UFC on Fuel 8: Info and Predictions for Silva vs. Stann

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIOctober 8, 2016

UFC on Fuel 8: Info and Predictions for Silva vs. Stann

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    The last time the UFC visited the Land of the Rising Sun, fans were treated to a memorable evening of knockouts and exciting battles that remain fresh in our minds one full year later. On Saturday night, UFC on Fuel 8 brings a lineup that promises an equally entertaining show.

    In the main event, PRIDE legend Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva meets U.S. Marine Brian Stann in a light heavyweight battle that should provide tremendous fireworks.

    Silva isn't the only familiar face returning to Japan, as fellow PRIDE stars Mark Hunt and Takanori Gomi return to the land where they gained their fame in respective matchups with Stefan Struve and Diego Sanchez.

    Without any further ado, let's take a look at the UFC on Fuel 8 fight card from top to bottom.

Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Hyun Gyu Lim

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    How to Watch: Facebook at 7 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    This fight was originally scheduled to take place during the UFC's debut in China, but was postponed when Guimaraes was forced out due to injury. 

    Just before the weigh-ins, Lim was declared medically unfit to fight on the card, so his bout with replacement David Mitchell was scrapped.

    Guimaraes sits undefeated in his professional career and won his UFC debut against Dan Stittgen. This will be the promotional debut for Lim, who is on the back of five first-round stoppages.

    Lim has a disgusting reach for a welterweight (82") and likes to pound out grapplers like Guimaraes with power striking.

     

    Prediction

    Lim defeats Guimaraes via TKO in Round 1

Alex Caceres vs. Kyung Ho Kang

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    How to Watch: Facebook at 7 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Like the fight that precedes it, this matchup was originally slated for the UFC's debut in China back in November.

    Best known as "Bruce Leroy," Alex Caceres has quietly won back-to-back fights to follow up a controversial loss at UFC 143.

    Kang is a submission artist from South Korea who has finished eight of his 11 wins by tapout.

    Although Kang appears to have a decent handle on Caceres' kryptonite, the level of opposition that he has previously faced doesn't quite live up to UFC standards. As a betting man, I've got to learn towards a proven commodity in Caceres over a newcomer who holds a professional record of 11-6. 

     

    Prediction

    Caceres defeats Kang via TKO in Round 2.

Cristiano Marcello vs. Kazuki Tokudome

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    How to Watch: Facebook at 7 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Cristiano Marcello welcomes Kazuki Tokudome to the UFC in this lightweight battle of styles.

    Many, myself included, disagree with the split decision that gave Marcello his sole UFC victory in October.

    Tokudome is a more well-rounded fighter, although Marcello has the grappling to end this fight if it hits the ground. Tokudome has not been submitted since his professional debut, so I like his chances.

     

    Prediction

    Tokudome defeats Marcello via TKO in Round 3.

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Bryan Caraway

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    How to Watch: Facebook at 7 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Remember Miesha Tate's boyfriend who ignorantly made comments about how he would knock Ronda Rousey's teeth down her throat? Yeah, he somehow still has a job with the UFC.

    The woman-beating buffoon in question is Ultimate Fighter alumnus Bryan Caraway, who is currently 2-0 inside the Octagon.

    Caraway faces Takeya Mizugaki, who is 5-5 in recent contests, although he would be on a three-fight tear were it not for a questionable decision loss at UFC 144.

    Mizugaki has excellent takedown defense, which he will need in order to avoid the grappling-intensive attack of his opponent. However, Caraway's chin is solid enough to withstand whatever the Japanese star can throw his way.

     

    Prediction

    Mizugaki defeats Caraway via unanimous decision

Riki Fukuda vs. Brad Tavares

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    How to Watch: Facebook at 7 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Former DEEP champion Riki Fukuda has an incredible 17-2 record when competing in Asia, which includes a pair of fights in the UFC. For his middleweight clash against Brad Tavares, the Japanese stud has honed his skills at Team AKA.

    Tavares has given wrestlers fits in the past, courtesy of his impressive takedown defense. In fact, the Hawaiian has shut down 86 percent of his opponents' attempts to wrestle their way to the canvas.

    There is little question that Tavares has the skills and power to put any fighter to sleep. In fact, in 2011, he became the only man to knock iron-chinned Phil Baroni unconscious.

    Fukuda can win this fight with constant pressure from the clinch. It won't be pretty, but that's how Aaron Simpson got the job done and "Killer Bee" has similar strengths.

     

    Prediction

    Fukuda defeats Tavares by unanimous decision

Dong Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada

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    How to Watch: Fuel TV at 10 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Judoka Dong Hyun Kim is quietly becoming a monster at 170 pounds. After dedicating his training to improving his striking, a scary version of the Korean showed up recently for a dominant performance against Paulo Thiago.

