The UFC heads back to Brazil yet again as Glover Teixeira finally gets the spotlight against Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 28 on Sept. 4.

UFC Fight Night 28 features a fairly well-rounded card with quite a few match-ups of contrasting styles. This isn’t a card driven by name recognition, and most fans in the United States will undoubtedly only be familiar with a handful of the guys fighting. The focus will be on Teixeira as he looks to stake a claim for a shot at the light heavyweight belt. A win over Bader should put him next in line to do just that. Other notable names on the card include Yushin Okami, Joseph Benavidez, Jussier “Formiga” da Silva and Rafael Natal.

The action starts at 5 p.m. ET with the Facebook prelims and then heads to Fox Sports 1 with more preliminary-card action at 6 p.m. ET and the six-fight main card at 8 p.m. ET.

The MMA Corner’s Joe Chacon, Riley Kontek and Bryan Henderson preview the entire 12-fight lineup in this edition of the Round Table.

FlyW: Ali Bagautinov (10-2) vs. Marcos Vinicius (20-4-1)

Henderson: It looks like the day has finally come when the UFC treats its flyweight division as it does every other weight class in the promotion. Sure, there have been flyweight bouts on main cards, but it has not been often that a non-tournament, non-title and non-top-contender flyweight pairing has landed a spot on a UFC main card. Marcos Vinicius and Ali Bagautinov are on the verge of changing that trend.

Vinicius competed as a featherweight on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, where he defeated Pedro Nobre to gain entry into the TUF house. In his first fight after advancing to the house, “Vina” lost to Hugo Viana and then, stepping in to replace Rodrigo Damm, he was submitted by Godofredo Pepey. Vinicius went on to record a “Knockout of the Night” performance in his official UFC debut against Wagner Campos, but then lost a bantamweight bout to Johnny Bedford by way of a knockout. Now, the Brazilian sheds another 10 pounds to make his flyweight debut. With 20 wins—all stoppages—under his belt, Vinicius is the entertaining style of flyweight that the UFC has been looking to showcase.

Bagautinov is a UFC newcomer, but he is an intriguing prospect for the UFC’s 125-pound division. The 28-year-old certainly has the credentials to leave opponents trembling. He’s a world combat sambo champion and an International Master of Sports in sambo. He also happens to be an International Master of Sports in pankration and a Master of Sports in freestyle wrestling and hand-to-hand combat. His trophy case is overflowing, with highlights that include his combat sambo gold at the 2012 World Championships, a world championship in pankration, a Russian national championship in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and one in grappling, a Greco-Roman wrestling silver medal in the Russian Wrestling Federation, and, in MMA, the Fight Nights flyweight championship. Oh, and he has boxed professionally too. Bagautinov suffered two decision losses early in his MMA career, but he is on an eight-fight winning streak and has notched four wins apiece via knockout and submission.

With just six decision between these two competitors in a combined 37 fights, it’s likely we’ll see a finish in this contest. Bagautinov is fresh off a 25-second TKO of veteran Seiji Ozuka and needed just 27 seconds to score the TKO stoppage in his previous outing. Vinicius has quite a few first-round victories of his own, but he has seen the second round—and sometimes the third—in his last six fights.

Bagautinov is 12 fights into his career, but he has never fought outside of Russia and never for a promotion larger than Fight Nights. Vinicius, meanwhile, has experienced the gauntlet of the TUF house, has already seen the inside of the Octagon on two occasions, has twice as many fights under his belt and has the good fortune of fighting on this card in his native Brazil (his only UFC loss came in his first fight outside of South America).

“Vina” will have to be careful about rushing forward. Bagautinov has staggering power for a 125er and will patiently wait for the opportunity to counter his opponent. Vinicius has power too, as evidenced by his seven knockout victories, but his 13 submission wins suggest that he’s usually more comfortable on the mat. The problem is that Bagautinov has proven to be a world-class fighter with a well-rounded game. He has the power to knock out Vinicius on the feet, but he won’t be out of his element on the ground and should sufficiently fend off the Brazilian’s submission attempts.

This one could end in an early flurry, but I have my fingers crossed that they entertain for a minimum of five minutes before it comes to an end. Given his two knockout losses, I fear that “Vina’s” chin might not hold up against the powerful counters of the Russian. Bagautinov will land a clean counter shot in the second stanza to score the knockout win.

Kontek: Wow, what do I say that hasn’t already been said by Bryan? The greatest thing he mentioned is how the flyweights are finally starting to get some spotlight in appreciation, not only because of the signing of the top-notch Bagautinov, but this fight’s placement on the main card over six other possible choices.

