UFC Fight Night 56 Preview

ufc_fn56The UFC travels to Brazil once again this weekend and once again they will not see the fight they had planned. Originally the return to Brazil was to feature a Brazilian legend and a rising British star. Then with little over a week to go before the fight Jimi Manuwa broke his foot while training and was forced to withdraw from the fight. It was a big loss for the UFC and for Manuwa who had a chance to add a big name to his record. He was a fast rising star in the light heavyweight division before a loss to Alexander Gustafsson put his title plans on hold. This was his chance to get back into the conversation and return to the top of the division where he could make an impression on the UFC and earn his way into big fights. The broken foot ended all of that and left Mauricio Rua without an opponent only days out of his main event fight. The UFC scrambled to find a fighter that could replace Manuwa with so little notice and likely made plenty of calls to fighters that simply couldn’t handle that turnaround. One could though as Ovince St. Preux moved up in a card that he was already training for. St. Preux had his own issues with injury when he was originally scheduled to fight Rafael Cavalcante but an injury to the Brazilian cancelled that fight. He remained on the card where he would face Francimar Barroso in a fight that had a lot more to lose than win. Then the UFC came calling and gave him a fight that had plenty to gain for the Haitian. With the change in the fight OSP now has the chance to fight someone who has already done everything you can do in MMA. Rua is a legend in the sport and a legend that continues to fight at a high level. Ranked as the #9 fighter in the light heavyweight division, Rua is trying to return to the title that he once owned. It became a tougher road after his last fight against Dan Henderson when he lost via TKO in the third round. The loss has delayed his comeback to the title shot and now he is looking to make his way back to the top of the division. St. Preux has the chance to delay that comeback even more and make his way up the ladder for the first time. When OSP entered the UFC he quickly became a popular pick for one of the most promising fighters in the promotion. Winning four straight fights, two by submission, one by KO, and the other by decision, he seemed like a fighter that could soon be on his way to a title shot. Then he faced off with Ryan Bader and took his first loss in the UFC via unanimous decision. Now ranked #10 he has the chance to beat the fighter ranked just above him and take out a legend in front of his home crowd. The fight itself seems like a fairly even one with both fighters having similar skillsets. Rua is a Jiu Jitsu practitioner that prefers the stay standing and use his aggressive approach to overwhelm opponents. The problem with that attitude is the fact that it can get him caught in a brawl where one punch can end everything. St. Preux is a wrestler with great striking that originally showed his superiority on the feet. Lately though his wrestling has shone through earning two submissions in his last three fights including a very rare Von Flue Choke. As Rua likely tries to keep the fight standing and be the aggressor St. Preux would be smart to take the fight to the ground and try to submit Rua, despite Rua’s pedigree on the ground. It should be a close fight but it will be the veteran that will take the win as the difference will be the ability to adjust to the changes in the last week. Rua has seen everything and preparing for a new opponent on short notice will be no big deal while St. Preux prepares for this third fighter and could lose some of the strategy that could help him win. For that reason it will be a Rua win via unanimous decision as he tries to restart a comeback.

Another Brazilian will take focus in his home country before a legend steps into the octagon for the main event. He is nowhere near as popular as Rua is but he is looking to become that popular someday. Brazil was once on top of the UFC world holding multiple belts in the promotion and proving to be the best fighting nation. Then the belts started to fall and only Jose Aldo was left holding a belt for Brazil. Now John Lineker is looking to make that two belts for Brazilians as he tries to continue his climb up the Flyweight rankings to take on the only Flyweight champion in the UFC, Demetrious Johnson. With a 5-2 record in the UFC and a professional record of 24-7 Lineker is a very promising fighter. His record has pushed him to the #6 ranking in the Flyweight division and has set him up to take a run at the title. If it wasn’t for a loss against Ali Bagautinov earlier this year Lineker might only be a fight away from a title shot or could be getting ready for a fight against Johnson. That fight set him back though and now he must find his way back to the title conversation, which he will try to do against one of the top flyweights in the world in Ian McCall. McCall came into the UFC as a top contender for the Flyweight championships and was ranked as the top flyweight in the world. He did not come out on top in the Flyweight Tournament but after a loss after the tournament he has put together two straight wins. As the #3 fighter in the flyweight division McCall could be only a fight away from earning another shot at Johnson, who he faced in the tournament semi-final, for the title. As both fighters face off in a contender matchup the fans will be squarely on one side as the Brazilian fans hope to see a future champion that can bring back the glory of Brazilian fighters and earn a second title.


Fight Card

Main Event:
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Ovince “OSP” St. Preux (UFC Fight Pass)

Main Card:
John “Hands of Stone” Lineker vs. Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall (UFC Fight Pass)

Warlley Alves vs. Alan “Brahma” Jouban (UFC Fight Pass)

Leon “Rocky” Edwards vs. Claudio “Hannibal” Silva (UFC Fight Pass)

Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima vs. Nina “The Strina” Ansaroff (UFC Fight Pass)

Diego “Pitbull” Rivas vs. Rodolfo “Fito” Rubio (UFC Fight Pass)

Caio “Hellboy” Magalhães vs. Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith (UFC Fight Pass)

Dhiego Lima vs. Jorge “Blade” Oliveira (UFC Fight Pass)

Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman vs. Leandro “Buscapé” Silva (UFC Fight Pass)

Thomas “Thominhas” de Almeida vs. Tim “The Psycho” Gorman (UFC Fight Pass)

Colby “Chaos” Covington vs. Wagner “Wagnão” Silva (UFC Fight Pass)

One Response to “UFC Fight Night 56 Preview”
  1. The co-main event between John Lineker and Ian McCall has been cancelled due to a Viral Infection suffered by McCall.

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