UFC 163 fight card primer: Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 163: Aldo vs. Jung fight card primer, previewing all the action at this weekend's UFC 163 PPV live from Brazil. Here, we look at Cezar Mutante Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos.

At UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie, TUF: Brazil winner Cezar Ferreira (5-2 MMA; 1-0 UFC) faces Thiago Santos (8-1 MMA; UFC Debut). This Middleweight fight is the 3rd on the 5 fight PPV broadcast. Neither man is currently ranked in the UFC rankings. The UFC 163 PPV airs live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this Saturday, August 3, on PPV with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

I don't like to be a pessimist, but let's not sugar coat this - this is not a great fight for such a high billing. Originally, Josh Koscheck vs. Demian Maia was to be in this slot, but a Koscheck injury cancelled that bout. Another injury forced Clint Hester out of this, allowing Santos to step in. The end result - an all Brazilian battle between two fighters casual UFC fans know not a single thing about. That doesn't mean it will be a bad fight - just maybe not super compelling on paper.

How do these two stack up?

Ferreira: 28 years old | 6'1" | 79" reach
Santos: 29 years old | 6'0"

What have these two done recently?

Ferreira: W - Sergio Moraes (UD) | L - Elvis Mutapcic (KO) | W - Chaun Sims (KO)
Santos: W - Denis Figueira da Silva (TKO) | L - Vicente Luque (TKO) | W - Junior Vidal (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira won in the Middleweight bracket of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, defeating Sergio Moraes in the finals. In the year since, Mutante has been out of action with injury. A member of the Blackzilians alongside his TUF coach Vitor Belfort, Mutante shares Belfort's penchant for finishing fights. He was impressive on TUF, and his win over Moraes was the first decision victory of his career. He's the kind of fighter who, when given an opening, takes it.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 163

Thiago Santos is, to be clear, NOT the guy who exchanged groin shots with Eric Prindle in Bellator. This Santos was a Welterweight competitor on season 2 of TUF Brazil where he made it to the semi-finals, losing to eventual winner Leonardo Santos. He's making his Middleweight debut here. Thiago has yet to face any notable competition in his MMA career, and is taking his first step onto the big stage here. He comes to MMA with a background in capoeira, which is always fun, plus some solid Muay Thai experience. And, you know, jiu jitsu. We'll see what he brings to the table in his Octagon debut.

Why should you care?

Honestly, there's not much to this fight on paper, but these are two guys who could deliver a very entertaining, fast-paced affair. It should be fun.

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