The four finalists from TUF: Brazil 4 look to earn something better than groans from the audience this August 1, 2015 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Line Up
Fernando Bruno +155 Glaico Franca -175
Dileno Lopes -340 Reginaldo Vieira +280
Lightweight Glaico França vs. Fernando Bruno
At 24 years of age, the product from Astra Fight Team hopes to make his LHW mark by trying to prove to everyone that he and his opponent belong on the main card. It'll be hard to convince anyone of this, but Franca has a solid skillset to build upon. His age is the clincher; with his wiry frame, and modest athleticism, he has a future. His opponent? Probably less so.
As you can see, Bruno, despite his fantastic pedigree training out of Nova Uniao, is a well kept secret for a reason; there's not much to reveal. As much as that sounds like an indictment on the guy, and it kind of is, he still has a singular skillset that could potentially serve him well in the division. He doesn't close the distance as quick as you'd like him to, but he does quickly secure his position in the clinch, keeping his arms and legs in the right vehicle at all times.
Despite Franca being the favorite, Bruno is a solid bet. My only worry is that Bruno may be a bit undersized for the division. Franca himself is a big bodied LW. He has solid knees inside, and varied arsenal of kicks both low and high. It's possible, however, that he's the Nover to Bruno's Escudero.
Bantamweight Dileno Lopes vs. Reginaldo Vieira
Lopes has actually been here before. But his route to the UFC was derailed by Rony Jason in the first season of the Ultimate Fighter in Brazil.
As you can tell, Lopes is pretty gifted. He doesn't have an eye popping athleticism, but he shuffles across the cage quickly, opening up with blistering combinations from his southpaw stance, or smoothly looking for openings in the scramble.
This clip of Vieira conveniently defines his game. He's a solid athlete who possesses a sniper like aptitude on the ground. This fight makes him look like Toquinho, but he's more like Rafael dos Anjos in that sense; aggressive on the ground, looking to twist rather than merely torque. While Lopes has more submissions, Vieira has a higher win percentage rate via submissions.
On the feet he's pretty limited. He's strong, and thus can crack pretty hard (don't let the zero TKO/KO rate fool you). But it's also kind of a testament to his lack of dynamics. He wings a big right hand, but never settles into a rhythm. Lopes is the clear favorite, but I think it's a highly competitive fight. Lopes' problem is that he'll be the smaller fighter. In addition, he can fairly patient, to the point of being inert. He likes to explode with punches when the opportunity arises, but he'd be better served pressuring Vieria where he's the superior, and more technical boxer.
Not a big fan of picking Bruno because at 33 years old, I don't see him having much of a future whereas Franca still has plenty to learn. However, I also don't see him stopping Bruno from putting him on his back. Bruno by Decision.
Lopes is just more dynamic. It's an interesting fight on the ground, but far less interesting on the feet (though not a blowout). Lopes by Decision.