Making a Statement in Brazil (UFC Fight Night 56 Review)

UFC Fight Night Uberlandia - Shogun v Saint PreuxThe UFC found its way to Brazil once again this year as they continued a busy weekend with two fights from around the world. A day after the UFC went to Australia they appeared again this time from Brazil. It was a strange card in their second day of fights though as injuries ravaged through the entire roster of fighters. Originally the main event was to be Mauricio Rua against Jimi Manuwa in a matchup of two hard-hitting light heavyweights. Then Manuwa was hurt and in his place was Ovince St. Preux, another hard-hitting light heavyweight. That change cancelled the original fight between St. Preux and Francimar Barroso. Just when it seemed like the changes were finished and the card was set to go another injury took away a big fight. The co-main event was a fight that would give Brazilians a glimpse of their future in fighting as Brazilian John Lineker was to face Ian McCall in a flyweight battle that could go a long way to determining another contender for the flyweight title. Only days before the fight though, McCall suffered a viral infection and the co-main event was cancelled. It was just another in the long list of injuries that have plagued the UFC over the last few years. It is yet another issue that the UFC is dealing with but they continue to move through it and put on great fights to entertain anyone watching. Despite the change in the main event there was still plenty o anticipation in the few days leading up to the new matchup. Rua was fighting at home once again as the legendary Brazilian got a chance to give his home crowd a show. It was no the only motivation for Rua though as he looked to improve on his #9 ranking in an attempt to get back to the title that he once held. He was going to have to adjust though as he prepared for Manuwa throughout his camp and less than a week before had to switch to a new fighter in St. Preux. It was not the biggest of changes as Manuwa was a pure boxer and Preux was a striker but Preux also brought a wrestling background into the fight. With the last-minute change Preux received the biggest chance he could get as the unranked fighter was thrown into a match with a top 10 contender. If St. Preux could manage the surprise win he could immediately be put on the map as a fighter to watch in the division. It was a chance that many did not think that he could take as Rua had the experience and the skill set to beat the young Haitian fighter. With Rua’s ability to push the pace in fights he always has a chance to win by catching any fighter with the right punch. St. Preux takes a different approach as he is not the swing heavy all-out brawler but still has more than enough power to knockout anyone in the division, just in a more calculated way. The fight was still a good matchup for the fans despite the last change as both fighters were determined to put on a great show and save a card that had been destroyed by injury. They did just that, or at least St. Preux did that. Only 34 seconds into the first round of the main event, St. Preux earned the KO of the Brazilian legend. The aggressiveness of Rua was the difference in the fight as he went to unload a combo on St. Preux but ate a big left hook that sent him to the mat. St. Preux went after the Brazilian and forced the referee to tend the fight. The fight stunned the Brazilian fans and silenced a crowd in what was supposed to be a much better fight for the Brazilian. The loss was Rua’s second in a row and has put him off of the path towards the title. The win for St. Preux was the biggest of his career so far and should make him a fighter to watch in the division. He is sure to move up the rankings after beating a top 10 fighter in the division.

Before the crowd was silenced by a surprising win from St. Preux they saw a fight that was not expected to be the co-main event. After a viral infection put McCall out of the co-main event against Lineker a new fight took over the spot. The new co-main event put one of the newest Brazilian fighters in the spotlight for the first time. Warlley Alves had just come through The Ultimate Fighter Brazil and won the Welterweight Finals to earn a contract in the UFC. Now he got his first fight in that contract as he looked to be yet another TUF fighter to make an impact in the promotion. Now he would have a perfect chance to do just that after being put into the co-main event spot in the fight. A well-rounded fighter with the ability to submit or knockout his opponents Alves was a looking to do what he had done throughout the TUF tournament and finish his fight when he took one Alan Jouban. Alves had his work cut out for him though as Jouban represented a fighter that could knockout anyone with one punch. As the two-faced off they were looking to show the UFC that even if they did get the co-main event spot by accident they still deserved to be there. The fight started with Alves coming out strong and looking to end the fight quickly. He put the pressure on and easily won the first round. Then he began to fade and Jouban took over the fight. As the fight winded down Jouban looked like he could finish things off but Alves remained on his feet and the fight went to the judges. They sided with Alves who took the unanimous decision win despite the crowd’s disapproval of the decision. The win was not overly impressive for the TUF alumnus as he faded near the end and could have lost the fight. The win will not get him very far and the loss for Jouban will not make him fall too far. Both fighters will be back at it and look for a better showing to compete in the welterweight division.

 

Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
The Prelims provided plenty of excitement in Brazil and earned a Performance of the Night bonus when Leandro Silva beat Charlie Brenneman in a quick fight as he submitted “The Spaniar” in the first round to earn the bonus

Performance of the Night
The main event was one of the more surprising finishes in this past year as out of nowhere St. Preux finished Rua and earned a Performance of the Night bonus for the finish and for shocking the crowd

Fight of the Night
The prelims once again produced for their second bonus of the night as Thomas de Almeida and Tim Gorman put on a great three round fight that will give both an extra bonus after Almeida took the win

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Ovince “OSP” St. Preux def. Maruicio “Shogun” Rua
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Warlley Alves def. Alan “Brahma” Jouban
(Unanimous Decision)

Claudio “Hannibal” Silva def. Leon “Rocky” Edwards
(Split Decision)

Dhiego Lima def. Jorge “Blade” de Oliveira
(Unanimous Decision)

Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima def. Nina “The Strina” Ansaroff
(Unanimous Decision)

Undercard:
Diego “Pitbull” Rivas def. Rodolfo “Fito” Rubio
(Unanimous Decision)

Caio “Hellboy” Magalhães def. Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Leandro “Buscapé” Silva def. Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

Thomas “Thominhas” de Almeida def. Tim “The Psycho” Gorman
(Unanimous Decision)

Colby “Chaos” Covington def. Wagner “Wagnão” Silva
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 3)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC 180: Werdum vs. Hunt (Saturday November 15th; 10:00 pm ET)
Mexico City, Mexico (Arena Ciudad de Mexico)
Main Event: Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt
Notable: Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Notable: Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez vs. Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas

UFC Fight Night 57: Edgar vs. Swanson (Saturday November 22nd; 10:00 pm ET)
Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
Main Event: Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs. Cub Swanson
Notable: Bobby “King” Green vs. Edson “Junior” Barboza
Notable: Brad “One Punch” Pickett vs. Chico “The King” Camus

UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler (Saturday December 6th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)
Main Event: Johnny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler [Welterweight Title]
Notable: Anthony “Showtime” Pettis vs. Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez [Lightweight Title]
Notable: Travis “Hapa” Browne vs. Brendan “Big Brown” Schaub

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