Main Card (Pay-per-view):
190 lbs.: Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1 1NC) vs. Rich Franklin (28-6 1NC) wins by Unanimous Decision!
185 lbs.: Cezar Ferreira (5-2) vs. Sergio Moraes (6-2) wins by Unanimous Decision!
145 lbs.: Rony Bezerra (11-3) vs. Godofredo Pepey (9-0) wins by Unanimous Decision!
265 lbs.: Mike Russow (15-1 1NC) vs. Fabricio Werdum (15-5-1) wins by TKO in RD1!
145 lbs.: Yuri Alcantara (26-3) vs. Hacran Dias (20-1-1) wins by Unanimous Decision!
Preliminary Card (FX Channel):
145 lbs.: Rodrigo Damm (9-5) vs. Medeiros Anistavio (15-7) wins by Rear Naked Choke in RD1!
185 lbs.: Francisco Trinaldo (10-1) vs. Delson Heleno (23-6) wins by TKO in RD1!
185 lbs.: John Teixeira (13-0) vs. Hugo Viana (5-1) wins by Split Decision!
185 lbs.: Leonardo Mafra (5-0) vs. Thiago Perpetuo (8-2-1) wins by TKO in RD3!
Preliminary Card (Facebook):
145 lbs.: Marcos Pancini (19-4-1) vs. Wagner Campos (11-3) wins by TKO in RD3!
145 lbs.: Felipe Arantes (14-4 2NC) vs. Milton Vieira (13-7-1) is ruled a Draw!
Ultimate Fighting Championship 147 takes place on June 23, 2012 at Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The original headliner was to be Chael Sonnen vs Anderson Silva II, but this was moved to UFC 148 on July 7, 2012 in as Vegas, Nevada. Facebook Prelims start at 7 p.m. EST before switching to FX Channel for the rest of the prelims at 8 p.m. EST. PPV begins at 10 p.m. EST. To watch the FREE prelims on Facebook simply visit their Facebook page and “like.”
Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin
Silva and Franklin first faced each other at UFC 99 on June 13, 2009 in Cologne, Germany, at a catchweight of 195 lbs. Franklin won a unanimous decision then, and in spite of the decision was a well-fought, entertaining and closely contested battle. Similarly, they will compete at a catchweight, however this time at 190 lbs. Both are no strangers to catchweight bouts, apparently carrying frames that make them “caught” in between weight classes.
Both fighters are older, and different fighters since their first meeting. Legend and veteran Wanderlei Silva has gone 2-1 since, beating the likes of Michael Bisping and Cung Le, having been KOed by Chris Leben before he could get started. At his age and with his inactivity, you have to wonder how it will affect his performance. Wanderlei was made famous by his intimidating appearance and equally if not more intimidating, in-your-face, aggressive fighting style. This has led to a career of wars, that while exciting and fan-friendly, can age a fighter quickly.
Franklin has also had three fights since, going 1-2, knocking out Chuck Liddell at UFC 115, and losing to Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin. Franklin has a more refined style of fighting, and is a bit more calculated in his approach in contrast to Silva. With 25 of his 28 wins resulting in a finish, he is no less exciting to watch. This more calculated approach means Franklin is the younger fighter in terms of chronology and wear. For Wanderlei to win the fight, he needs to turn it into a battle, not give Franklin space and most importantly work Franklin’s Achilles heel: the thai clinch. Anderson Silva took advantage of this weakness of Franklin’s in both their previous fights. Perhaps Wanderlei’s greatest asset and “deadliest” weapon is his Thai clinch, so he needs to remember the tool that made him the legend he is if he wants to win this fight. NBG Pick: Rich Franklin.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Sergio Moraes
Since Zuffa has much success using local fighters on the previous two events in Rio, they are continuing to do so by using relative unknowns (unless you have been following TUF Brazil.) Considering MMA and fighting is in their DNA, it’s hardly takes a leap of faith. Cezar Ferreira, while having only six bouts in his MMA career is no newbie to the sport, having been competing since 2007. With three of his four wins coming by way of technical knock out, it’s probably no surprise that he will most likely work with what his strength is and be hunting looking for another, especially considering his opponent is a submission maven. It would be in his better interest to keep this fight standing. Having strung together three finishes in a row he was stalled in his last fight in August of 2011, where he was KOed in 25 seconds by Elvis Mutapcic. He’ll certainly be hungry and hoping to get back on the winning track.
