The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale: Preliminary Card 'Just Bleed' Q & A Breakdown

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Lots and lots of fights this weekend that the UFC put together. How does the weekend undercard in Brazil stack up, and who can we expect to eventually get a brighter spotlight?

I'm looking at the wiki page for this event and all I see for the undercard is TBA vs. TBA, but repeated 6 times.

Thankfully for you, TBA is my specialty.

So you're recommending this undercard?

Yes, and no. True, covering two cards for a single weekend is the single most exhausting experience of my blogging career, and the fights are sub-Fight Pass material in some cases, but I've decided to ignore my sanity for the time being.

At this point we know exactly what we're getting on some of these undercards. Many of these fighters will receive pinkslips before the year is over, but at the end of the day, they're just honest men doing honest work, and I'm just interested in seeing what they can do in front of the bright lights.

You sound thoroughly disconnected from reality.

Apparently concepts in physics like the Airy pattern and von Neumann chain combine to help explain how we all are.

You had your lunch money stolen a lot in middle school didn't you?

Shut up.

Ok so Rodrigo Damm at +235. Ernest Chavez at +325. Gasan Umalatov at +170. Mark Eddiva at +280. Richardson Moreira at +110. Wagner Silva, +250. And Matt Hobor, +205. Steal me some lunch money, kid.

Damm is a very good bet. At least looking at sheer numbers. He's got legitimate experience and has faced some absolute killers. His opponent, M-1 Welterweight champ, Rashid Magomedov has very little experience against quality opposition. Damm has always been a solid fighter with a great pedigree who hasn't figured out how to make sense of the game. He's got excellent moves on the ground, and can strike as he showed against a fighter I thought was superior leading up to the bout in Mizuto Hirota. Rashid is a striker by trade, so the idea that he score what I consider a minor upset is not beyond possibility, but Damm's overall game is borderline elite. His problem is that he has some borderline journeyman habits. Rashid should look good for the first round, but I expect Damm to score punches every now and then while dominating in top control (like many Sambo experts, Rashid is good offensively from his back, but not near as good defensively).

Chavez at that number is actually probably too high. I was actually shocked he beat Cedeno, who isn't even that great but credit where credit's due. Chavez is your classic ham and egger. Nothing special, but he fights honestly and tries to get his work done on the feet. Despite being slow and stationary, he fires off a strong right hand that is deceptively accurate.

Unfortunately for him Elias Silveiro is everything Chavez isn't: dynamic, well rounded, and swift of foot.  I was frankly shocked he took out Isaac Vallie Flagg. Elias likes to move and bounce around to set up his snapping kicks, and is a capable counter puncher. He doesn't hit hard, but he lands with consistency and excels in the clinch where he's sneaky with those underhooks. This nets him takedowns whenever he wants them, especially against fighters who aren't athletic, like Chavez.

Gasan being the underdog sounds right on paper, but Paulo Thiago as the favorite sounds incorrect in practice. I wouldn't advise betting on Umalatov, and yet I find it hard to pick Thiago these days. After bursting onto the scene with a great entrance song, and knockout over Josh Koscheck, he's done nothing but get worse. He's 2-5 in his last 7.

Paulo has had a tough schedule. Thatch is on the verge of breaking out, and Kim, Sanchez, and Kampmann have all been stalwarts in the division. To me it's the manner in which he loses that is disheartening. He simply doesn't fight with urgency, nor is enough of an athlete to dominate in spots. Even his last two wins against David Mitchell and Michel Prazeres weren't anything to write home about. Especially the Mitchell fight, which was just a dreadful display all around. Gasan is exactly the kind of fighter who can catch Paulo coming in, who looks increasingly lethargic. Umalatov is a good bet precisely because his abilities on the feet, defined by the quick release of his right hand and most importantly...his willingness to dig to the body. That's huge against a fighter like Thiago who has never had much of a gas tank.

Eddiva vs. Edimilson Souza? Oh man. That number on Eddiva should likely be higher. Souza is a massive FW, standing at six feet. He also excels where Eddiva is simply adequate. On the feet, Souza is an excellent combination puncher. His movement leaves a bit to be desired, but when he pounces on an opponent he sheds blood with a fast, efficient string of hooks. He doesn't use his reach well in the middle of the cage which is where you want to see it most (nor does he have much of a jab), but as long as he can press Eddiva towards the cage, he'll be able to fire off punches on the project rather than prospect from the Phillipines.

Moreira, or Rick Monstro, as the underdog is the correct line and not worth betting on at those odds.

Despite how low profile these guys are, this will be a much better Heavyweight fight than 85% of what's offered in a typical HW fight on the main card of UFC PPV. Both guys are glorified LHW's.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima is a solid, agile striker who excels at sneaking punches in from a distance, but he's aggressive enough to avoid any labels of being "conservative". He favors kicks of all kinds from his traditional stance, and has power to boot (in addition to his experience against some fairly high profile fighters, like Mike Kyle and Paulo Filho). Most importantly, his punches are always chambered which lends his strikes toward accuracy. Monstro will want this fight on the ground where he's extremely agile, always looking to pass guard. He scored a nice armbar from his back (remember those?) on the show, although the armbar was really a byproduct of his back control. This could turn into a major factor the longer the fight goes. I just wouldn't bet on it. Whatever happens, make sure you watch the first 15 seconds of the fight. Both guys love to come out swinging wildly. Still, expect Lima to land punches until Monstro is unconscious.

Ricardo Abreu is a favorite, but only because we know little of either fighter in the grand scheme of things. Abreu is 30 years old, with 4 professional fights against abominable competition (his last three opponents dating back to 2011 are without a single MMA victory). He does a solid grappling pedigree like his opponent. He easily has the grappling advantage over his opponent in Silva, but his talents are pretty specific. While he's good on the ground, he's not adept in the wrestling department, flossing a pretty standard double leg. He's able to get pretty good leverage on his takedowns though, so Silva will try to avoid the clinch.

It's pretty tough to predict. Abreu is the bigger guy and will have a strength advantage, while Silva is the more technical of the two on the feet. Silva doesn't overcommit on the feet, and keeps his boxing simple stupid. Tentative could be the word of the day, so it's possible we don't see the grappling exchange this bout deserves. If anything, Silva may be looking to avoid the ground given his experience on the show where Warlley Alves popped his head off a guillotine. In which case, a slight advantage goes to Silva, although both guys possess the exact same traits: not dynamic on the feet, but diligent on the ground. We'll either get a snoozer, or some wall and stall.

Pedro Munhoz is the favorite, largely because he's got some big fight experience, and his last loss came against potential TJ Dillashaw threat Raphael Assuncao.

Hobar is only a mediocre bet against Pedro Munhoz. Hobor has the perfect style to foil a Munhoz victory. He's got a fairly strong shot from his southpaw stance, and is top heavy, often sliding directly into side mount from a double leg. The problem here is that Munhoz is a capable black belt who is strong inside the clinch, and a much better striker. 'Much better' might be a little hyperbolic, but Munhoz comes from a strong camp and should be able to keep Hobar at bay with his front kicks, and a right hand he's able to needle through opponent's defenses.

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