Former Strikeforce champion and reigning Invicta FC featherweight titleholder Cris Cyborg makes her second appearance under the UFC banner when she takes on Lina Lansberg on Saturday night in Brazil. Let’s take a closer look at how this fight might play out and what’s in-store for the other six bouts on the card.
Cris Cyborg vs. Lina Lansberg
Weigh-in: Cyborg vs Lansberg | Fight Night Brasilia
Cyborg is a ferocious fighter who mixes power and aggression in a devastating fashion. Dating back to 2010, Cyborg has finished all of her opponents by strikes, and just three of them have made it out of the first round. Lansberg is going to be a game opponent, and enters the fight with some pretty staunch muay thai skills, but until we actually see Cyborg challenge, we’ll keep expecting dominance.
Prediction: Cyborg by first-round knockout
Renan Barao vs. Philippe Nover
Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao tries to snap a two-fight losing streak Saturday when he takes on TUF Brazil veteran Phillipe Nover. This is a must-win for Barao, who has fell out of the UFC rankings completely after his last loss and he’ll need to prove he’s the same fighter that once reeled over 22-straight wins. If he returns to form, Barao should have no problem with Nover.
Prediction: Barao by second-round submission
Roy Nelson vs. Bigfoot Silva
Knockout artists Roy Nelson and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva are set to test each other’s chins on Saturday night and the night likely won’t end well for one of the top-15 heavyweights. Since 2013, Silva and Nelson have combined to win just four fights, so both will be desperate to walk away with a victory. With both fighters hold the power to end his opponent’s night in one punch, Nelson and his chin of stone have to hold the edge. Nelson has only been KO’d in his career while Silva’s last five losses have come via strikes. Saturday could be the sixth.
Prediction: Roy Nelson by first-round knockout
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Paul Felder
Francisco Trinaldo looks to add to his impressive six-fight win streak against Philly boxer Paul Felder in from of a home country crowd on Saturday. This fight is pretty evenly matched on paper, as both fighters land just over three strikes per minute, but Trinaldo is the more accurate striker and couples that with above average defense. These guys are going to stand up and exchange, and it’ll likely be close, but I think Trinaldo takes care of business at home.
Prediction: Trinaldo by decision
Thiago Santos vs. Eric Spicely
Heavy-hitting lightweight Thiago Santos will try to continue his climb through the ranks with a win over fellow Ultimate Fighter alum Eric Spicely. Santos is very talented and is averaging nearly two knockdowns (1.77) per minutes, well above the UFC average of .29. Spicely has six first-round finishes under his belt but I think he’ll be a little in over his head against Santos.
Prediction: Santos by second-round knockout
Godofredo Pepey vs. Mike De La Torre
Another TUF Brazil alum, Godofredo Pepey has won three of his last four fights by way of submission or KO/TKO. He faces fellow finisher Mike De La Torre to kick off the main card and this one should set the pace for the rest of the night. Pepey likes to start fast, and with three of De La Torre’s losses coming by way of submission, he’ll likely try to get the fight there early and lock in a finish.
Prediction: Pepey second-round submission