UFC on Fuel 8: Stann vs Silva Facebook preliminary preview breakdown Part II

Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

The UFC is returning to Japan and their preliminary card wraps up with Japanese and Korean fighters taking on TUF alums Cristiano Marcello, Bryan Caraway, and Brad Tavares.

With the UFC on Fuel 8 event, the promotion returns to Japan with hands down their best Fuel card to date. UFC on Fuel 8 will air live in North America on March 2nd (3rd in Japan) at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT, much like a PPV event. Hopefully Comcast customers will get Fuel TV this week. The six fight main card is preceded by the five preliminary card fights on the Facebook stream.

As with all UFC cards we here at Bloody Elbow will be previewing every single fight on the card, starting here with the final three matches on Facebook:

Riki Fukuda (19-6) vs Brad Tavares (9-1) [Middleweight]

Who are these guys?

Riki Fukuda is former collegiate wrestler from Japan who has spent a nine year career primarily in the Japanese promotion Deep. Since joining the UFC in 2011 he has been 2-2, all four fights going the distance.

Brad Tavares was a semi-finalist on The Ultimate Fighter season 11, and since then the 25-year-old Hawaiian is 4-1 in the UFC .

What skills do they have?

Fukuda is a pretty straight forward clinch, takedown, ground-and-pound fighter. He employs a grinding style that wears opponents down as the fight goes on. Fukuda doesn't have much submission offense at all and not much in the way of power, so he relies mostly on judges for his victories.

Tavares came on to TUF as primarily an athletic Hawaiian scrapper, but since then his skill set has grown by leaps and bounds. He now uses his footwork as the first line of defense against takedowns, and has spent time at Xtreme Couture to shore up his wrestling. While Tavares isn't a knock out artist, he does have good striking that adds up over time.

How do they match up?

This one likely won't be a barn burner, expect quite a bit of clinch fighting in this one. It will come down to how much Tavares is able to do while at distance and if he can stay on his feet. In the end, Fukuda will likely be able to implement his game plan and take at two rounds from Tavares.

Fight Prediction: Riki Fukuda by Decision

Takeya Mizugaki (16-7-2) vs Bryan Caraway (17-5) [Bantamweight]

Who are these guys?

Takeya Mizugaki has been with Zuffa since WEC 40 in 2009 when he was brought in to face then Bantamweight champion Miguel Torres. Mizugaki has been with Zuffa ever since, crossed over to the UFC in 2011, and has alternated between win and loss during his Zuffa run.

Bryan Caraway is a Team Alpha Male fighter that you might remember as the boyfriend of Miesha Tate. Caraway has been around the block in his 7 year career, having fought in Elite XC, Strikeforce, the WEC, the Ultimate Fighter, and most recently the UFC. Since coming into the UFC Caraway has gone 2-0.

What skills do they have?

Mizugaki is a fairly well rounded fighter, coming from a shootfighting gym, he has good wrestling and striking. Mizugaki throws strikes one or two at time, mixing together a variety of punches with hard low kicks. In the clinch Mizugaki is technical, able to fend off takedowns or take fights to the mat.

Caraway is primarily a grappler but has some striking ability. Team Alpha Male is most known mostly for their wrestling and head lock chokes, but Caraway employs more of a guard playing and back taking game. Caraway is also tough to finish and is always a threat to find a submission.

How do they match up?

These two are fairly evenly matched, Mizugaki is the better striker and likely has a slight edge in wrestling, but Caraway is the better overall grappler. Mizugaki will likely not be able to finish Caraway, but Mizugaki is very difficult to submit. When it comes down it, Caraway isn't a perfect fighter but he tends to defeat fighters at Mizugaki's level.

Fight Prediction: Bryan Caraway by Submission, Round 3.

Cristiano Marcello (13-4) vs Kazuki Tokudome (11-3-1) [Lightweight]

Who are these guys?

Cristiano Marcello is the former head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach of the legendary Chute Boxe team and trained such legends as Pele, Wanderlei Silva, and Shogun Rua. His professional debut was in 1997 but it is now at 35-years-old that Marcello is focusing on his own fighting career. He appeared on season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter and is 1-1 in the UFC, with a rather tepid split decision over Reza Madadi in his last fight.

Despite being just 25-years-old Kazuki Tokudome has already made the rounds in the biggest remaining Japanese promotions, starting his career in Zst, and then going on to fight in Deep, Sengoku, and a rejuvenated Pancrase. Since 2010 Tokudome is 8-2, having won his last two fights in Pancrase.

What skills do they have?

Marcello's strongest card to play is his jiu jitsu. He is a phenomenal ground grappler with sublime transitions, and regardless if he is on top or on the bottom he has the advantage on the mat. On the feet Marcello does have decent Muay Thai, but he isn't about to light anyone up on the feet. The biggest gap in Marcello's skill set is his wrestling, which is basically non-existent.

Tokudome is mostly a takedown and ground-and-pound fighter, coming from a shootfighting background. He has quick takedowns, and strong top position. On the feet Tokudome is a brawler, who will get tagged at times.

How do they match up?

This fight could go two ways and it all hinges on Tokudome. If he takes Marcello down, which fits into Tokudome's game but would be monumentally stupid, we likely get an entertaining fight. The more likely outcome is that Tokudome keeps this fight standing and the result would be a horrid striking match. In that case it would be a tough match to call as either fighter could end up convincing the judges they won. I'll take Tokudome just based on that he'll be able to dictate the fight and likely will have the advantage in the clinch.

Fight Prediction: Kazuki Tokudome by Decision.

SBN coverage of UFC on FUEL TV 8

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