The UFC Fight Night 29 preliminary card has taken a bit of a battering. Originally there were supposed to be 6 fights on the prelims, with 4 on Fox Sports 1 and 2 on Facebook. Multiple injuries have since affected both the original main card and preliminary card, thus two fights have been canceled outright and we're left with just 4 prelims, which will all air on Fox Sports 1.
As is now becoming the norm for Brazil shows, the prelims are predominantly filled with Jungle Fights talent, debuting fighters, and guys who are in desperate need of a win or else they face a release. Here's a brief rundown of all of tonight's preliminary bouts, which begins live at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT on FS1.
Igor Araujo (23-6, 1 NC MMA; 0-0 UFC) vs. Ildemar Alcantara (19-5 MMA, 2-0 UFC) - Welterweights
Araujo is probably quite fortunate to be in the UFC. He was part of the widely panned TUF 16 cast, and he fell victim to the Colton Smith blanketing in the quarterfinals. Originally, he (along with everyone else aside from the semifinalists) was cut, but a win over Nic Herron-Webb extended his professional winning streak to 4, and Joe Silva gave him a chance to prove his mettle in the big time.
Alcantara won the Jungle Fights Middleweight Grand Prix prior to joining the UFC, but opened his UFC career as a light heavyweight against Wagner Prado. He made the most of his late notice appearance by submitting Prado with a slick kneebar, which parlayed into a SOTN bonus. A cut to welterweight saw him pull off a win over Leandro Silva in June, albeit a lackluster one. As it stands right now, Alcantara has won 9 straight fights dating back to July 2011.
Yan Cabral (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. David Mitchell (12-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) - Welterweights
Cabral was part of season 2 of TUF Brazil, but his run came to an abrupt end after he broke his hand in the elimination round win over David Vieira. He's won all 10 of his pro fights (and both TUF fights) by submission, and the Nova Uniao member's latest victory was an arm triangle choke stoppage of Kazushi Sakuraba in DREAM. That was almost 2 years ago, and now he makes his return to professional MMA with hopes of a UFC debut win.
Mitchell came into the UFC having recorded wins over past and present UFC talent in War Machine, Bobby Green, and Tim McKenzie. His actual time in the UFC has not been a pleasant one. He dropped his first two bouts to T.J. Waldburger and Paulo Thiago before finally picking up a victory against Simeon Thoresen earlier this January. He was given a big step up in competition at UFC 162 vs. Mike Pierce and was TKOed in the 2nd round after Pierce uncorked his power shots against the cage. It's highly likely that he doesn't see another UFC fight if he loses again.
Chris Cariaso (14-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) vs. Iliarde Santos (27-8-1, 1 NC MMA; 0-2 UFC) - Flyweights
Cariaso made a successful cut to flyweight in the summer of 2012, winning a unanimous decision over TUF 14 alum Josh Ferguson. His auspicious start has made way to consecutive losses against recently vanquished title challenger John Moraga and BJJ ace Jussier Formiga. He's lost to the best at bantamweight (champion Renan Barao, title challenger Michael McDonald) and the best at flyweight, and it would be harsh to cut him if he loses his 3rd straight tonight.
Santos is a former Jungle Fights regular who was thrust into the UFC spotlight on short notice earlier this year against bantamweight Yuri Alcantara. The size disparity and skill discrepancy was fairly apparent in Alcantara's easy 1st round TKO, which was grounds for the move to flyweight for Iliarde. He won FOTN honors against Ian McCall at UFC 163, but came up short on the scorecards.
Allan Patrick (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Garrett Whiteley (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) - Lightweights
The night's proceedings in Barueri kick off with two newcomers to the promotion. Brazil's Allan Patrick holds an unblemished record, with all of his bouts taking place in his home country. Aside from one head kick KO, Patrick prefers to grind out decisions than to partake in striking. Patrick's UFC debut will mark his 4th fight this year, which is a career high for him in 5 years of pro fighting.
Whiteley won his pro debut by unanimous decision and has not gone the distance since then. Six of his wins have come inside the 1st round, and one of those was a TKO victory over former UFC welterweight Jason Gilliam. Whiteley fights out of Indy Boxing and Grappling, where you'll find Indiana native and fan favorite Chris Lytle.
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