TUF Brazil 3 Finale: Maldonado vs. Miocic Fight Card, Live Stream and More

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TUF Brazil 3 Finale: Maldonado vs. Miocic Fight Card, Live Stream and More
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

It's a bummer that Junior dos Santos had to pull out of the main event at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 finale. The former heavyweight champion of the world was set to take on Stipe Miocic in what promised to be a bruising affair.

A hand injury put Dos Santos on the shelf, and Fabio Maldonado stepped in to replace him.

Winning this fight won't vault Miocic as high in the heavyweight rankings as it would if Dos Santos was his opponent, but he can still continue his progress toward a title shot.

There are 11 other bouts on tap in what will be the second UFC fight card in a 24-hour period. UFC Fight Night 41 takes place earlier in the day from Berlin.

This one goes down in San Paulo, Brazil. Here are the vitals:

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 - Fight Card, Schedule and Predictions
UFC Fight Pass Prelims 6:30 p.m. ET
Matchup Weight Class Prediction
Pedro Munoz vs. Matt Hobar Bantamweight Hobar by decision
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Richardson Moreira Heavyweight Rogerio de Lima by TKO
Ricardo Abreu vs. Wagner Silva Middleweight Silva by submission
Fox Sports 1 Prelims 8 p.m. ET
Kevin Souza vs. Mark Eddiva Featherweight Souza by KO
Paulo Thiago vs. Gasan Umalatov Welterweight Thiago by TKO
Elais Silverio vs. Ernest Chavez Lightweight Silverio by submission
Rodrigo Damm vs. Rashid Magomedov Lightweight Magomedov by decision
Fox Sports 1 Main Card 10 p.m. ET
Rony Jason vs. Robbie Peralta Featherweight Peralta by KO
Demian Maia vs. Alexander Yakovlev Welterweight Maia by submission
Marcio Alexandre vs. Warlley Alves Middleweight Alexandre by TKO
Vitor Miranda vs. Antonio Carlos Junior Heavyweight Miranda by TKO
Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado Heavyweight Miocic by KO

Card per UFC.com, predictions per Brian Mazique

 

When: Saturday, May 31, at 6:30 p.m. ET

Where: San Paulo, Brazil

Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass Prelims (subscription required)

TV: Fox Sports 1

 

Demian Maia vs. Alexander Yakovlev

USA TODAY Sports

To beat Maia, you have to have superior takedown defense and solid stand-up skills. While Yakovlev has an excellent ground game, it is never a good idea to try to out-grapple Maia.

Yakovlev's stand-up game doesn't appear to be far enough beyond Maia's to take advantage of the Brazilian.

This one will likely delight connoisseurs of the art of grappling, but it'll bore fans who want to see more stand-up action. In the end, Maia's grappling will be the key, and he'll grab a victory by submission.

 

Marcio Alexandre Jr. vs. Warlley Alves

Both men are making their UFC debut, but Alexandre Jr. comes in with a bit more fanfare. He's 12-0, and almost all of his wins have come by stoppage.

At only 25 years old, this fight could be the birth of a star in the promotion.

Alves is also undefeated at 6-0.

He's just 23 years old, so this will be a battle of young Brazilian lions looking to impress the UFC matchmakers and their countrymen.

Based on what's available to see from both fighters, Alexandre Jr. is the one who looks to have special potential. He's a gifted striker, and he's very well-schooled as a grappler.

Is it wrong to expect a dynamic finish in his UFC debut? Of course not. Bet on a first-round TKO in a fast-paced and action-packed fight.

 

Vitor Miranda vs. Antonio Carlos Junior 

Carlos Junior is a smaller heavyweight. Thus far through the TUF tournament, he's been able to use his speed to gain leverage and advantageous positions against his opponents.

Something says that won't happen against Miranda.

The 34-year-old Brazilian native has an experience and size advantage over his opponent. If he can weather an early storm and conduct himself well on the ground, he should be able to control the stand-up portion of the fight.

A TKO win in the second round for Miranda will make him the oldest TUF champion ever. 

 

Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Maldonado was delighted and willing to step in for Dos Santos when the call came. Despite having just fought in March when he beat Gian Villante at light heavyweight, Maldonado agreed to take this bout on short notice and moved up a weight class. Why?

Per Elias Cepeda of Yahoo! Sports, Maldonado said:

"Simple. I'm a man. I'm not hurt so there's no reason not to take on a challenge like this."

It will indeed be a big challenge. Miocic is not only naturally bigger, but he's also more talented. Could Maldonado catch Miocic sleeping?

Dave Doyle of Yahoo! Sports offers this thought: "Miocic has gone from the fighter who could make a name for himself in the bout to the guy someone else could use as a steppingstone."

That's certainly a possibility, but Miocic already had his humbling moment back in Sept. 2012 when he was TKO'd by Stefan Struve.

Don't expect him to be caught off guard again. Miocic will win by first-round knockout.

 

Follow me. I dig combat sports.

@BMaziqueFPBR

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