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Diggin’ Deep on UFC 237: Namajunas vs. Andrade - Fight Pass Prelims

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Get the scoop on the early contests from UFC 237 in Brazil, including a clash of TUF Brazil veterans in BJJ ace Sergio Moraes and the hyper-athletic Warlley Alves.

There are some who aren’t too happy with UFC 237. Though Rose Namajunas is a highlight reel waiting to happen, she doesn’t have a whole lot of name recognition for a PPV headliner. Neither does her opponent, Jessica Andrade. Anderson Silva is recognizable, but he no longer has the aura to sell PPV’s in high quantities, neither of the last two cards he was on estimated to have topped 200,000 buys. However, at one point, this wasn’t a bad card. What it lacks at the top of the card, it formerly made up for with solid matchmaking and depth. Unfortunately, the place on the card that took a hit in that area due to injury is the bottom of the card, three of the four contests on Fight Pass being subject to change. The one that wasn’t hit… well, it’s going to be a delightful train wreck. Take what you will out of that description….

The Fight Pass prelims begin at 6:15 PM ET/3:15 PM PT on Saturday.

Warlley Alves (12-3) vs. Sergio Moraes (14-4-1), Welterweight

Two of the most frustrating talents on the UFC roster, Alves and Moraes being paired together is one of those fights that inevitably had to be made for the sheer lunacy it might produce. It could produce a spectacular finish from either competitor or it could produce a lot of nothing, Alves and Moraes spending most of the time staring at each other.

Alves has been brushed aside by most as a never-was in comparison to his talents. Many of those pundits forget Alves not only is responsible for the only loss on Colby Covington’s record, but is still just 28. If the athletic freak could ever find a camp that could harness his talents and help him focus mentally, he could be the major player many believed he would be. However, I’ll be the first to admit that scenario is a longshot. The idea I’m getting across is Alves is explosive and powerful enough to end the fight at any time. However, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to secure his patented guillotine onto Moraes, one of the most talented pure grapplers on the roster. If he ends this one in a sudden manner, it’ll be with his fists.

Moraes may be an even more frustrating talent than Alves. While both are subject to long periods of inactivity, Moraes tends to ignore his blatant advantage on the mat, engaging in slugfests rather than looking for takedown opportunities. Moraes has the power to find success with that strategy, though his technique is lacking as he wings wild hooks. There are signs Moraes is turning over a new leaf as he has secured 5 takedowns in his last two contests, but Alves’ has also proven to be difficult to take down. It’s a coin flip of a fight. I’ll go with Alves’ ability to stuff takedowns and technical advantage on the feet to secure a tedious contest. Alves via decision

As for the rest….

  • A product of the Contender Series Brazil, Luana Carolina’s performance on the show lacked the typical pizzazz that secures a roster spot. Regardless, she showed poise and good technique, indicating she could have a bright future if handled with care. She faces Priscila Cachoeira, best known for being on the receiving end of a brutal beatdown at the hands of Valentina Shevchenko. Cachoeira is tough and aggressive, but also a subpar athlete. Carolina should have a successful debut. Carolina via decision
  • At 34, Raoni Barcelos is getting a late start on his UFC career. Nonetheless, the Brazilian looks as though he could make some waves as he hasn’t put too many miles on his body. Add in the fact that his opponent, Carlos Huachin, is a still-developing prospect filling in on short notice and Barcelos is very likely to add another finish to his UFC record. Huachin has talent, but should have been left on the regionals to marinate. Barcelos via submission of RD2
  • The curtain jerker involves stout Talita Bernardo welcoming Melissa Gatto to the promotion. Bernardo is a noted grappler with a limited striking arsenal. Regardless of her shortcomings, Bernardo offers a solid challenge for the young Gatto upon her entry. Gatto should have the grappling chops to repel Bernardo’s ground attack in addition to having the more polished striking attack. Look for her to find success in her debut. Gatto via decision
  • Update: Melissa Gatto is out of UFC 237, replaced by Vivi Araujo.