Bagautinov is one of the many Russians invading the sport. What’s great for him is that he is invading a division that doesn’t have nearly as many competitors in it, especially Russians. He is a combination of power and durability, which comes in handy when he is on the feet or the ground. He can tap you out with his good grappling or put you to sleep with his heavy hands. In fact, his last two fights have ended in nasty knockout.

As for Vinicius, he makes the drop from bantamweight here in the attempt to salvage his UFC career after a loss in his last fight. While he beat Campos at the TUF Brazil finale to secure a spot following the show, he was absolutely manhandled by Bedford in his last fight. He is traditionally a grappler, but has improved drastically on the feet since participating on the reality show.

That being said, I don’t think Vinicius is quite on the level of Bagautinov. The Russian is a top-25 flyweight and hasn’t had a blemish on his record in eight straight fights. If Vinicius wants to get this fight down, he will have to get through the counter-wrestling of Bagautinov. As the Brazilian moves forward, he will get caught and punched out by the debuting Russian.

Chacon: Wonderful set up to this fight given by both Bryan and Riley. When looking at what both these fighters have to offer, I have to agree with the predictions given thus far.

Bagautinov is as energetic and strong as flyweights come. What typically has been happening in a Bagautinov fight as of late is that he’ll quickly counter the slightest offensive attack of his opponent and land a flurry of shots until one of them hits the button.

As Bryan mentioned, Vinicius now has a suspect chin, which doesn’t bode well in a match-up with Bagautinov. Vinicius does have knockout power of his own, and his best bet will be to catch Bagautinov off balance and take this down to the ground. He may not have a huge advantage there, but it gives him the biggest chance of winning.

I’ll go with Bagautinov in a late first-round knockout.

MW: Rafael Natal (16-4-1) vs. Tor Troeng (16-4-1)

Kontek: Sweden meets Brazil when TUF 17 alum Tor Troeng makes his return to the Octagon against home-country favorite Rafael Natal. This is really going to be an interesting bout, as Natal has struggled to find consistency, and Troeng has been touted as a jack of all trades, master of none by many.

Natal brings his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and eight submission wins into the Octagon in a bout he will likely want to get to the ground. Though he has shown some improvements on the feet in bouts against Sean Spencer and Andrew Craig (in which he still got knocked out), he does not want to get into a brawl with Troeng.

The problem with Natal is that every time he takes a step up in competition, he falters. Sure, he is 4-1 in his last five, but he has beaten a natural welterweight (Spencer) and two late replacements (Paul Bradley and Joao Zeferino). His biggest UFC bouts to date came against Rich Attonito and Craig, both of whom are mid-carders in the company. Both were fights he lost.

Troeng is well-rounded, with most of his wins coming on the ground. The problem here is that the Swede is not going to have the advantage on the ground, so he will need to keep this fight upright. He has the takedown defense to stay off his back, but he will need to use clinch fighting and stronger striking ability to get by Natal.

This is an extremely close fight. Troeng, as a middle of the pack fighter, is the type of guy Natal has consistently faced in the Octagon. The Brazilian also has home-field advantage, which will aid him. However, I think Troeng has yet to hit his stride yet, so he will use a balanced attack to win a close decision in enemy territory.

Chacon: Aside from Troeng’s two-inch height advantage, the statistical attributes between “The Hammer” and Natal are virtually identical. Both are 30 years old and have 16-4-1 records. Both men also started their professional careers in the spring of 2005.

Natal has been legitimately knocked out twice, with the most recent one coming against Craig just a little over a year ago. Troeng has a bit more upside and has only lost once within the last five years. He poses a significant challenge for Natal, especially if he stays off the ground, as Riley suggested. Natal more than likely is going to go to the ground, where he does have an advantage. Knowing that he can ill afford to go 2-2 over his last four fights, it is expected that we’ll see Natal try to grind out a win utilizing his strength in controlling position with his excellent BJJ.

Although this fight is close on paper, it just reeks of Natal coming out to play it safe and secure a win. Natal will grind out a unanimous decision.

Henderson: I expected Troeng to do much better on The Ultimate Fighter than he actually did. He may have earned his way into the house with a submission win, but he was disposed of in the elimination round by Josh Samman via first-round knockout.