    Facing him is explosive powerhouse Siyar Bahadurzada, who is hoping that his sophomore appearance inside the Octagon is as successful as his debut. That fight ended in a Knockout of the Year contender against the aforementioned Thiago only 42 seconds into Round 1.

    The most impressive thing about Kim is how much he improves between fights. You can always tell how seriously he takes his fight camps, and the constant addition of new techniques makes his attacks difficult to predict.

    Although Bahadurzada is one of the hottest prospects at welterweight, he simply doesn't have the judo experience necessary to fend off what Kim brings to the table.

     

    Prediction

    Kim defeats Bahadurzada via decision

Mizuto Hirota vs. Rani Yahya

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    How to Watch: Fuel TV at 10 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Mizuto Hirota is a name that might sound familiar. Perhaps that is because he was on the receiving end of Shinya Aoki's iconic and arm-snapping hammerlock in late 2009.

    Hirota is a former champion under the Sengoku and DEEP banners and has punching power not often seen in lighter weight classes. He enters this fight on a 2-1 run since returning from injury and will make his featherweight debut in this contest.

    Rani Yahya is a decorated BJJ ace who has fifteen submission wins to his credit, as well as wins over Eddie Wineland and former WEC champion Mike Brown. Whenever facing a non-wrestler, Yahya excels.

     

    Prediction

    Yahya defeats Hirota via submission in Round 2.


Yushin Okami vs. Hector Lombard

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    How to Watch: Fuel TV at 10 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    In a clash of "Thunder and Lightning," Yushin Okami looks to utilize his wrestling skills and snappy jab against former Bellator champion Hector Lombard.

    Will Lombard use his judo defensively in hopes of lighting up his opponent with power striking? Or will he be better off trying to put Okami on his back?

    The clash has significant bearing on the middleweight title picture, as Okami (No. 4) and Lombard (No. 9) are both ranked members of the division.

    Oddsmakers have Lombard as a 2-1 favorite in this contest, although they are not giving Okami nearly the credit that he deserves.

    This will be close, but in no way do I see Lombard running away with this fight.

     

    Prediction

    Lombard defeats Okami via unanimous decision

Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez

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    How to Watch: Fuel TV at 10 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Japanese legend Takanori Gomi returns to his native Japan in search of another hometown victory. The former PRIDE champion is known for his incredible punching power and equally impressive chin.

    Competing against him is Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez, whose dual-divisional tenure inside the Octagon has led to welterweight contention and a lightweight title shot. 

    Sanchez has an equally impressive chin as his opponent, but also has tremendous wrestling, which he tends to use only when he runs into trouble.

    Gomi doesn't have the skills to win this fight on the ground and it's hard to predict that Sanchez's impeccable chin will fail him. For that reason, this is an easy choice.

     

    Prediction

    Sanchez defeats Gomi via submission in Round 3.

Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve

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    How to Watch: Fuel TV at 10 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Originally scheduled for UFC 146, this battle between heavyweights is a stylistic clash that isn't often seen in the well-rounded world of modern MMA.

    Mark Hunt is a striking machine with devastating punching power and a granite chin, although he has shown a tendency to get caught in submissions over the years.

    Stefan Struve is a glass-jawed submission specialist who has shown resilience in recent matchups, but fails to properly utilize his 84.5-inch reach.

    The biggest X-factor heading into this fight is the incredible determination of Hunt. The Super Samoan looks to be in the best shape of his career and has no doubt been working on submission defense since this matchup was originally booked one year ago.

    Jiu-jitsu skills can improve. A chin's ability to absorb damage can not.

     

    Prediction

    Hunt defeats Struve via KO in Round 1.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann

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    How to Watch: Fuel TV at 10 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    These fan favorites were originally expected to meet at UFC 130, but Silva was reluctant to take on an American hero and the fight was scrapped.

    Known for their lovable personalities and dynamite hands, these fighters have loyal and beloved followings heading into a matchup that doesn't know how to disappoint when it comes to action.

    Both men dropped down to middleweight in 2010, but are bulking back up for this contest. 

    This fight gives Stann the ability to defeat a legend of the sport without risk of a grappling-intensive matchup, which has proven to be his Achilles' heel.

    The legacy of Silva will live on forever, but there is no question that he isn't the same "Axe Murderer" who dominated the PRIDE ranks several years ago. No one doubts the heart of Silva, however, his chin has failed him in recent bouts.

     

    Prediction

    Stann defeats Silva via KO in Round 2.