UFC on Fuel TV 10: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Predictions

Sean SmithAnalyst IJune 7, 2013

UFC on Fuel TV 10: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Predictions

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    Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira have been out of action for a while due to their roles as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2, but they are both set to return at UFC on Fuel TV 10 on Saturday.

    In addition to the heavyweight main event between the reality-show coaches, UFC on Fuel TV 10 will feature the final of the TUF: Brazil 2 welterweight tournament. William Macario should have met Santiago Ponzinibbio in that bout, but an injury has led to a matchup with semifinalist Leonardo Santos.

    Strikeforce veterans Rafael Cavalcante and Jason High will also make their UFC debuts on Saturday's main card. 

    In the lead-up to the UFC's final main card on Fuel TV, B/R columnists Riley Kontek, James McDonald, Scott Harris and Sean Smith got together to provide their insights on each of the six main card contests. 

Rony Jason vs. Mike Wilkinson

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    Riley Kontek: The UFC is slowly building up a potential star in Rony Jason. This is his second-straight fight against a TUF veteran who didn't win his respective tournament. Mike Wilkinson is scrappy and game, but Jason is better everywhere and will tap him out in one.

    Jason, Submission, Round 1


    James McDonald: This fight is a little closer than some might expect. Wilkinson is no pushover, and Jason isn’t above laying an egg on fight night. If the TUF: Brazil winner doesn’t have his game face on, he could be in for a long night—or a short one.

    Jason, Unanimous Decision


    Scott Harris: I really do like Wilkinson. He's got a good grappling game, and I'm glad to see him getting a shot. However, Jason is going to be foaming at the mouth for this one, and he's going to catch Wilkinson with something fast and heavy, and he's going to do it early.

    Jason, TKO, Round 1


    Sean Smith: With wins over Godofredo Castro and Sam Sicilia, Jason should have graduated from competing against TUF veterans exclusively in his home country of Brazil. Wilkinson is a hard-nosed opponent who will provide a tough fight, but he leaves openings to be countered when moving forward, and Jason has already proven he's above this level of competition.

    Jason, TKO, Round 2

Daniel Sarafian vs. Eddie Mendez

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    Riley Kontek: I will give Daniel Sarafian a pass for his debut, even though he showed promise. He gassed out, despite the fact he looked powerful and belonging of his UFC employment. Eddie Mendez is solid himself and tough as nails, but Sarafian will be playing it safe by dragging Mendez down and snagging a submission.

    Sarafian, Submission, Round 2


    James McDonald: Sarafian showed some promise on the first season of TUF: Brazil and perhaps would have ended up being the show’s winner but for an unfortunate injury prior to the finale. While he gave a decent account of himself against CB Dollaway, a fight against UFC newcomer Mendez should provide Sarafian with his first official UFC win.

    Sarafian, Submission, Round 3


    Scott Harris: Mendez is Portuguese for "warm body." I've seen no indications that he has the ability to sustain a long-term UFC career, and Sarafian's going to have his way as a result. Big-time mismatch here.

    Sarafian, Submission, Round 1


    Sean Smith: While he's still without a UFC win, Sarafian showed some promise against a proven UFC veteran in Dollaway. A UFC newcomer, Mendez's track record is somewhat underwhelming. The safe bet is Sarafian.

    Sarafian, Unanimous Decision

Erick Silva vs. Jason High

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    Riley Kontek: Fans should not count Jason High out of this fight. In fact, High has a really good chance of winning this fight, as he is criminally underrated. That being said, I will go with the safe pick, as Erick Silva's superior striking and takedown defense run him a decision.

    Silva, Unanimous Decision


    James McDonald: After being ground down by Jon Fitch at UFC 53, expect Silva to bounce back with an impressive performance. That being said, it would be foolish to look past High, who will not go gentle into that good night. But the superior talent of Silva should see him through a tough contest.

    Silva, Unanimous Decision


    Scott Harris: Why this isn't further up the card I have no idea. But this to me is the odds-on Fight of the Night favorite going in. Both men are dynamic and well-rounded, and both men have something to prove, especially High, who's looking for his first UFC win in his second UFC tour. Silva, however, has heavy hype for a reason, and his hands are going to get the better of a worthy competitor in High.

