UFC 152 Fight Card Primer: Igor Pokrajac Vs. Vinny Magalhaes

Igor Pokrajac and Vinny Magalhaes square off during the UFC 152 weigh-ins at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at The Gardens on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Toronto. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The feature fight of the UFC 152 preliminary card marks the return of a TUF 8 finalist and one of the sport's best submission grapplers. Croatian striker Igor Pokrajac (25-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC) looks to spoil Vinny Magalhaes' (9-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) first fight back in the UFC since 2009. Neither man is ranked in the top 25 of the SB Nation MMA Consensus Rankings, but a win for either could see them ranked in October.

Pokrajac is on a three-fight win streak and is on the ascendency at 205 lbs, while Magalhaes took the hard road back to the UFC after being released the first time. You can catch this fight along with 3 other prelim bouts on FX at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT before the PPV starts at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

Pokrajac: 33 years old | 6'0" | 74" reach
Magalhaes: 28 years old | 6'3" | 77" reach

What have these two done recently?

Pokrajac: W - Fabio Maldonado (UD) | W - Krzysztof Soszynski (KO) | W - Todd Brown (TKO)
Magalhaes: W - Mikhail Zayats (TKO) | W - Viktor Nemkov (SUB) | W - Jake Doerr (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Pokrajac started fighting professionally in 2003 and essentially never ventured beyond his native Croatia. He entered the UFC in 2009, dropping his first two fights to Vladimir Matyushenko and James Te-Huna. In a "loser gets cut" matchup with James Irvin in August 2010, Pokrajac was the victor with a 1st round submission. Following a loss to Stephan Bonnar, Pokrajac has been on a roll, winning his last 3 fights, including a stunning 35 second KO of Krzysztof Soszynski. His entertaining win over Fabio Maldonado was slightly overshadowed by the close decision going his way, but nevertheless he's found some consistent success in the UFC and will look to continue it tonight in his 2nd fight in Toronto in the last 9 months.

Vinny Magalhaes is an outstanding grappler with two bronzes and a gold medal in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships. He made it to the finals of season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, where Ryan Bader's right hand ended his night in less than two minutes. A decision loss to Eliot Marshall dropped his record to 2-4 in MMA and 0-2 in the UFC, which led to his walking papers. He's won 7 of his last 8, 4 of which came on M-1 Challenge cards where he's the LHW champion. Vinny is finally back in the UFC but Pokrajac is a significant leap in competition from M-1 and other regional talent.

Why should you care?

It's a pure Striker vs. Grappler matchup, so it will be interesting to see if Pokrajac can hold his own on the ground against an elite grappler or if Magalhaes can show improved striking. This is one of the most intriguing fights on the card, and there's the added incentive of Vinny being a reader/commenter on Bloody Elbow.

More UFC 152 coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort

UFC 152: Joseph Benavidez Vs. Demetrious Johnson Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC Fans Owe Jon Jones $55.95 For Killing UFC 151 And Improving UFC 152 - Nate Wilcox

UFC 152 Weigh-In Results: Jones 204.6, Belfort 204.2 - Time Burke

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 209: Stipe Miocic, UFC 152 Preview - Matt Bishop

UFC 152 Staff Picks And Predictions - Tim Burke

Vitor Belfort's New Camp Reunites Him With An Old Mentor - Nate Wilcox

Bloody Elbow's UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort Custom Poster - Anton Tabuena

UFC 152: Michael Bisping Vs. Brian Stann Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 152: Jon Jones Doesn't Think Dana White Will Apologize, But Forgives Him Anyway - Tim Burke

Rashad Evans Confident In Vitor Belfort, Believes He Can KO Jon Jones - Mookie Alexander

UFC 152 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video And Coverage - Tim Burke

UFC 152: Matt Hamill Vs. Roger Hollett Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 152: The Trials and Tragedies of the UFC's Original Phenom, Vitor Belfort - T.P. Grant

UFC 152: Jones Vs. Belfort Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 152: Charles Oliveira Vs. Cub Swanson Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 152 FX Prelims: Grant Vs Dunham, Pokrajac Vs Magalhaes Preview - David Castillo

UFC 152: Charlie Brenneman 'In Hindsight, It Wasn't Such A Bad Thing' - Steph Daniels

UFC 152 FX Prelims: Hettes Vs Brimage, Pierson Vs Benoist Preview - David Castillo

Video - Countdown To UFC 152: Jones Vs. Belfort - Tim Burke

UFC 152: Facebook Preliminary Card Dissection - David Castillo

UFC 152 Video: Jon Jones Career Retrospective - Nate Wilcox

UFC 152: Vitor Belfort Wants To Make Sure MMA Doesn't Turn Into Formula 1 - Tim Burke

UFC 152: Jon Jones Rejects Villain Role - 'I'm The Nicest Guy Ever' - Nate Wilcox

UFC 152, Chavez Jr. Vs. Martinez, And The Value Of Truth In Promotion - Fraser Coffeen

Killing The King: Jon Jones - Jack Slack

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