UFC Fight Night 29: Preview and Predictions for Every Single Fight

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterOctober 2, 2013

UFC Fight Night 29: Preview and Predictions for Every Single Fight

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    UFC welterweight contender Demian Maia (Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)
    UFC welterweight contender Demian Maia (Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

    I complain about there being so many UFC events. And then when they don't have one for two weeks, I'm like a dying guy in the desert. I need sustenance, you know?

    Not to say that the UFC is the only game in town (and it isn't), but you know what I mean. And that's why UFC Fight Night 29, going down Oct. 9 from a city I've never previously heard of in Barueri, Brazil, is like a cool spring rain on my brow, bro.

    The only thing cooler than the event itself is Demian Maia, the jiu-jitsu nonpareil who will, one could speculate, be fighting for a chance to fight for the welterweight title when he faces Jake Shields in the evening's main event. 

    Don't just get caught up in that one, though. There are 11 fights going down. Here's a pocket guide to and predictions for each and every one.

Alan Patrick vs Garrett Whiteley

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    Alan Patrick (Photo credit: MMAJunkie.com)
    Alan Patrick (Photo credit: MMAJunkie.com)

    Division: Lightweight
    See it on: Facebook

    I'm going to do some truth-telling here: I've never heard of either one of these guys. I'm sure they're devastated.

    On the bright side, neither man has ever lost. My guess is Patrick will smother him, and we will all subsequently suffer through some short-lived web-based complaining.

    Prediction: Patrick, Unanimous decision

Iliarde Santos vs Chris Cariaso

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    Chris Cariaso
    Chris CariasoKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Flyweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Chris Cariaso was a bit of a hardcore fan favorite there for a while. These days, though, he's just another guy who has two straight losses and is fighting for his UFC career. 

    As for Iliarde Santos, this is his third fight in 2013. He originally stepped up as an injury replacement, and I suppose the UFC appreciated his help.

    I'll tell you what, though: if Cariaso loses this, it will probably be a big surprise.

    Prediction: Cariaso, Unanimous decision

Yan Cabral vs. David Mitchell

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    UFC welterweight David Mitchell
    UFC welterweight David MitchellJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Division: Welterweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    When David Mitchell originally heard the story about several Americans being held hostage in Iran in the late 1970s, he took action. One major motion picture and a boat load of awards later, he's sitting pretty as one of Hollywood's premier power brokers, both in front of and behind the camera.

    But he's putting all that aside next Wednesday when he steps inside the cage to face Yan Cabral, a Nova Uniao product who is 10-0 as a pro.

    Cabral was a favorite to win the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil until a broken hand forced his withdrawal. This is his consolation prize, and I think he will take full advantage of the opportunity. He doesn't care that his opponent is a world-famous actor-director.

    The defeat would be Mitchell's fourth in his last five, and may force him to pack his bags back to La La Land.

    Prediction: Yan Cabral, Unanimous decision

Ildemar Alcantara vs Igor Araujo

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    Wagner Prado (top) screams in pain when Ildemar Alcantara locks on his kneebar. (Photo credit: CageWall.com)
    Wagner Prado (top) screams in pain when Ildemar Alcantara locks on his kneebar. (Photo credit: CageWall.com)

    Division: Welterweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Remember that brutal kneebar submission Ildemar Alcantara put on Wagner Prado in his UFC debut in January? That was awesome (and check the photo if you need a refresher).

    But he should meet more resistance against a fellow jiu-jitsu ace in Igor Araujo. This could be a chess match or a snoozer. Either way, Alcantara should keep it rolling.

    Prediction: Alcantara, Unanimous decision

     

Hacran Dias vs Rodrigo Damm

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    Hacran Dias
    Hacran DiasJason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Featherweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Hacran Dias saw his four-year winning streak and phenom status go up in smoke after Nik Lentz outworked him for a decision in May.