Despite the knockout, it isn’t Troeng’s chin that is suspect, it’s actually his submission defense. Troeng’s list of defeats is composed of notable names Mamed Khalidov, Lucio Linhares, Daniel Acacio and Thales Leites. Acacio and Linhares settled for decisions wins, but Khalidov and Leites ended Troeng’s night early by way of submission. Furthermore, Troeng’s amateur run included submission losses to a pair of fighters whose combined pro record sits at 0-1. That’s not a good sign, especially when Troeng is gearing up for a BJJ black belt whose wrestling should be sufficient enough to force the European prospect to the mat.

Natal via submission in the late second or early third round.

LW: Piotr Hallmann (13-1) vs. Francisco Drinaldo (13-2)

Chacon: Two men with very impressive records join the fray as Piotr Hallmann and Francisco Drinaldo do battle in a lightweight match-up. Hallmann is making his UFC debut, whereas Drinaldo has already accumulated three wins inside the Octagon.

Hallmann has a powerful left hand that has kept his fights away from the judges’ scorecards for all but one of his 14 professional fights. The pride of Gdynia will look to keep Drinaldo at bay and off the ground. Although Hallmann has five submission wins in his career, I’d be hard pressed to believe he’d have an easy go of submitting Drinaldo via rear-naked choke, which is his submission of choice.

UFC fans have seen most of what Drinaldo has to offer. He beat Delson Heleno at UFC 147 via TKO and has submitted his last two opponents. The one blemish on Drinaldo’s UFC record is a decision loss to Gleison Tibau. The former Jungle Fight lightweight and Brazilian kickboxing champion will look to secure an exciting win over Hallmann by utilizing his jiu-jitsu, which has become more refined as the years have passed.

If Hallmann stuffs Drinaldo’s takedown attempts, then we could be looking at an exciting knockout. Either way, Drinaldo has the upper hand and should win this one easily.

Henderson: I’ve become quite familiar with Hallmann through writing the Out of Obscurity series here on The MMA Corner. The Polish Navy officer has made numerous appearances in that feature and is among the best of lightweight prospects yet to have graced the inside of an Octagon.

My colleague suggests that Hallmann would have a hard time submitting Drinaldo, but I don’t necessarily agree. Hallmann’s best work actually comes on the ground. He has knocked out an opponent from within the opponent’s guard, often scores his knockout victories via ground-and-pound and has coaxed several opponents into giving up their backs—and thus the rear-naked choke—simply to avoid eating anymore of his fists.

In this fight, it’s not so much ground versus stand-up. Given his kickboxing background, Drinaldo’s stand-up attack may actually be his biggest advantage. Hallman’s background includes a bit of karate and capoeira, but he’s a fighter who relies heavily on putting opponents on their backs and beating the crap out of them. So the real question here is whether Hallmann can plant Drinaldo on the mat or if Drinaldo can either keep it standing or stuff Hallmann’s takedowns and end up on top.

If Hallmann has his way and ends up on top of the Brazilian, then Drinaldo is in for a long night. Drinaldo may throw up some submission attempts, but Hallmann should be savvy enough to avoid danger and punish Drinaldo for his efforts. Meanwhile, if Drinaldo can keep the fight standing, a TKO isn’t out of the question, and if he lands on top on the mat, then he could end this fight with a submission.

However, there is one more thing to consider. Like many European prospects, Hallmann has yet to fight outside of his home region. He has never traveled overseas for a fight until now. Drinaldo is fighting in his native Brazil and will certainly feel more comfortable than his 26-year-old adversary. That might be all the edge Drinaldo needs. Although I’m still tempted to pick Hallmann by ground-and-pound TKO, the travel factor is too much to overlook. Drinaldo will edge Hallmann via a late TKO.

Kontek: Hallmann’s signing may be an indication that the UFC is finally ready to sign prospects from Poland, a country that is budding with under-the-radar talent. Hallmann gets a huge test though, as Drinaldo is an established UFC veteran that has looked top notch in his time with the promotion.

Drinaldo is heavy-handed and skilled on the ground. That type of well-roundedness will get you far in MMA, especially in a top show like the UFC. His wins thus far have been impressive, even though they have mostly been against feeder talent. His win against Mike Rio, however, was especially encouraging, as he made a wrestler with good submission ability look like a fish out of water.

Hallmann is also a well-rounded guy who is very good on the ground, but he will want to avoid a grappling bout with Drinaldo. Even though Hallmann is capable of handling himself, he does not have the pedigree of “Massaranduba.” If he stays on the feet, he can try to work his boxing, but again, he’s facing a guy with cruise missiles attached to his hands.

