Live on FX on August 3rd, the second set of prelims will air for UFC 163, which will take place Brazil. Like most cards held in foreign lands, this card features lots of match-ups that have the natives taking on an American. One anticipated fight on these prelims will be exactly that as TUF veterans Neil Magny and Sergio Moraes will square off against each other Saturday night.
While both fighters competed in different seasons, they both had very similar experiences as both Magny and Moraes made it to the semi-final match ups before getting knocked out. However, they did show promising talent as they disposed of their previous opponents in dominating fashion. Stylistically, Magny and Moraes are two very different fighters, which should make for a very interesting bout.
Sergio Moraes made his UFC debut against Cezar Ferreira (who fights later on the card) and was out-pointed; it is noted that Moraes’ debut was at 185 whereas now he’ll be at 170 which should suit him a lot better. Moraes made a quick comeback however as he choked out fellow Brazilian, Renee Forte, in the 3rd round. Moraes’s opponent, Neil Magny, also doesn’t have much experience in the UFC. Magny is a lone 1-0 in the promotion, that win being over Jon Manley in a bout where Magny dominated the fight for a UD win.
So what should make this prelim fight stand-out? Afterall, they’re arguably just two failed TUF competitors who weren’t good enough to win the competition. However, I do believe that they showed some promising feats. Sergio Moraes for one is an out-standing grappler, and for being a welterweight now, I think that style should suit him very well. The welterweight division is littered with bull-headed wrestlers who rely on takedowns and ground and pound to win fights. While Moraes will have to watch himself on the feet as his stand-up is still evolving, Moraes should have a definite edge over many opponents on the ground. Speaking of powerful wrestlers, his opponent, Magny, does possess a strong wrestling game. However, I look at Neil Magny as being a very crafty well-rounded fighter who can do a little bit of everything. He brings an exciting Muay Thai-styled striking game, but has the athleticism and technique to pull off being a grappler.
This fight is going to be very interesting as Moraes has struggled against bigger, stronger opponents in the past. Magny is very tall, very athletic, and could potentially shut down Moraes’s grappling game, but that’s where being a welterweight will give Moraes in advantage. Look at Demian Maia; he struggled desperately against larger opponents who could stifle his submissions, but when he dropped to 170lbs it’s like he became a whole different fighter – we could see a similar thing happen to Sergio Moraes.
UFC 163 doesn’t have the most stacked card out there, but it’s usually the cards that you don’t have high expectations for that normally turn out to exciting. You throw in the fact that they’re in Brazil (a country that always has a promising audience) and you get a card full of hungry scrappers fighting for their country.