Saturday's UFC Action

Saturday's UFC Action

Saturday's UFC Action

Event: TUF Brazil Finale 3
Date: May 31, 2014
Venue: Ibirapuera Gym
City: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Stipe Moicic (11-1) vs. Fabio Maldonado (21-6) Line: Miocic -550, Maldonado +400

Stipe Miocic will be in action on Saturday against Fabio Maldonado at TUF Brazil Finale in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Miocic was supposed to be in action against Junior Dos Santos, but those plans changed after Dos Santos had to pull out due to an injury during his camp two weeks ago. Since a TKO loss to Stefan Struve on Sept. 29, 2012, Miocic has won two consecutive fights. In his last fight on Jan. 25, he was able to score a unanimous decision victory against Gabriel Gonzaga with a striking advantage of 63-29. Before that on June 15, 2013, he held a whopping 106-23 edge in significant strikes in a decision win over Roy Nelson. During those wins, Miocic did a terrific job of dictating the tempo, while never allowing his opponent to get into a comfort level. The matchup with Dos Santos was supposed to be the fight that helped Miocic prove he deserved a chance at the UFC heavyweight title. However, he will be going up against a guy in Maldonado, who is moving up a weight class to take this fight in his home country. Maldonado enters this fight on a three-match winning streak. All three of those wins have come by way of decision, with his victory against Glan Villante on March 23 being decided unanimously. This is a tough one for Miocic because he is not fighting the same guy he had hoped.

Miocic has 11 victories in his career, with eight of them coming by way of knockout. He also has three wins by decision, including his last two. The biggest advantage Miocic will have in this match is his size advantage. He weighs in at 240 pounds, which is 35 pounds heavier than Maldonado, and Miocic also stands three inches taller at 6-foot-4. Both guys land a lot of significant strikes per minute (6.2 for Maldonado and 5.18 for Miocic), but Miocic’s strength advantage will make it difficult for Maldonado to go punch-for-punch. Miocic will have a big grappling advantage (2.15 takedowns for Miocic, compared to 0.47 for Maldonado), and that could be the difference. While he is not looking to win the fight by submission, he can absolutely wear his opponent down with the ground-and-pound approach. If the 31-year-old Miocic is able to establish his size advantage early in the fight, this could be over quickly.

Miocic will be the strongest fighter Maldonado has ever gone up against, but he enters this fight with 21 career victories, including 13 by way of knockout. The 34-year-old also has six victories by decision and two by submission. While Maldonado has the advantage in significant strikes landed in this fight, this is a very difficult matchup for him. Maldonado's biggest advantage coming into this fight is the fact that he is fighting in his home country. He will have to use that energy to set the tone, as Miocic obviously would prefer to be fighting Junior Dos Santos. If Maldonado is able to use his quickness and pick his spots, he could have enough punching power to come in and pull off the shocker.

Event: UFC Fight Night 41
Date: May 31, 2014
Venue: O2 World Berlin
City: Berlin, Germany

Mark Munoz (13-4) vs. Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2) Line: Mousasi -270, Munoz +212

Mark Munoz looks to bounce back from a tough loss when he goes up against Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night in Berlin on Saturday afternoon.

In his last fight against Lyoto Machida on Oct. 26, Munoz was dominated from the opening bell, getting knocked out just 3:10 into the fight. That gives half of his career defeats in the span of his past three fights, with the other loss coming to Chris Weidman. Munoz is at his best when he is able to turn the match into a striking contest, where he has the ability to end a fight with one punch. However, he has a tendency to get careless with his striking, and it has cost him in his last two losses. Munoz will have to be on top of his game in this fight, as Mousasi also has the ability to end a match in a hurry. Like Munoz, Mousasi is coming off a loss to Machida on Feb. 15, but that was a much more competitive fight. Mousasi was able to take Machida the distance, losing by way of unanimous decision.

Mousasi has 34 victories in his career, with the majority of them (19 wins) coming by way of knockout. However, he has also shown the ability to win by submission (10 wins) and five by way of decision. Mousasi will have a slight advantage when it comes to significant strikes (3.50 per minute for Mousasi and 3.35 for Munoz), but Munoz is a little more accurate when it comes to striking (52%) compared to Mousasi (50%). At 28 years old, Mousasi is six years younger than Munoz, and now entering the prime of his career. He is in tremendous shape, and is also much more accurate when it comes to takedown accuracy (59%), compared to only 27 percent for Munoz). If he is able to set the tone early and turn the fight into his style, then Mousasi will have a chance to wear Munoz out. However, Munoz is an experienced fighter, and understands how important it is for his career to get a win on Saturday.

"The Filipino Wrecking Machine" Munoz has 13 victories in his career, with seven of them coming by way of knockout. He also has six victories by way of decision. While he has an advantage when it comes to grappling with a 2.57 takedown average (1.55 for Mousasi), he uses his takedowns to wear his opponents out to get the victory in the latter rounds of the fight. Munoz has the striking ability to go toe-to-toe- with Mousasi. However, he will have to be careful and not just start sporadically throwing punches. If Munoz picks his spots and gets some confidence early, then he has a great chance to steal the victory from his opponent.

Francis Carmont (22-7) vs. CB Dollaway (15-6) Line: Carmont -150, Dollaway +120

Francis Carmont looks to get back on the winning path when he faces CB Dollaway at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.

In his last fight against Ronaldo Souza on Feb. 15, Carmont lost a tough one by way of unanimous decision. That defeat ended an impressive fight win streak that included his first six UFC fights. Carmont is a terrific athlete that has the ability to go the entire fight without getting tired. He uses his quickness to help him get the advantage in taking his opponent to the ground, where he is at his very best. However, this will not be an easy match, as he goes up against a very dangerous fighter in Dollaway. Unlike Carmont, Dollaway is coming into this match off a win. Not only did he win his fight on March 23, but he was absolutely dominant, knocking Cezar Ferreira out in only 39 seconds. While Carmont is going to use his quickness in this fight, Dollaway will be perfectly content winning this fight in knockout fashion.

"The Doberman" Dollaway has 15 wins in his career, with six wins by both knockout and decision. He also has three wins by submission. Dollaway will have an advantage when it comes to landing significant strikes, as he lands 2.63 per minute, compared to only 2.00 significant strikes landed per minute by Carmont. They are very close when it comes to landing the strike attempts (46% for Dollaway, 43% for Carmont). While he is not looking to submit his opponents, Dollaway will have a big advantage when it comes to landing the takedown (3.97 takedown average for Dollaway, 2.04 for Carmont). While Carmont is looking to finish with a submission on the ground, Dollaway is looking to wear his opponents down with the takedowns. If Dollaway is able to use his strength advantage in this fight, then he has a great chance to get the win. However, if Carmont can use his athleticism and quickness, he will have the upper hand.

"Limitless" Carmont enters this fight with 22 victories, with 10 of them coming by way of submission. He also has six wins by both knockout and decision as well, proving that he also has a lot of versatility in his fighting style. Hailing from Paris and now fighting out of Montreal, one thing the 32-year-old Carmont will have an advantage in is his ability to avoid the big punches, defending 62% of his opponents' strike attempts (55% for Dollaway). In his previous three victories, Carmont has had to grind it out and get all three of those wins by decisions. His strength in this fight is his cardio, and he will have to use that to his advantage to secure the victory. The 6-foot-3 Carmont holds a one-inch height advantage over his Saturday opponent.

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