Hallmann drew a tough first bout in the UFC, but will show some ability during the fight. Drinaldo, on the other hand, should be fighting guys higher up the ladder after what he’s been able to show while in the UFC. Hallmann puts up a fight, but ultimately succumbs to a finish, whether it’s a TKO or submission, to the much larger, more talented “Massaranduba.”

FlyW: Joseph Benavidez (18-3) vs. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (15-2)

Kontek: Jussier da Silva, the former No.1 flyweight in the world, returns to his home country with a tall task on his hands when he takes on the consensus No. 2 flyweight in the world, Joseph Benavidez. This bout could determine the top contender to Demetrious Johnson’s crown, so this bout is crucial come fight night.

A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, da Silva’s desire to take this fight to the mat is no secret. With almost half of his wins coming by submission, he is going to have to find a way to put Benavidez on his back so he can work his grappling. That will be easier said than done, as Benavidez is hard to get down. Da Silva had a helluva time getting John Dodson down and was defeated in his Octagon debut.

Benavidez’s wrestling will be a huge tool in this fight. He is extremely tough to put down, especially for a guy who lacks wrestling chops, which is the case with da Silva. Benavidez is obviously the better striker, so once he keeps this fight standing up, he will be in his own world. Plus, Team Alpha Male is undefeated since taking Duane Ludwig on as their coach.

In laying out both men’s strengths and weaknesses, this fight is pretty telegraphed in how it will go down. Benavidez will fight off takedowns from Formiga and use his striking skills to soften up the Brazilian. Benavidez should be able to wear Formiga out and finish him late in the fight with his hands.

Henderson: It’s almost hard to believe that Formiga hails from the same fight camp as Jose Aldo and Renan Barao. At the highest levels, Nova Uniao usually produces well-rounded fighters who are lethal in one aspect of the fight game and competent in the others. Aldo has finished a majority of his fights via knockout, but he’s also a BJJ black belt. Barao is a submission specialist and a BJJ black belt, but he also has six wins by some form of knockout. Hacran Dias also specializes in the ground game, but has three TKO wins. Yet, here’s Formiga, with seven submission wins, eight decision victories and not a single knockout.

Benavidez has resided near the top of the flyweight division since departing the bantamweight ranks in 2012. He’s fought all of the other top dogs in the division, so it’s only fitting that he now encounters Formiga. However, everything Riley said about this fight is spot on.

Benavidez has the wrestling to keep this fight standing and the ability to frustrate Formiga until either the final bell rings or Benavidez lands a fight-ending blow. And that is the one area where Riley did not dig deep enough in his analysis of this fight. Yes, he mentioned Duane Ludwig’s role with Team Alpha Male and the subsequent streak of wins, but what he failed to mention is what Ludwig’s presence brings to this fight in particular.

Ludwig’s background in striking will be the most valuable asset for Benavidez in this fight. If Benavidez held the edge in the stand-up department all on his own, then sprinkling a little of Ludwig’s knowledge into the mix only boosts the formula for Benavidez’s success. With Ludwig in his corner, the southpaw Benavidez will have the perfect strategy to combat Formiga on the feet. And if, like my colleague suggests, Formiga can’t get this fight to the ground, then the outcome is almost certain. Benavidez will score the late TKO victory.

Chacon: The stat that grabs my attention the most is Benavidez having three losses over the last four years, with those losses coming against Dominick Cruz (twice) and Demetrious Johnson. Those are the kind of opponents one could lose to five times in a row and their job with the UFC would still be safe.

Benavidez is about as well-rounded a fighter as you’re going to find. The numbers have already been laid out by my colleagues, so I’ll just say that Benavidez can truly take this fight wherever he wants. If the fights goes to the ground, Benavidez can utilize his world class jiu-jitsu skills to outclass his opponent and earn the submission win.

There’s been quite a bit of talk about Benavidez’s training with Ludwig and developing an even more sophisticated and powerful stand-up game. However, this fight is going to go to the ground early, and when it does look for the hand of Benavidez to be raised shortly thereafter.

MW: Yushin Okami (29-7) vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (18-3)

Henderson: If there’s a name synonymous with middleweight title contender, it’s that of Yushin Okami. The Japanese fighter always seems to be just a step or two away from the title, and that might be the case again as he prepares to engage Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in battle.