    Dias will surely want to get back on track against Rodrigo Damm, a grinder who tends to fight close fights. He also tends to be chinny, and Dias may be looking to find Damm's button and shut off the lights early for a statement victory.

    Prediction: Dias, TKO, Rd. 1

Raphael Assuncao vs T.J. Dillashaw

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    Raphael Assuncao
    Raphael AssuncaoJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Bantamweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    The main card is on the same television station as the prelim card, so it's kind of a distinction without a difference, but still, the main card's first bout features two upward-trending 135-pounders.

    Dillashaw is like a mini-me version of teammate Chad Mendes, with his wrestling pedigree and newly deadly standup game and ground-and-pound. 

    Assuncao, meanwhile, is a hulking bantamweight and a submissions expert. It's not hard to imagine him trying to throw a wet blanket over a head-hunting Dillashaw. This should be a close fight, and I see the home crowd tilting it for the Brazilian.

    Prediction: Assuncao, Split decision

Rousimar Palhares vs Mike Pierce

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    Mike Pierce
    Mike PierceJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Division: Welterweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    For a hot second there, Rousimar Palhares was a sleeper favorite to contend in the UFC middleweight division. Then everyone remembered that he couldn't strike (Alan Belcher outdueling him on the ground didn't exactly help perpetuate any mythology, either).

    But the artist formerly known as Paul Harris is still an animal in the cage, and as a loser of two straight, he'll be feeling cornered in there next Wednesday. If he gets a hold of any of Mike Pierce's extremities, it could be curtains.

    Easier said than done, however. Pierce is an outstanding wrestler with one-punch knockout power. The heart says Palhares here, but the head says Pierce.

    Prediction: Pierce, KO, Rd. 2 

Fabio Maldonado vs Joey Beltran

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    Light heavyweight Joey Beltran
    Light heavyweight Joey BeltranKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Light heavyweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Both of these men appear to understand their roles on this fight card. They are the big guys swinging the big leather. And make no mistake: one of these guys is going out on his shield.

    Both are big-time strikers. Beltran is a knockout artist, while Maldonado is more of a technical boxer. Both are tough as nails. This one should be close, but I think the Brazilian pulls a slight upset and picks "The Mexecutioner" apart.

    Prediction: Maldonado, TKO, Rd. 2

Thiago Silva vs Matt Hamill

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    UFC light heavyweight Matt Hamill
    UFC light heavyweight Matt HamillTom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Light heavyweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Matt Hamill, as a hearing-impaired pro fighter, is an inspiration to anyone who knows his story. But let's be real here: he's 36 years old, and probably should not have come out of retirement in 2011.

    He has lost two of three, with his lone win a deeply unimpressive decision over Roger Hollett. That was a year ago. 

    Thiago Silva, meanwhile, is a pure smasher, still looking to stabilize his career after failed drug tests and decisive losses. Silva doesn't care about Matt Hamill's back story and may put Hamill back on the sidelines, this time against his own will.

    Prediction: Silva, TKO, Rd. 1

Erick Silva vs Dong Hyun Kim

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    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Welterweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    All respect to a stifling grappler in Dong Hyun Kim, but I don't see any phase where he has a clear advantage in this fight. Erick Silva is just too good. His career, for different reasons, has been slow to reach the top echelons.

    But this is the fight that will do it. He'll finally have his signature win and will earn bona fide contender status.

    Prediction: Silva, TKO, Rd. 2

Demian Maia vs Jake Shields

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    Demian Maia
    Demian MaiaMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Welterweight
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Demian Maia out-Fitched Jon Fitch in February to run his record as a welterweight to 3-0. Can he out-Shields Jake Shields, too? I say he will. 

    Shields is a consummate grinder who won't fall prey to a submission, even against an unequivocally great jiu-jitsu artist like Maia. But he won't be able to mount much offense, either.

    Maia will beat him to the position each time and work for the decision win. The victory should put him on the very short list of possibilities for the next welterweight title challenger.

    Prediction: Maia, Unanimous decision

     

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