This Saturday, when the UFC lands in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to bring fans UFC Fight Night 77, a rubber match between two MMA legends will take place in the main event. Dan Henderson (31-13 MMA, 8-7 UFC) will face Vitor Belfort (24-11 MMA, 11-6 UFC) to settle the score.

The twelfth-ranked Henderson was victorious in his last bout against Tim Boetsch back in June. While the fourth-ranked Vitor Belfort is coming off a first-round defeat at the hands of current champion Chris Weidman at UFC 187. Both of these guaranteed Hall of Famers will be looking to prove they still belong in the top-ten of the middleweight division.

The card is co-headlined by a pair of top-ten light heavyweights. Ninth-ranked Patrick Cummins (8-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will face fourth-ranked Glover Teixeira (23-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC). Also on the card is highly touted bantamweight prospect and eighth-ranked Thomas Almeida (20-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) taking on the dangerous Anthony Birchak (12-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC).

Onto the bonuses..

Fight of the Night:

The main card matchup between Thomas Almeida and Anthony Birchak is bound to have fireworks. Almeida has excellent creative combination striking that has MMA fans everywhere expecting great things in the future for the 24-year-old. The issue is that his defense is questionable. Almeida was knocked down twice in his last fight at UFC 189 against Brad Pickett, and turned a potential squash-match against Tim Gorman into a back-and-forth slugfest. The Brazilian received a “Fight of the Night” bonus for the latter. His opponent, Anthony Birchak, is not a person to get lazy on defense against. Birchak’s last appearance was an excellent first-round knockout over former title challenger Joe Soto. Birchak’s pressure striking could present issues to Almeida in a fight that you do not want to miss.

Performances of the Night:

Gilbert Burns (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is one of the finest grapplers to grace the Octagon. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has four World Jiu-Jitsu championships under his belt. His grappling success has carried over to MMA, as he has won all three of his UFC fights, including his last two via submission. Burns will have a tough task ahead of him as his opponent is Russian Hand to Hand Combat champion Rashid Magomedov (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC). If Burns can get Magomedov to the canvas (Magomedov has defended over 90% of takedowns shot at him in the UFC) Burns should be able to take home a submission victory and a post-fight bonus.

Abel Trujilo (12-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will make his return to the Octagon after a long eleven-month layoff. He will be greeted by long-time veteran Gleison Tibau (40-11 MMA, 16-9 UFC). Trujilo has thunderous power in his hands, with all three of his UFC victories coming via knockout. Tibau has been around for an incredibly long time, so a big power striker will be nothing new to him. However, Trujilo should be able to outlast the veteran and use his power to win via knockout in the later rounds.

About The Author

Danny Doherty
Staff Writer

Danny is a sophomore at Ithaca College looking to acquire a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Media. He has been an avid fan of mixed martial arts since watching the UFC’s 100 Greatest Fights special on Spike TV back in 2009. Shortly following UFC 100, Danny’s Saturdays, and most of his free time, became dedicated to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In addition to writing for The MMA Corner, Danny works as a sports broadcaster and as a DJ for Ithaca College’s FM radio station, 92 WICB.