TUF Brazil 3 Finale: Maia vs. Yakovlev, Jason vs. Peralta preview and prognostications

Photo by Josh Hedges, Zuffa LLC

Demian Maia takes on Alexander Yakovlev while Rony Jason opens the card against Robbie Peralta for a set of scraps that are better than fans give it credit for.

Demian Maia vs. Alexander Yakovlev Welterweight

Is this a good fight? I think Demian Maia sounds familiar. He's the guy who got booed along with Anderson Silva in Abu Dhabi correct?

It's the most dismissive way to talk about Maia, but yes that's the one. At 12-6 in the UFC, he's proven himself a stable force in the UFC, be it at middleweight or welterweight. But he's on a serious slide, losing his last two fights to Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields.

Those are strong names, but despite decision losses in each, it's been the way he's lost that seems so disconcerting. Against Rory, he opened up a strong first round only to follow it up with blown tire, gassing out halfway through the fight. As for Shields, while it's difficult for anyone to look good, the bout should have favored Maia, who is the more accomplished grappler, and the better striker. As we saw, none of that made a difference.

I think Maia is still an excellent fighter in the division, but if this is his twilight, Yakovlev could be the kind of opponent to pull off the upset.

I LOVE his music.

Wow. This is my first time seeing this. The video is like a 90's checklist of MTV gangster rap excess. You've got the neon vehicles, faux-intense close ups, and plastic mammaries for decoration. You have dreadful taste in music, by the way.

Wait, so this is Demian Maia's opponent?

Yakovlev, in addition to being a trained lyricist,  is a product of the K-Dojo Warrior Tribe where he gets valuable experience training with guys like Albert Tumenov, Adlan Amagov, and other assorted Russian prospects. He got this fight for one reason: beating Paul Daley via decision at Legend II.

He's a +360, and I don't know where else to use the ten dollars I just pulled out of a homeless man's road cup.

Save your money, Satan. That was a pretty good win over Daley, but he won the way you expect people to beat Daley: by taking away his hands, and keeping him on his back. He won't be able to do that against Maia.

Yakovlev is a good fighter, but he's 29 and has 26 fights to his name for a 21-4-1 overall record. The guy has peaked, and he's taking on an awful stylistic matchup.

Alex, as he showed against Daley is a patient striker. He's not a guy who will be bullied on the feet. He keeps his hands up, and when he's throwing from his southpaw stance, it's often with a mean left high kick. He's not a lights out puncher, but he does solid work in top control where he relies on aggression. Daley rarely takes any kind of damage on his back, and Yakovlev was absolutely tattooing him at times with some Shogunian ground and pound.

Still, Maia is a better boxer than he's given credit for, and he's as good a wrestler as he's given credit for. He'll get his takedowns and then some.

Demian Maia via RNC, round 2.

Rony Jason vs. Robbie Peralta Featherweight

I don't recognize these names, but Peralta is a +230. Yay or Nay?

Rony Bezerra, or Rony Jason, is a solid fighter I thought had real underdog potential in the bout with Jeremy Stephens. He got kicked in the head instead, less than two minutes in.

I feel like, as I've stated before, that the fight really did a disservice to his actual talent and ability. He's a much better fighter than he was able to show, and I doubt Stephens, who isn't know for his kicking game, would be able to replicate such a feat.

He's coming off a win over the underrated, and unheralded Steven Siler. While he's too old, and too experienced to be called a prospect, his 4-1 record is as impressive as it looks. Especially for a guy who is a "TUFer".

Jason isn't particularly dynamic. He's your standard issue jack of all trades type, but with a much more polished overall game. He keeps his boxing simple, not overdoing it with kicks, and sticking to the gameplan of a persistent one-two.

As for Peralta, injuries have sidelined him for stretches over the years after taking out the then favorite Hiroyuki Takaya. Peralta is a solid fighter who excels throwing punches. On the feet, he's got an excellent chance which makes this bout a very attractive bet. I have a hard time picking against Jason, who I think is similar to Raphael Assuncao: a sneaky good fighter who wins more than he loses, and is fundamentally sound enough to beat better fighters than himself.

On the feet, Peralta can seer those combinations better, but I like Jason to grind out the victory here. Top control and an eventual submission seem like the likely events here.

Rony Jason via Arm Triangle choke, round 2.

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