Okami’s seven-year run in the UFC is comprised of 17 fights—13 wins and just four losses. His setbacks have primarily come against the division’s best, from his title eliminator loss to Rich Franklin, to his drubbing courtesy of the surging Chael Sonnen, to his TKO loss in his lone title bid versus Anderson Silva. There’s also the stunning upset he suffered at the hands of Tim Boetsch, whom he dominated for two rounds before Boetsch threw a flurry of punches that left Okami dazed and helpless. Okami has power (10 wins by some form of knockout) and can grapple (four submission wins), but his usual approach is to grind opponents for the bout’s duration en route to a decision victory. It’s an approach he has used to notch 14 of his 29 total victories.

Jacare doesn’t share Okami’s characteristic of going the distance in his outings. The BJJ and judo black belt has just three decision wins and one decision loss in his 21 total fights. Souza’s grappling credentials are no secret. He has won numerous BJJ world championships in his weight class and in the absolute division, and his submission skills have accounted for 11 of his MMA victories. He’s no Anderson Silva on his feet, but Jacare’s striking skills continue to improve as he trains with the Black House team.

The 33-year-old Souza has been on a roll in his last four fights, and especially in his last three, where he stopped Derek Brunson, Ed Herman and Chris Camozzi within the first stanza. Can he do the same to Okami? I doubt it. The last time the UFC mainstay lost in the first round, he was a six-fight veteran and the year was 2003. The only other man to defeat him before the third round was champion Anderson Silva. In other words, Jacare should be prepared to go the distance.

Souza has an excellent sprawl, so Okami can’t expect to have much success in taking him down. That leaves the clinch as Okami’s best answer to Jacare in this fight. Okami needs to press Jacare into the cage and dirty box his way to victory.

As a Strikeforce import, Souza stills needs to prove that he’s on the same elite plane as his UFC counterparts. With his most recent losses coming to Luke Rockhold and Gegard Mousasi, and his high-level wins registered against Robbie Lawler, who is obviously better as a welterweight, and Tim Kennedy, Jacare has already come a long way in making his case. However, Okami is the most significant opponent that Souza has ever faced in the realm of mixed martial arts. He’ll be competitive, but he won’t do enough to avoid the eventual outcome, which will see Okami’s hand raised via split decision.

Chacon: Okami is looking to catapult himself up the ladder in his division, and a win over Souza would do just that. Okami’s game plan is simple: stay off the ground against Souza.

Jacare was knocked out by Mousasi, and that is no doubt the path Okami is going to look to take. As Bryan pointed out, Okami’s success in the clinch is going to be the biggest difference between a win and a loss for him. Okami should be able to use his six-inch reach advantage to get Souza in the clinch and punish him against the cage.

Souza shouldn’t be sold short here. As Bryan pointed out, his only two losses within the last five years have come against Mousasi and Rockhold, so it’s not as if he’s losing to cupcakes out there.

Look for Jacare to struggle in getting Okami down. Also, look for Okami to catch Souza with a knee or uppercut during a takedown attempt. Okami is a bad man and a win would put him right back in the mix to fight for the middleweight belt.

Okami should win this fight within the first couple of rounds.

Kontek: I tend to somewhat disagree with Joe here. I don’t think Okami is going to stay away from the ground with Jacare. He is just going to make sure that when it goes down, he’s the one to end up on top.

Okami has underrated boxing skill, but Jacare has shown vast improvement in his striking and power. Okami will need to use his jab to keep the Brazilian at bay before shooting on him. That shot will not be the setup for an all-out ground war, but rather a grinding clinch against the fence.

In close, Okami does some of his best work. His cardio and relentless pressure against the cage will be used to tire out Jacare for a big part of the fight. It won’t be pretty, but it will be effective against the home-country favorite, Souza.

In the end, I don’t believe the Japanese grinder can finish Souza. However, he will do enough to win a close fight and keep his name at the top of the division. It will be a close decision, but it will come in favor of Okami. Jacare will need to find another way to build himself back up to the top.

LHW: Ryan Bader (15-3) vs. Glover Teixeira (21-2)

Chacon: Glover Teixeira is poised to fight for the belt, and a headlining win over Ryan Bader is his ticket to do just that.

Teixeira burst onto the UFC scene last year and has continued to do what he does best—win. Teixeira has rattled off 19 consecutive wins and has showed us he is more than just a one-trick pony. Leading to this fight against Bader, there is more of a discussion about his overall fight game and not just his knockout power. Going into his last fight against James Te Huna, many were hyping it up to be a slugfest without giving credit to Teixeira for his second-degree BJJ black belt. Teixeira took Te Huna to the ground, and although Te Huna isn’t a great fighter to measure up one’s ground game against, it was still impressive nonetheless.

