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Will Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo ship once more?


If Brazil is not the birthplace of the UFC, it’s at the very least the playground for the promotion’s childhood. The inaugural occasion in 1993 happened in Denver, and the corporate’s first 15 struggle playing cards all occurred within the United States. It took the UFC almost 5 years earlier than lastly lugging the Octagon all the way down to Brazil.

But these early days performed out as basically a showcase for the little-known martial arts self-discipline of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Its main purveyor on the time, Royce Gracie, received three of the UFC’s first 4 one-night tournaments, his slender effectivity stunningly getting the very best of a jacked-up parade of brutes. And by the years which have adopted, Brazil has produced greater than a dozen UFC champions and a number of other of the best fighters in historical past, from Anderson Silva to Jose Aldo, Cris Cyborg to Amanda Nunes.

It can be a giant night time for Brazilian fighters when the UFC returns to Brazil on Saturday for the primary time for the reason that daybreak of the COVID pandemic almost three years in the past. One of these fighters will share a history-making second together with his opponent, and one other will transfer nearer to uncharted accomplishment. Those are on the high of the invoice amongst many pivotal moments on the UFC 283 menu.

The predominant occasion in Rio de Janeiro options Glover Teixeira, born some 350 miles away in Minas Gerais. He faces Jamahal Hill for the vacant mild heavyweight championship, and a Teixeira victory would give him his second title reign. In 2021, Teixeira turned the oldest first-time champ in UFC historical past, at age 42. The oldest champ general was Randy Couture, who in 2007 received the heavyweight belt at 45. Teixeira is 9 months shy of his forty fourth birthday.

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In the co-main occasion, males’s flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo defends his title in opposition to former champ Brandon Moreno, who now owns an interim belt. It can be their fourth assembly, making this struggle historic within the UFC and the game. MMA has had its share of memorable trilogies, however by no means earlier than have a pair of fighters met 4 occasions. Figueiredo is from Soure within the northern Brazilian state of Para, on the mouth of the Amazon.

The occasion at Jeunesse Arena will current a number of different Brazilian fighters with alternatives for milestone moments. Here’s a rating of the highest 5 fights to concentrate to — all that includes fighters reaching for the celebs of their dwelling nation.

1. Men’s flyweight championship: Deiveson Figueiredo (c) vs. Brandon Moreno (ic) 4

One would possibly suppose we have seen all of the struggle these two have for one another, since they’ve already spent 62 minutes and 26 seconds tussling contained in the cage. But their second hour collectively is likely to be even higher in a rivalry like this. If Figueiredo and Moreno had gone their separate methods after two conferences, as an example, we would not have seen Figueiredo’s three knockdowns within the trilogy struggle — after he had zero within the preliminary assembly and rematch. This is a rubber match, with every man having received one, misplaced one and fought to a draw. So let’s benefit from the completion of this tetralogy — sure, I needed to search for that time period — after which put together ourselves to be additional entertained by title conflict No. 5 sometime.

2. Light heavyweight championship: Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill



Glover Teixeira’s essential takedown in Round 2 provides him the belt

Glover Teixeira lands a large takedown in Round 2 to ultimately give him the victory over Jan Blachowicz.

Even greater than the night’s history-making tetralogy (that phrase once more!), that is the struggle I’m most excited to see. Teixeira is an in-the-moment pleasure to behold, irrespective of the place that second within the struggle is happening. His standup preventing, although plodding and never breathtaking, is an infinite conveyor belt of ache and harm. His grappling is an immovable lead blanket that is by no means comforting. Teixeira competes agelessly with the identical regular grit he displayed in his UFC debut over a decade in the past.

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3. Women’s flyweight: Jessica Andrade vs. Lauren Murphy

Andrade has bounced forwards and backwards between strawweight and flyweight, and the identical legislation of gravity applies to each universes. Step within the cage with Andrade, and she’s going to ship you all the way down to the canvas, as she did with finishes in her final 5 victories. The different fixed with Andrade: Only champions have been in a position to deal with her. Andrade, who grew up on a farm within the southern state of Parana, final fought in Brazil in 2019, knocking out Rose Namajunas to win the 115-pound title.

4. Light heavyweight: Mauricio Rua vs. Ihor Potieria

“Shogun” Rua, the pleasure of Curitiba, has mentioned this would be the final struggle of his profession, and what a profession it has been. A former UFC mild heavyweight champion and Pride Middleweight Grand Prix winner, Rua owns victories over a number of UFC Hall of Famers, whom he’ll doubtless take part enshrinement sometime. “Shogun” was a terror in his prime, however that was way back. Today he’s 41 years previous and on a two-fight shedding streak, having not received a struggle for the reason that summer time of 2020. That makes this a type of fights greatest watched with arms held up close to your face, able to cowl your eyes if issues get ugly.

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5. Light heavyweight: Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker

Walker was born in Rio de Janeiro however has not fought there since his pre-UFC days almost a decade in the past. He’s known as this reserving “a dream for me,” so anticipate the flashy 30-year-old to indicate off in his hometown. But how will he accomplish that? Walker, a wildly artistic striker with knockouts in 15 of his 19 victories, is coming off a choke out win. Likewise, Craig is a grappling ace, with submissions in 13 of his 16 profession wins, however two of his final three victories have been by knockout. Go determine.

And 5 extra notables … all out of Brazil

  • Rio’s Gilbert Burns was final seen on the shedding finish of a basic battle with Khamzat Chimaev in April. Somewhat over a yr earlier than that, Burns unsuccessfully challenged Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title. Now Burns is attempting to rebuild his case for contendership, and a win over robust veteran Neil Magny can be a step in the proper path.

  • There are simply seven featherweight girls within the UFC, and two of them are Zarah Fairn and Brazil’s Josiane Nunes, who meet within the prelims. That means the pair characterize 29% of the 145-pound roster. Can one in every of these girls placed on the type of efficiency that’ll assist reinvigorate a weight class that has been fading into oblivion?

  • Brazilian heavyweight Jailton Almeida has received 12 fights in a row, all by end. That’s the type of résumé that opens eyes, which suggests many can be watching to see if Almeida can move the most important check of his profession. Shamil Abdurakhimov is on a three-fight skid, however earlier than that, he was a top-10 contender.

  • Making his UFC debut in his adopted hometown, bantamweight Luan Lacerda has received 10 straight, with no losses since 2014.

  • Back in September, a pair of brothers from Brazil, Ismael and Gabriel Bonfim, competed on Dana White’s Contender Series on the identical night time and each earned UFC contracts. On Saturday, light-weight Ismael and undefeated welterweight Gabriel make their UFC debuts.


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