The UFC takes to Brazil once again for an exciting UFC Fight Night 29 card to set ground in Barueri, Brazil. Headlined by an interesting match-up between expert-level grapplers Demian Maia and Jake Shields, this card is supported by a hefty amount of highly anticipated Brazilians. Let’s take a look at the prelims.
Allan Patrick vs. Garrett Whiteley
Two undefeated newcomers face off against each other to start the night off right. Both Patrick and Whiteley show promising skill sets in combat, and both hold fairly impressive records. Whiteley has a heap of finishes, mostly in the first round, and a diverse style that makes him dangerous opponent on the feet, and on the ground. Patrick on the other hand is more of a grinder, yet still undefeated. Patrick has a prominent grappling game – which is no surprise as he trains with outstanding middleweight contender “Jacare” Souza.
Expect Whiteley to prove his worth on the feet, landing some solid punches and showing his power. However, over-aggression will lead Garrett to his back with a solid ground specialist ontop of him. Expect Patrick to control the ground, and counter Whiteley’s offensive guard by taking his back or passing. From there, Allan’s pressure and patience will carry him to a second or third round submission.
Allan Patrick via 2nd Rd Submission
Chris Cariaso vs. Illiarde Santos
Up next, flyweights meet in the cage as the powerful Illiarde Santos meets the highly experienced Chris Cariaso. This is a truly interesting match-up of styles as we have Santos, an extremely powerful and aggressive fighter against Cariaso who seems a bit more on the passive side. Despite being 4-4 in his last 8, Cariaso is a true veteran and has faced some of the toughest names of the sport in Renan Barao, Michael MacDonald, and John Moraga. While Cariaso doesn’t always pick up the win, he puts his best efforts out there.
When looking at Illiarde Santos, he often reminds me of a Hector Lombard. A very compact frame allows him to throw tight, powerful hooks sure to tear a man’s head off. However, conditioning and composure is Santos’ main kink in his skillset.
Look for Santos to press the action early as Cariaso has a bad habit of letting his opponent dictate the initial pace. However, once Cariaso gets his feet under him and his footwork going, he’ll swiftly take control of the fight with successful counter punching and doing damage in the clinch. Santos could very well pursue the takedowns, but expect Cariaso to fight it off as much as possible. Ultimately, expect this one to go all 3 rounds in an entertaining effort by both men, but experience to lead the way to a close decision in favor of Cariaso.
Chris Cariaso via Split Decision
Yan Cabral vs. David Mitchell
In the welterweight division, a showdown between two submission specialists will feature former TUF competitor, Yan Cabral, and 4-time UFC veteran David Mitchell. Despite exiting The Ultimate Fighter due to injury, Cabral made shock-waves as he dispatched of two opponents via submission. At a 10-0 record, all by submission, Yan Cabral remains as one of the most promising grapplers in MMA. His opponent, David Mitchell, will try to derail him.
David Mitchell could very well be fighting to keep a job in the UFC heading into this bout as he is 1-3 in his last 4 bouts. With that said, Mitchell has been in there with some very solid opponents and has never been submitted, and only finished by strikes once (to Mike Pierce). Against Cabral, his submission defense will be put to the test.
Being a Nova Uniao fight, I fully expect Cabral to come prepared for what Mitchell may bring. Whether it’s on the feet or on the ground, look for Cabral to remain offensive at all times while Mitchell is forced to defend. It’ll be 3 rounds of Yan Cabral as he takes the fight to David Mitchell, who doesn’t offer much in return.
Yan Cabral via Unanimous Decision
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Igor Araujo
Also at 170lbs, TUF 16 contested Igor Araujo will find himself another chance at glory as he enters the UFC to debut against the red-hot, Ildemar Alcantara. Ildemar, the brother of prominent bantamweight contender Yuri Alcantara, is on a 2-0 streak in the UFC. He’s very well-rounded with some sharp power on the feet, but also a very well-versed ground game that saw him pick up a Submission of the Night bonus in his kneebar victory in his UFC debut. His opponent, Igor Araujo, is also well-versed in the ground game and has experience fighting the Ultimate Fighter house.
Earning a “second-shot” in the UFC, Igor Araujo is coming in to meet Alcantara in a Brazilian vs. Brazilian match-up – the only on the card. While Araujo doesn’t have the exposure nor momentum that Alcantara has, expect a good fight.
Unfortunately, a good fight is merely all that I expect to come from Araujo, who seems to be out-classed in this match up. On the feet, Alcantara is too sharp and too powerful with his Muay-Thia attack, it’ll be vicious combinations and hard knees in the clinch that rough Igor up. When attempts are made to get this fight to the ground, look for Alcantara to remain control and lock up a 1st round submission.
Ildemar Alcantara via 1st Rd Submission