Bader, like Teixeira, is well-rounded and can win a fight anywhere. Unfortunately for Bader, he is overmatched against Teixeira in everything but wrestling. Teixeira has never been truly knocked out, whereas Bader was knocked out last year by Lyoto Machida and was rocked by Tito Ortiz in 2011, which led to his submission loss in that encounter.

This is Bader’s time to show he doesn’t have Kenny Florian-itis. It’s his spotlight to show fans he is ready to compete for the belt. If he is able to trade punches with Teixeira and eventually get him in an extremely favorable position on the ground, he might have a shot.

Teixeira isn’t going to get in trouble against Bader, though. This has the potential of being a very entertaining fight, and one in which Teixeira will have his hand raised in a second-round TKO.

Kontek: Teixeira, despite his dominance in the UFC, still doesn’t get as much respect from casual MMA fans as he rightfully deserves, but the man is undefeated against some of the top competition in the world. In his undying search for further respect, he takes on Bader, a perennial contender looking to move one step closer to a rematch with champion Jon Jones.

Teixeira can do it all, and that is why he is so dangerous. He is a high-level BJJ black belt, which he has barely shown yet, despite submission wins over Kyle Kingsbury and Te Huna. Those submissions were set up with his lethal hands, as the Chuck Liddell sparring partner has shown his Pit roots in his stand-up wars. Though people say Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is over the hill, Teixeira dominated the former champion on the feet not long ago, showing that his well-roundedness can take him over some of the top competition offered by the UFC.

Bader’s one advantage in this fight is going to be wrestling. Teixeira has yet to face a guy in the UFC with the takedown chops and heavy top pressure of Bader, so it will be interesting to see how the Brazilian responds. Bader does have one-punch knockout power, so Teixeira does need to be weary of that, but Bader is more flat on his feet, as opposed to Teixeira’s movement-based attack that includes good footwork.

If Bader can get the fight down, this fight is his for the taking. That is easier said than done, as Teixeira’s power makes people second guess the shoot. Bader has been rocked in the past by Ortiz and Machida. Teixeira has just as much, if not more, power than those men, so expect him to get a knock down with his hands to which he follows up and finishes on the ground.

Henderson: Bader’s suspect chin. His wrestling. His power. Those are the factors that have already been put forward by my fellow panelists. One could land him on the canvas, unconscious, whereas the other two could lead him to victory. So, which will it be?

Despite his wrestling, Bader has a tendency to rely on his overwhelming power to get the job done. He knocked out Tom Lawlor on TUF, defeated Vinny Magalhaes to take the TUF crown and has notched knockout victories over Keith Jardine and Jason Brilz. When he can’t lure an opponent into a striking exchange, he does fall back on his wrestling, typically shooting for a takedown and grinding his way to victory. He’s seen the scorecards even against the likes of Carmelo Marrero and Eric Schafer, not just top-tier foes like Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Rampage, although granted the wins over Marrero and Schafer came early in his UFC tenure.

What’s more troublesome is Bader’s chin. Hell, Liddell and John Hackleman would never let Teixeira hear the end of it if the Brazilian can’t rock an opponent that Tito Ortiz rocked. As Liddell has pointed out, Ortiz lacks power. Teixeira, however, does not. The Pit fighter also likes a good firefight, and he might just be willing to stand toe-to-toe with Bader. Teixeira has been wobbled on occasion in his Octagon appearances, but he’s always able to recover and eventually find his arm raised.

Bader is likely to be the more conservative of the two fighters in this affair. He has one-punch knockout power, but he knows that Teixeira does as well. Considering his losses to Ortiz and Machida, he won’t chance that again. He’ll look for the takedown from the onset, but Teixeira will work to avoid it and punish Bader. If Bader does manage to succeed in planting Teixeira on the mat, he can look forward to fending off submission attempts for the BJJ black belt.

There doesn’t seem to be an easy route to victory for Bader, regardless of his strengths in wrestling and knockout power. Teixeira is the more well-rounded fighter, and he also enjoys an experience advantage over Bader. The Brazilian will manage to keep this fight standing, where we’ll be treated to a battle in which both men stand on rubber legs at least momentarily. Bader’s weak chin will do him no favors in such a war, and he’ll eventually succumb via strikes.

