The UFC heads down to Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil for Fight Night 95. It isn’t a great card, but we’ll get a highly-anticipated women’s catch weight battle between Cris Cyborg and Lina Lansberg.
Huge favorite Renan Barao (-425) will fight in front of the home crowd against ‘The Filipino Assassin’, Phillipe Nover. In fact, Vegas expects plenty of the bouts to be rather lopsided, with nine favorites of -170 or higher. Lightweight Glaico Franca will also fight in front of the home fans against American Gregor Gillespie, who makes his UFC debut. The best bout on the card might be the lightweight tussle between Francisco Trinaldo and Paul Felder in another bout featuring a Brazilian against an American fighter.
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Renan Barao ($11,300 vs. Phillipe Nover): Barao is a solid all-around fighter, although lately he hasn’t shown it. Ever since his title fight loss in UFC 173 to TJ Dillashaw, Barao has been in a tailspin. He had a chance to avenge the loss July 25, 2015 at UFC on FOX 16 and he lost to Dillashaw again. After 10-month layoff he fell to Jeremy Stephens in an uninspired unanimous decision setback. ‘The Baron’ needs a good showing to get untracked, and he should have a layup against Nover, who has been equally unimpressive lately. He lost to Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC Fight Night Dec. 10, and he has six losses over his past 13 bouts. As long as Barao can avoid the rear-naked choke, Nover’s go-to move, he’ll end this one before the end of Round 2.
Vicente Luque ($10,800 vs. Hector Urbina): ‘The Silent Assassin’ is trending upward after choking out Hayder Hassan and Alvaro Herrera in each of his past two bouts. The Blackzilian doesn’t like to leave it up to the judges, submitting five opponents and knocking out three others. Luque will look to get Urbina down to the mat early and often, so expect plenty of DFS points for advances and takedowns. You’ll also get a quick victory from Luque, who will win by submission by the end of Round 2, more than living up to his high salary expectations.
Gilbert Burns ($9,800 vs. Michel Prazeres): Another Blackzilian, jiu-jitsu specialist Burns has picked up four victories in five bouts since his UFC debut back on July 26, 2014, including three wins by submission/armbar. The armbar and rear-naked choke are his bread and butter, and he’ll be trying to wipe out Prazeres early. This will be a bout featuring fighters of two varying styles. Prazeres is very deliberate and has had eight straight fights go to the judges, while Burns will look to get Prazeres down to the mat early putting his outstanding grappling on display.
Luan Chagas ($8,800 vs. Erick Silva): The wise guys have been putting their money on Chagas (-160), as they’re looking to youth over experience. Chagas is another jiu-jitsu specialist who will give Silva fits due to his energy and speed. ‘Tarzan’ has shown a lot more consistency than Silva lately, and he is devastating on the mat. If he can assume top position, he’ll put Silva’s lights out with a rear-naked choke or armbar. Silva is a dying star, and Chagas is an up-and-comer, and youth and energy will win the day. As a No. 5 DFS option, Chagas is going to score huge points per dollar spent.
Jussier Formiga ($9,200 vs. Dustin Ortiz): Jussier da Silva, a.k.a. ‘Formiga’, will look to get Ortiz down to the mat for his go-to move, the rear-naked choke. If Ortiz is to have any hope of winning it will be keeping this fight upright. Formiga has tremendous back control and he is pesky, while also displaying his own outstanding takedown defense. Ortiz is a top-notch wrestler, so this will be one of the most interesting bouts on the board and one DFS owners will have to sweat out. However, he is a good No. 4 DFS option with upside due to his potential for the submission win if he can get his hooks into Ortiz and hang on for the choke out.