Although the consensus of the fans is that they are not excited, UFC Fight Night 29 has the potential for some great fights. When you have a bunch of up-and-coming guys competing for future main card slots, they tend to bring the fight.
The headliner between Demian Maia and Jake Shields will go either two ways. Either Maia and Shields will have an ADCC-level grappling match to the excitement of fans, or they will put on a five-round hug fest that elicits a hurricane of boos.
Further than that, there are some fun matchups. In particular, TJ Dillashaw-Raphael Assuncao and Joey Beltran-Fabio Maldonado should bring some fun moments.
Here are the predictions for the fight-night bonus.
Submission of the Night: Yan Cabral
UFC newcomer and TUF Brazil 2 alum Yan Cabral is set to make his debut at this event, and if you haven't seen him fight, you will be in for a treat. He brings an aggressive, skillful Brazilian jiu-jitsu style that has seen him tap out all 10 of his professional opponents.
His most recent win came over two years ago, but it was against a Japanese legend in Kazushi Sakuraba. Cabral is a Nova Uniao product whose favorite technique is the arm-triangle choke.
David Mitchell, his opponent, is a very good grappler himself. However, Cabral is vastly superior and will continue his submission streak in impressive fashion.
Also in the running: Rousimar Palhares, Demian Maia
Knockout of the Night: Thiago Silva
If the man who looks like a Brazilian psychopath can pass his drug test post fight, I think he will win the Knockout of the Night bonus. That scary-looking dude is Thiago Silva.
Silva has just one win in the last three years. However, that is only because he failed two drug tests after demolishing Brandon Vera and choking out Stanislav Nedkov.
If there is something Silva proved in his last fight, it's that he is back to the form that made him such a scary competitor a few years ago. His knockout of Rafael Cavalcante was impressive as it was violent.
Matt Hamill is not the fighter he used to be and he just takes way too much damage on the feet to survive with a home run hitter like Silva. That is what will make the knockout so spectacular.
Also in the running: TJ Dillashaw, Mike Pierce
Fight of the Night: Fabio Maldonado vs. Joey Beltran
When Joe Silva was making this light heavyweight matchup, do you think he was salivating at the pure violence this contest would produce? Both Fabio Maldonado and Joey Beltran are never in a dull fight, so putting them together will be like combining lit matches and a tub of gasoline.
In short, it will mean fireworks. This fight cannot possibly be bad unless the UFC changes the rules last minute and disallows striking.
That obviously won't happen and I am obviously kidding, but Maldonado's boxing in combination with Beltran's willingness to brawl mean these two will throw haymakers for 15 minutes.
Whoever wins, we will all win for having witnessed. Whoever loses won't lose their job purely based on the performance they give us.
Also in the running: Thiago Silva-Matt Hamill, TJ Dillashaw-Raphael Assuncao, Iliarde Santos-Chris Cariaso
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