Preliminary Card
WW: Sean Spencer (9-2) vs. Yuri Villefort (6-2)

Henderson: The 22-year-old Yuri Villefort has lost both of his Zuffa bouts on the scorecards and likely needs a win in his fight with Sean Spencer if he plans on sticking around the Octagon any longer. With a loss in his UFC debut, Spencer is probably in a similar boat. In pushing Nah-Shon Burrell and Quinn Mulhern the distance, Villefort has been the more impressive of the two. He should secure a submission victory in this fight, though it’s quite possible that he will have to settle for the judges’ nod instead.

Kontek: Spencer returns to the welterweight division after a late-replacement loss at middleweight. Spencer is the wrestler to Villefort’s submission grappler. He is physically stronger and will likely have enough takedown defense to keep Villefort at bay. They will get in a couple of wild exchanges, with “Black Magick” getting the razor-thin decision.

Chacon: I was fortunate enough to see Villefort up close when I covered UFC 157 in Anaheim. He’s a polished-looking fighter who hasn’t looked bad in his two losses within the UFC. As Bryan and Riley mentioned, both are likely on the chopping block. Chances are we’re going to see a split decision win for Villefort.

WW: Ivan “Batman” Jorge (24-3) vs. Keith Wisniewski (28-14-1)

Kontek: In the UFC’s pursuit to stop the bleeding that is injuries, the promotion has snagged Jungle Fight lightweight champion Ivan Jorge, who steps up a weight class on short notice to replace Marcelo Guimaraes. Batman runs with Thiago Tavares’ team in Brazil and is a submission artist who has won six straight, all by tapout (five rear-naked chokes, one arm-triangle choke). He takes on a veteran of the sport in Keith Wisniewski, who is fighting for his job following a two-fight skid with the UFC. Wisniewski is extremely durable and will come in the much larger fighter, so look for him to take a decision, which sends Batman to 155 for his next fight.

Chacon: Batman joins a card that already has a “Wolverine.” All kidding aside, Jorge has an excellent shot of making a great impression on the UFC crowd tuning in via Facebook. Unless the jump in weight class slows him down to the point where he can’t be as effective, it isn’t out of the question to believe he can out-grapple his opponent to a split decision victory. You never like to see anybody lose their job, but Wisniewski may be looking for a new organization after this one.

Henderson: Although it’s wonderful that guys like Batman are getting the opportunity to compete inside the Octagon, it’s always disappointing when they have to fight against the odds by going up in weight. At lightweight, Batman could be a real prospect for the UFC, but at welterweight, I’m concerned that size will be the deciding factor. As with Piotr Hallmann, I’ve reported on Jorge plenty in my Out of Obscurity series and view him as one of the best non-UFC-tested fighters out there. Batman’s only losses came against the 34-9 Andre Santos, the 57-9-1 Luis “Sapo” Santos and the 20-8 Yuri Ivlev. Despite two recent losses, Wisniewski is a fighter who has taken guys like Jorge Masvidal and Carlo Prater the distance (and defeated Prater on two of those occasions). Wisniewski fits the mold of an opponent with a strong chance of ruining Jorge’s Octagon debut, and that’s before we even consider size. This one goes the distance with Wisniewski taking the nod.

BW: Ramiro Hernandez (13-4) vs. Lucas Martins (13-1)

Chacon: “Mineiro,” as Lucas Martins is known, is an explosive fighter with devastating knockout power. Ramiro Hernandez, on the other hand, is more of a grind-it-out-and-let’s-see-what-happens-with-the-judges kind of guy. There simply isn’t anything scary about picking Martins to win this fight and earn “Knockout of the Night” bonus money in the process.

Henderson: Despite both fighters being listed as lightweights, this contest will take place at bantamweight with both fighters dropping down two weight classes. This could be a case where whoever has the least trouble making the cut emerges with the win. Hernandez is an unheralded fighter whose background is in kickboxing. He’s been in the cage with a much deeper pool of talent than Martins. This should be a striking battle between Chute Boxe and Macaco Gold Team’s Martins and the Miletich-trained Hernandez. Although I don’t see this fight as the easy pick that my colleague Joe would suggest, I do still lean in Martins’ favor simply because of Hernandez’s struggles to end fights. Martins will get the knockout late in the bout.

Kontek: Hernandez is a solid prospect, but it’s questionable that he got signed over some of the other more worthy bantamweight prospects available to the company. He is a grinder that will look to plant Martins on his back, but that will be easier said than done. Martins is an explosive striker and a fun one at that, and he should be able to outstrike Hernandez to a decision victory.

