UFC Fight Night 32 Preview

ufc_fn32The UFC is quickly becoming a young man’s sport as the stars of the promotion are getting younger and younger. The UFC is going the way of the rest of the major sports in North America as the younger faster fighters are taking over. It wasn’t too long ago that the champions in the UFC were all approaching 40 years old and their biggest challengers were only slightly younger. Fighters like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture used to rule the UFC and would fight and dominate in their late 30s. Then came fighters like Jon Jones who would become the youngest champion ever at 23 years old. The Jon Jones type of fighter is young enough to know what MMA is while those who came before him were one discipline in MMA and would figure everything out as they went. The time of these old schools fighters is quickly ending and it is not necessarily a bad thing. The true MMA artists are coming in and making things exciting by understanding every part of the game and not being able to get dominating in one area. Although these young fighters have made things a little more exciting there is still a special place in the octagon for those veterans who made the sport. These fighters were around when fights were nowhere near the large arenas they are now. They were around when weight classes didn’t exist and the fights were simply about discipline against discipline. One the eve of the 20th anniversary of the UFC two of these fighters will enter the octagon in Brazil in a match that will go a long way in determining their futures in the sport. Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort have been in MMA for plenty of years and have seen everything that a fighter can see. Belfort would become the youngest UFC tournament champion at 19-years old in 1997. He has since left and returned to the UFC to become a veteran fighter and now a top contender in the light heavyweight division. Dan Henderson would also begin his career in 1997 at Brazil Open ‘97 and would begin to work his way to becoming one of the true legends of the sport. Fighting through the Pride Championship Henderson would become one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. Both fighters have won plenty of titles and if either retired today they would go down as legends in the sport and will both be heading to the hall of fame. They are not retried yet though and they will go toe-to-toe in the octagon bringing an old school feel to UFC Fight Night 32. They will do so in what might ne dup being a great stand-up fight that will go down as two legends teeing off on each other. The Vitor Belfort is a BJJ practitioner that has some of the fastest hands in the division. Belfort can fight on the ground but loves to press the action and push a relentless pace. Now being a veteran he has been able to take an aggressive approach without pushing too far and that has led him to a 5-2 record since returning to the UFC in 2009. The only two losses on Belfort’s record have been to two of the most dominant champions, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, in the UFC. He looks to take his power and hand speed to another win and to another title shot against Dan Henderson at Fight Night 32. Henderson will be looking to do much the same as the only thing missing in his collection is a UFC belt. Henderson is a wrestler that has very heavy hands and can knock anyone out with either hand. He is much more deliberate than Belfort and takes a slower pace until finding an opening and unleashing his hands. He has gone the opposite way of Belfort though as Henderson has lost his last two fights, although both by split decision, and needs a win to stay in the hunt. The fight is important for both fighters as they are nearing the end of their careers and a win at Fight Night 32 will likely mean the continuation of a last run at the title while a loss could be the beginning of the end for either fighter. In this fight the battle will be close but it will be the speed of Belfort that will come out on top for a unanimous decision victory in a great fight between two legends.

Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson have a combined 72 fights between them but before they enter the octagon two fighters that have a combined 4 fights will face off. Before the legends of the past face off, the UFC will see the future of the sport in Cezar Ferreira and Daniel Sarafian. Both fighters will enter the octagon for the third time in their careers as they take another step in their very young careers. It is an important time for both fighters as they are both looking to start building a career and looking to do it in their home country. For Cezar Ferreira this fight is a chance to build on what looks to be a very promising career. Winning TUF Brazil would launch him into the UFC and give him a chance to kick-start a good career. After winning the reality show Ferreira would have his first official UFC fight against Thiago Santos and would take the win with a submission. Now he hopes to become the latest Ultimate Fighter winner to fight for a title as a win at Fight Night 32 will take him a step towards a top 10 ranking. He will have to get through Daniel Sarafian to do that though which is not an easy path. Sarafian would start his career in a bad way when he lost to CB Dolloway via split decision. He would recover against Eddie Mendez in his second fight though winning via submission in the first round. Now he looks to take out the TUF champion and like Ferreira will hope that a win in this fight will take him closer to the top ten. Both fighters are traditional Brazilian fighters who like to see the fight on the ground and use their BJJ backgrounds to grind out wins. For Ferreira the ground game is about submitting his opponents with his BJJ. For Sarafian the ground game is meant to ground and pound to beat fighters but submitting is not out of the question. The two young fighters will face off with plenty on the line for their young careers in their home country as they represent the future before the legends take the centre stage.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Main Card:
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira vs. Daniel Sarafian (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Paulo Thiago vs. Brandon “Rukus” Thatch (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio vs. Ryan LaFlare (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Rony Jason vs. Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Undercard:
Godofredo Pepey vs. Sam Sicilia (Facebook)

Thiago “Bodäo” Perpétuo vs. Omari “Lakec” Akhmedov (Facebook)

Thiago Tavares vs. Justin “J-Bomb” Salas (Facebook)

Adriano Martins vs. Daron “Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank (Facebook)

Jose “No Chance” Maria vs. Dustin Ortiz (Facebook)

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