Saturday night will undoubtedly be the biggest test in the career of UFC middleweight C.B. Dollaway when he meets former light heavyweight champion and middleweight contender Lyoto Machida in Barueri, Brazil.

We also get to see the return to the Octagon of Renan Barao since he pulled out of his rematch with bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw due to an unhealthy weight cut and was replaced by Joe Soto. Barao fights the rising Mitch Gagnon in the co-main event of the evening.

Outside of the two bouts, there are plenty of fighters to keep an eye on when the UFC holds their last Brazilian event of the calendar year.

Here’s some storylines to follow from UFC Fight Night 58:

The mysterious case of Erick Silva

Silva has yet to string together two consecutive wins in the UFC, but he has also yet to lose two in a row, so he’s got that going for him…which is nice.

It seems like every time Silva steps into the Octagon, he’s either blitzing through his opponent for a finish in less than a minute or he’s losing in a war.

His opponent, Mike Rhodes, is has lost two in a row and both losses came to guys that aren’t half as explosive as Silva. Silva’s troubles have come when he has stepped up in competition, I mean look at who he’s lost to (besides the DQ loss to Carlos Prater): Jon Fitch, Dong Hyun Kim, and Matt Brown.

I don’t see Silva having a problem with Rhodes and I’d be surprised if this one goes the distance.

Antonio Carlos, Jr. debuts at 205; Patrick Cummins goes for 3 in a row

Does everybody remember when Cummins filled in for Rashad Evans to be Daniel Cormier’s punching bag in Cormier’s debut at 205 pounds?

Since then, Cummins has actually looked pretty good finishing Roger Narvaez and scoring a unanimous decision win over Kyle Kingsbury. Now he’s the first fight for another decorated heavyweight making his light heavyweight debut in Antonio Carlos, Jr.

Carlos won The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 as a heavyweight for coach Wanderlei Silva, but came into the show with five gold medals in the Brazilian National Championships in jiu jitsu and a 3-0 record in mixed martial arts, so I wouldn’t exactly say he’s new to the game.

Will Cummins be fodder for another 205-pound fighter on the rise or will Carlos have his hype train derailed by guy looking to prove that he’s not just somebody’s stepping stone?

Can Renan Barao make 135 pounds?

It’s not a secret that Barao hasn’t had the easiest time making weight during his time in the bantamweight division.

He lost his championship to T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173 in May, but was unable to compete in the rematch due to the notion that passing out during your weight cut typically isn’t a good thing.

If he has trouble making 135 pounds again, he’d most likely be inserted into the mix at featherweight and maybe that could help convince the 145-pound champion Jose Aldo to finally move up to lightweight.

Barao’s performance, especially his cardio, will certainly be something to keep an eye on.

C.B. Dollaway: Brazilian Hunter

He has never lost to a Brazilian fighter. He’s 2-0 in Brazil. He has a style that could stifle Lyoto Machida’s striking. He is C.B. Dollaway: Brazilian Hunter.

That being said, there is no doubt that Lyoto Machida is the best fighter that Dollaway has ever gotten into cage with and Machida has already defeated Dollaway’s training partner Ryan Bader.

If Dollaway can beat Machida, his next opponent would most likely be in the top 10 (Luke Rockhold anyone?) and he’d be on the best run in his career.

With a new relatively new champion in the Machida’s division, he’d only need to remain in the top 5 and you’re an injury-replacement away from another title shot.
On Saturday, we’ll see just how elite C.B. Dollaway has become or we’ll see another reason why Machida is probably a future UFC hall of famer.

About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.