WW: Elias Silverio (8-0) vs. Joao Zeferino (13-5)

Kontek: A pair of Brazilians will square off when Jungle Fight’s welterweight champion, Elias Silverio, signs on as a late replacement for Kenny Robertson to fight Joao Zeferino, who returns to the division. Despite coming out on the short end, Zeferino had a solid back-and-forth affair in his late-replacement middleweight debut against Rafael Natal. Zeferino is the grappler to Silverio’s striker. Although he looked good, I don’t know if Zeferino has the takedown chops to put the Jungle Fight vet on his back. Silverio will run a decision.

Henderson: Zeferino didn’t look horrible in his fight with Natal, and that was a weight class above his typical home at welterweight. He’ll be better in this fight, at least on the ground, as Riley suggested. Silverio should have an edge on the feet, where Zeferino’s offering consists of wild, winging punches. Zeferino may not have the ability to keep Silverio grounded, but Silverio doesn’t have the striking chops to score a knockout either. With a heavy helping of decisions among his victories, Silverio has not proven to be a consistent finisher. Still, Silverio’s striking should be enough to earn him the nod on the judges’ scorecards.

Chacon: As Bryan mentioned, Zeferino is a free swinger. Silverio has shown to have more of a refined striking technique, but he doesn’t typically put his opponents away with powerful strikes. He gets in and out of the pocket until he eventually scraps out a decision win. From what I’ve seen of Zeferino, I do believe he can get Silverio on his back and pull off a submission win.

FW: Felipe Arantes (15-5-1) vs. Edimilson “Kevin” Souza (13-3)

Henderson: The UFC could just title its preliminary card for this event “The Parade of Jungle Fight Champions.” In replacing Sam Sicilia, Jungle Fight featherweight kingpin Edimilson “Kevin” Souza becomes the third Jungle Fight champ on the card. His Octagon debut will come against Felipe Arantes, who has had mixed results in the UFC. Souza is a striker from Team Tavares, whereas the 25-year-old Arantes is a more well-rounded fighter with a background in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Arantes’ inconsistency is troubling. He scored a TKO of Godofredo Pepey and a decision over Antonio Carvalho, but also lost a decision to Yuri Alcantara and fought to a draw with Milton Vieira. Arantes needs to avoid standing toe-to-toe with Souza, who carries 12 (T)KO wins into this fight. Arantes has never been knocked out, and his BJJ brown belt suggests that he has the skills to tap Souza, whose three losses all came via submission. Arantes notches the win in this one, via an early submission.

Chacon: Bryan is spot on with his assessment of Arantes. Having a strong chin and good BJJ against someone like Souza, who relies on his striking, is a combination for a submission win for Arantes. Look for it to happen in the third round after Souza gasses himself out.

Kontek: This is one of the more intriguing fights, because both men can strike. The difference is that Arantes is more well-rounded, as showcased in his drubbing of Pepey. Training in the eastern United States has increased the wrestling acumen of Arantes, which should come in handy when squaring off with Souza. I see Arantes dragging this fight down and utilizing ground-and-pound to secure a late stoppage or a decision.

BW: Wilson Reis (16-4) vs. Hugo Viana (7-1)

Chacon: If you’re looking to see a great submission, this is the fight for you. BJJ specialist Wilson Reis is stepping in for Johnny Bedford and faces a man most known for his “Wolverine” facial hair. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Hugo Viana excels at, but more often than not his hand has been raised in a decision victory. Reis’ ground game is going to overwhelm Viana and lead Reis to the promised land. Reis via first-round submission.

Kontek: Reis was once one of the best lighter-weight fighters in the fight game, but a stint in Bellator has him looking more human these days. That being said, Reis does have a jiu-jitsu advantage over Viana, though Viana is the more powerful wrestler and takedown artist. Viana has the chops to stay on his feet and the more refined stand-up game. “Wolverine” will take this by late stoppage or decision.

Henderson: That stint that’s making Reis look more human these days included losses to only the best that Bellator had to offer: Joe Soto, Patricio Freire (twice) and Eduardo Dantas. “Wolverine” has found much success in his eight-fight career, but he’s also a decision machine. Seven of his wins came on the scorecards, including two that ended in split verdicts. He has scored one knockout win in the UFC and suffered a TKO defeat versus T.J. Dillashaw. Reis’ record impresses me more, but he’ll have to get it done off his back. He’s capable of that, though. Reis has overcome strong wrestlers before and he’ll do so again here. Reis via submission.

Photo: Glover Teixeira (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Joe Chacon
Staff Writer

Joe Chacon is a Southern California writer that has also spent time as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, as well as a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. Joe has a passion for the sport of MMA, as well as most other sports.