight by a form of foot lock in under 2 minutes) earned him a shot in the UFC. After a ridiculously cool submission of Ivan Salaverry at UFC 84 (look it up), he was matched up with legend Dan Henderson. He dropped a decision but had his moments, and rebounded from the loss by rattling off three straight wins. A weird followup loss to Nate Marquardt set him back a bit, but he rebounded with a submission win over Dave Branch. His bout with Dan Miller was even weirder (go watch it), but another W has him creeping up the rankings. He's never boring, that's for sure.
Mike "The Master of Disaster" Massenzio was a Juco national champion wrestler in 2004 before entering MMA. He went 10-1 in regional New Jersey fights (including a split-decision win over the aforementioned Dan Miller) before getting an IFL fight, which he lost to Danilo Villefort. Nonetheless, he was brought into the UFC and quickly submitted Drew McFedries in his debut. His next outing was not as successful, as he was TKO'd by CB Dollaway. He sat out almost two years due to a knee injury and bad staph infection, and finally made his return against Brian Stann at UFC on Versus 2. Despite being submitted late in the third round, Massenzio took home a fight of the night bonus. He was released and picked up a regional win, and got a last minute call to fill in at light heavyweight at UFC 131. He dropped that bout, but returned to 185 with a solid win over Steve Cantwell. Now he'll just look to leave the cage with both legs still attached.
Why should you care?
Dude, it's Toquinho. He might take a guy's leg home. He might stop mid-fight to celebrate an imaginary win. Hell, he might wear pajamas on his way to the cage and eat his own sponsor poster. The unknown is why you need to watch.
You can catch morepreview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.