UFC Belem Fight Night Machida vs. Anders takes place this Saturday night (February 3) from Belém, Brazil at the Arena Guilherme Paraense. Fox Sports 1.
The road to UFC Belem was not without a few last minute theatrics, with multiple fighters missing weight. Now that the weigh-ins are complete, it’s a waiting game Ahead of the action, MMANews team members Tim Thompson, Matt Boone and Fernando Quiles Jr are sharing their predictions for the main fight card.
Check out there picks and share your own in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
UFC Belem: Staff Predictions
Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Smith:
Tim: The amount of power and aggression seen in this fight makes this MUST WATCH. My guess for Fight of the Night. There is no way this goes the distance. Anthony Smith wins by Rnd 1 KO/TKO.
Matt: Instincts are to go with Santos in this one. Odds makers have him set as a 3-to-1 betting favorite coming into tonight’s show. I like Santos in this one as well, but knocking out Hector Lombard in your last fight and coming off of three straight wins by knockout is hard train to derail. We’ll see if Santos has what it takes to do that tonight.
Fernando: This is a great way to get the show started. Both guys are like sharks when they smell blood and I expect a finish here. I’ll give the slight edge to Santos, as I believe he will find Smith’s chin first.
Marcelo Golm vs. Timothy Johnson:
Tim: Golm gets the late replacement nod after Luis Henrique was pulled due to injury. The 25 year old Golm has 100% finish rate and in Brazil has the advantage. Johnson is a savy vet, but I will take the late replacement. Marcelo Holm wins by Rnd 1 TKO.
Matt: Another tough fight to call. The Vegas experts are leaning slightly towards Golm here, and I tend to agree.
Fernando: Golm is a fast starter who hasn’t even gone to the second round. He’s off to a hot start with a 6-0 record, but he meets a seasoned Timothy Johnson. I expect Johnson to try to weather the storm early, but be unsuccessful in his efforts.
Michel Prazeres vs. Desmond Green:
Tim: Prazeres missing weight is frustrating. Third time in his last four fights. Still, he is undefeated in 5 straight with the last two being submission wins. This fight will be a grind and that will play into Greens style. Desmond Green via UD 29-28 (×3)
Matt: This is one of the toughest fights to call on the main card. Odds makers almost have this one set as a Pick’m fight, and that reflects my sentiments. Call it a hunch, but I think Prazeres gets the win here.
Fernando: Green is a grinder who will fight for every inch of success he gets inside the Octagon. With that said, I don’t think he gets past Prazeres, who has only fallen to Paulo Thiago and Kevin Lee inside the Octagon. I’ve got Prazeres by submission.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira:
Tim: This is a potential trap fight for Schevchenko. Cachoeira is unknown by casual fans, but has raw power and with that a puncher chance. Schevchenko is just too quick, too technical, and too good. Valentine Schevchenko wins via UD 30×27 (x3)
Matt: I can’t see anyway that Shevchenko doesn’t pick up the “W” in this one. It’s only a matter of time before Shevchenko is standing across someone who has championship status again. Before 2018 is said-and-done, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see her wearing a UFC gold belt around her waist.
Fernando: There isn’t much to say about this fight other than Cachoeira is unproven, while Shevchenko has had title bout experience and left the bantamweight division as one of the top competitors in the weight class. Anything can happen in MMA, but I expect Shevchenko to pull out a win.
John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz:
Tim: Munhoz missed weight by 5 pounds this morning and the fight was in question for a while, but it seems to be good to go now. Munhoz is talented but Dodson is on another level in terms of power and speed. Dodson will make sure he is smart with the size difference. John Dodson wins via UD 30-27 (×3)
Matt: Dodson can knock out anyone in-or-around his weight class. He’s proven that. He rides a 2-2 record in his last four coming into this one, while Munhoz is coming off of four straight wins in his last four. On paper, it would seem the momentum is in Munhoz’s favor. Odds makers have Dodson a slight favorite in this one, and I tend to agree. John Dodson should get his hand raised in this one.
Fernando: Munhoz is on a four-fight winning streak and his submission over Rob Font opened up a lot of eyes. A close split decision loss to Jimmie Rivera is also nothing sneeze at. Dodson has proven to be a tough customer himself, but I’d say he’s more on the decline while Munhoz’s stock is rising. I’ve got a slight upset here in favor of Munhoz, who comes in four pounds overweight.
UFC Belem Main Event – Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk Anders:
Tim: I have been singing Anders praises for over 2 years so it’s hard not to be bias. He has shown he can go 5 rounds, he has incredible power, and has shown he can slow a fight down and control it. The only question Saturday is can he do that in Brazil. He missed weight and then didn’t miss weight due to the issues in Brazil. You have to wonder what kind of mindset he is in. Machida is in the twilight of his career but still incredibly dangerous. Is this a comeback story or a swan song? Eryk Anders wins via rnd 2 KO Punch
Matt: Missing weight isn’t a good sign for Anders, but then again neither is an 0-3 streak coming into the fight if you’re Lyoto Machida. Is it the proven veteran or the head-turning newcomer that has the upper hand? Odds makers have Anders nearly a 3-to-1 favorite going into this one. I’ll take Machida’s big-fight experience and Anders missing weight as two factors I think will tell the story in this one. I’m picking Lyoto Machida to win.
Fernando: Machida has seen better days. “The Dragon” went from being the apex of the UFC’s light heavyweight division, to a gatekeeper for the middleweight division. Normally I’d be inclined to say that this fight is too soon for someone as green as Anders, but I don’t think that’s the case. I see another disappointing trip to Brazil for Machida ending with Anders getting a TKO win.
Join us here Saturday night for our Live Coverage of UFC Belem Fight Night: Machida vs. Anders and share your predictions in the comments section below.