His opponent is 4 time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion Sergio Moraes, who is replacing an injured Daniel Sarafian and has a contrasting style to Ferreira’s. Reflecing his decorated background, Sergio has five submission victories in his six wins. The “X” factor here is that Sergio is taking this fight on short notice, and his last fight was in March of 2010. Of course, desire and ring rust will be contributing factors to his performance. In spite of the fact that both fighters emphasize submission grappling, their culture emphasizes machismo and no one will be the least bit surprised if this fight is mostly a standing, kickboxing affair. Nor should anyone be surprised if it’s an up and down, back and forth battle that perhaps picks up Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night or Submission of the night honors. NBG Pick: Sergio Moraes.
Rony Mariano Bezerra vs. Godofredo Pepey
The incredibly dangerous Rony Mariano Bezerra has finished all ten of his opponents in the fights he has won. With seven submissions and three KO/TKOs, his opponents are in trouble wherever the fight goes. Only one of his thirteen fights have gone to a decision, so the fans are guaranteed an exciting fight, win or lose. Rony is currently on a five fight win streak, all finishes.
His opponent Godofredo Pepey, clearly was cherry picked by matchmaker Joe Silva, because Godofredo also has finished all his opponents. To take it a step further than Rony, he has yet to lose and only gone past the first round once. That’s eight fights, six submission, and two TKOs. In essence, this fight is a train wreck from the get-go and is the NBG pick for the Fight of the Night award and bonus. NBG Pick: Godofredo Pepey.
Mike Russow vs. Fabricio Werdum
In a return to familiar faces, this bout is a bit of a strange match-up to say the least. American Mike Russow by appearance is easy to overlook. He lacks the Adonis build that is so common amongst fighters. However, Mike is here to remind people of one cold hard fact: muscles do not equate to fighting ability. Mike is a spoiler of sorts, winning fights he is “supposed” to lose and in the process put together an eleven fight win streak defeating the likes of veteran Roman Zentsov, the despised Jason Guida, Todd Duffee in a fight he was getting battered in, Brock Lesnar training partner Jon Madsen and BJJ phenom John Olav Einemo. Mike is a finisher and as mentioned, a spoiler, winning fights he isn’t supposed to. However, he really has the odds stacked against him.
His opponent Fabricio Werdum is one of the top heavyweights in the sport. Perhaps one of the top three best submission specialists in the heavyweight division. Fabricio’s career was built on fighting top guys from the very beginning – and winning. He has strung together impressive wins against Gabriel Gonzaga (twice), Big Cat Tom Erikson, Alistair Overeem, Aleksander Emelianenko, Brandon Vera, Bigfoot Silva, a faded Fedor, and most recently against Big Country Roy Nelson. In his second fight against Alistair Overeem, he displayed a vastly improved striking ability, in spite of his decision loss and in spite of the punch stats showing him to land more strikes. Russow needs to make this a scrappy, gritty and ugly battle and keep it standing if he has any chance of winning this fight. Werdum could possibly win anywhere, but he can finish the fight much faster if he simply takes it to the ground. NBG Pick: Fabricio Werdum.
Yuri Alcantara vs. Hacran Dias
Brazilian phenom Yuri Alcantara is currently on a thirteen fight win streak, and has twelve submission and twelve TKO wins. Clearly and aggressive and dangerous opponent by these stats, they need to be balanced by the fact that his fights have primarily taken place in Brazil against virtual unknowns, excepting Arantes and Omigawa. Even these wins were not against opponents that were in the top ten and both went to decisions.
Similarly his opponent Hacran Dias has also faced relatively unknown Brazilians. To be fair, this is not to say that these guys are not top caliber, because if they are fighting for the sport’s largest organization they ARE top caliber. They just haven’t been tested or proven they can carry their performances over to beating top opponents. In the UFC, they will have no choice. Either progress and evolve or be eliminated. Dias is on an eight fight win streak and has wins by submission and striking. NBG Pick: Yuri Alcantara.
Come back for the results, updates and animated gifs. What are your picks for the headline fight between Franklin and Silva? The main card bouts? Who wins the bonuses?