UFC 153 Prelims: Final Predictions for the Preliminary Card Fights
As usual the prelims begin on Facebook with two bouts scheduled to go down. Viewers can turn their TV's on to FX to catch an additional four fights prior to tuning in to watch the main card.
Each of the prelims feature a Brazilian fighter with two fights featuring a Brazilian vs. Brazilian matchup. Big names are also abundant on the UFC 153 prelims.
Guys like Ronny "Jason," Gleison Tibau, Diego Brandao and Luiz Cane are just a handful of the names competing before the pay-per-view begins. If you're trying to get some last second bets for the prelims in before the show starts, look no further because Bleacher Report will provide predictions for all the preliminary bouts.
Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi
A fan favourite from the old days of Pride, Cristiano Marcello will look to avoid going on the chopping block by losing two-straight fights against the Swede, Reza Madadi.
Marcello was one of the big names to enter The Ultimate Fighter: Live but was knocked out during his time on the show. Marcello came back to compete on the finale but dropped that fight Sam Silicia in the second round.
Madadi holds victories over former UFC fighters Junie Browning and Rich Clementi along with a decision victory over Caro Prater. Madadi was stunned initially in his UFC debut but was able to secure a guillotine choke for the tapout.
The key to this fight will be if Marcello takes advantage of his BJJ background. He's always been a talented grappler but will choose to stand at times instead. Madadi is an extremely durable fighter, evident by his record of losses only via decision.
If Marcello can avoid taking strikes to the head and utilize his BJJ he should be able to capitalize on the openings. Unfortunately I believe Madadi will land a power strike to Marcello's questionable chin and end this contest via KO.
Luiz Cane vs. Chris Camozzi
Luiz Cane will look to avoid becoming one of the biggest busts in UFC history by dropping to middleweight for his contest against Chris Camozzi.
Cane entered the UFC with a great deal of hype and intrigue surrounding him after a 8-0-1 start to his MMA career. Cane lost his UFC debut but won three-straight before getting dropped by Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Cane is 1-3 in his last four fights.
Camozzi has had an up and down ride to his UFC tenure as well. After being forced to withdraw from The Ultimate Fighter: Liddell vs. Oritz due to injury, Camozzi won two fights before losing to Kyle Noke. The loss to Noke sent Camozzi to the regional circuit where he was able to defeat Joey Villasenor. Camozzi is riding a two-fight win streak since rejoining the company.
The big test in this fight will come when Camozzi lands cleanly on Cane's chin. Will the drop in weight class help Cane absorb strikes better or is his chin completely gone? I believe Cane will look to take it to the mat where three out of Camozzi's five losses have come from.
It's a tough fight to call but I'm going to ride the hot hand and say Camozzi is able to defeat the Brazilian. Cane's chin is questionable, Camozzi hits hard. Sounds like a recipe for disaster for "Banha."
Sergio Moraes vs. Renee Forte
Renee Forte will be making his UFC debut at UFC 153. Sergio Moraes will be welcoming him to the company and will no doubt be a tough out for Forte.
Moraes is one of the most decorated BJJ competitors in the UFC. He's a four time BJJ world champion and is most famous for his match with Kron Gracie in 2008. Moraes competed on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and made it to the second round of fights but was KO'd by Daniel Serafin.
An injury to Serafin bumped Moraes into the finale where he lost to Cezar Ferreira.
Forte meanwhile has been knocking people out or getting knocked out in his recent fights. Forte has gone 2-1 in his last three fights with one of his wins coming via TKO and his only loss coming via TKO as well. Forte's last fight was in May of 2011 where he was victorious due to Renan Santos quitting in the third round.
Similar to the Cristiano Marcello bout earlier in the evening, Moraes will need to utilize his BJJ game. It's his biggest asset and should propel him to victory. Moraes via submission.
Diego Brandao vs. Joey Gambino
Former Ulitmate Fighter winner Diego Brandao will look to get back to his winning ways as he takes on Joey Gambino.
Brandao won TUF after becoming a destructive force on the show and latching on a slick arm bar against Dennis Bermudez in the finale. Brandao's next fight against Darren Elkins appeared to be going his way but Elkins survived an early scare to dominate the remainder of the fight.
Gambino is coming off the first loss of his professional career which also happened to be his UFC debut. A heavily touted prospect, Gambino will look to prove the hype is for real against another tough fighter in Brandao.
It will be interesting to see how Gambino reacts to the first loss of his career. Brandao is a guy who brings it as soon as the fight starts so Gambino will have to survive an early onslaught. If Gambino can weather the storm the prospects of a victory for him will rise.
However, I see Brandao taking the victory and getting his career back on track.
Gleison Tibau vs. Francisco Drinaldo
Gleison Tibau returns to the Octagon after an ugly fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 148. He will face Francisco Drinaldo who is making his second UFC appearance but will be dropping down to lightweight.
Tibau has been with the UFC years and has built a reptuation as being one of the biggest lightweights. He's an extremely well rounded fighter but can't seem to get that big win to propel him to the next level of lightweights. Prior to the Nurmagomedov loss, Tibau had won three-straight fights.
Drinaldo entered the UFC on the UFC 147 card and defeated Delson Heleno via TKO in the first round. Drinaldo is a big time prospect who sports an 11-1 record in MMA with his only loss coming to fellow UFC fighter Yuri Alcantara.
Drinaldo is finally getting the financial support he needs to realize the potential that has been bestowed upon him but Tibau is a tough fight for "Massaranduba." Tibau's losses have come against high level competition and I don't see Drinaldo being that at the moment. Tibau via decision.
Ronny "Jason" vs. Sam Sicilia
A pair of Ultimate Fighter alums will close out the preliminary bouts for UFC 153. Ultimate Fighter Brazil winner Ronny "Jason" will face Ultimate Fighter: Live vet Sam Sicilia.
"Jason" was selected as the first overall pick for Wanderlei Silva's team and would eventually make it to the finals after winning via arm bar and submission on the show. In the finale, "Jason" was able to defeat Godofredo Pepey via unanimous decision in a rather lackluster fight.
Sicilia made it into the TUF house by KO'ing Dominick Cruz's training partner, Eric Beach in just eight seconds. He lost his quarterfinal bout in a controversial decision but was able to defeat Cristiano Marcello on the finale.
I see this being a tough fight for both men as they are both skilled fighters. Sicilia has KO power, evident by his victories over Beach and Marcello. I see "Jason" attempting to use his BJJ and avoid the power strikes from Sicilia. I'm going with the Brazilian to win this via submission.