    Silva, TKO, Round 2


    Sean Smith: Silva is coming off of a loss to Fitch in which takedown defense failed him, and now he meets another wrestler in High. However, Silva has proven he can deal with grapplers on High's level, as he holds a victory over Charlie Brenneman, who just so happens to be responsible for High's most recent defeat. On Saturday, Silva will remind everyone why he was so highly touted prior to meeting Fitch.

    Silva, TKO, Round 1

Thiago Silva vs. Rafael Cavalcante

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    Riley Kontek: Whoever wins will break the drug machine. Wait, I have to pick a winner—I can't go with a no-contest? OK, I will go with the heavy top game and brutal ground-and-pound of Thiago Silva. Seriously, though, no-contest.

    Silva, Unanimous Decision 


    James McDonald: I have a feeling that just watching this fight will be painful. I don’t expect either fighter to come out of this one feeling particularly healthy. That being said, I think “The Brazilian Stallion” Silva will grind out a career-shortening win by virtue of his superior toughness.

    Silva, TKO, Round 3 


    Scott Harris: I think Rafael Cavalcante is overmatched here. It's not even a question, to me, of whether Silva can win this fight. It's whether he can win his drug test.

    Silva, KO, Round 2


    Sean Smith: This is one of those fights that could probably go either way depending on who is the first to land cleanly. If I have to make a prediction, I'll go with the UFC veteran and the guy who hasn't been suspended for 12 months. Let's just hope whoever wins gets to keep the victory on their record this time around.

    Silva, KO, Round 2

William Macario vs. Leonardo Santos

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    Riley Kontek: If you watched the second season of TUF: Brazil, it was underwhelming and full of injuries. In fact, Leonardo Santos is only in the finale because Santiago Ponzinibbio broke his hand. William Macario, other than looking like a Melvin Guillard clone, is a beast and will earn a TKO stoppage to win the season.

    Macario, TKO, Round 2


    James McDonald: I’m not particularly looking forward to this fight, nor do I expect it to be especially competitive. Look for Macario to keep the fight on the feet and hunt Santos down. This one might not last long.

    Macario, TKO, Round 1 


    Scott Harris: Santos is the steady professional, but Macario is decidedly unsteady, in a decidedly positive way. For the sake of this card, I'm hoping Macario dictates this fight. But I'm thinking Santos outfoxes the young man and fights the smarter and better fight.

    Santos, Submission, Round 1


    Sean Smith: The first season of TUF: Brazil ended with Cezar Ferreira beating a replacement opponent, Sergio Moraes, in the middleweight tournament finals. As TUF: Brazil 2 concludes, here we are again with a losing semifinalist meeting a deserving finalist in Macario. It would stand to reason that Macario will win since he, you know, actually earned his spot in this fight.

    Macario, TKO, Round 1

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum

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    Riley Kontek: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is 1-0 in this matchup, as he defeated Fabricio Werdum back in 2006. However, this isn't 2006, and this isn't the old Nogueira that terrorized Pride. Werdum outworks him in every facet of the game to run a decision win and possible top contender status.

    Werdum, Unanimous Decision


    James McDonald: The first fight between these two could not be less relevant to Saturday night’s contest. While Nogueira is a shell of the fighter he was 2006, Werdum is now twice the fighter he was. The vast improvement in his striking game has been, well, pretty striking. Werdum’s superior speed and the diversity of his stand-up should be too much for the aging Nogueira to deal with.

    Werdum, Unanimous Decision


    Scott Harris: Not only do I not see an even fight, I don't see a close fight. I've been predicting that Big Nog will hang up his gloves in the cage after his last four fights. I'm going to repeat that prediction now, assuming Werdum doesn't rough him up too badly.

    Werdum, TKO, Round 1


    Sean Smith: A lot has changed since Nogueira defeated Werdum under the Pride FC in 2006. Werdum has improved his striking and is looking like a serious heavyweight contender. Nogueira has gotten punched in the head a bunch and had his arm snapped like a twig. Yeah, Nogueira's undefeated in Brazil and should have the crowd on his side despite fighting a fellow countryman, but he's also been fighting low-ranked competitors in his homeland.

    Werdum, Unanimous Decision