Middleweight bout: Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira (-420) vs Thiago “Marreta” Santos (+375) Fight Breakdown: UFC 163 in Brazil features a main card match-up between two Brazilians, as TUF: Brazil season 1 winner Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira takes on TUF: Brazil season 2 contestant Thiago “Marreta” Santos. “Mutante” is the large favorite at -420 ($420 to win $100), while Santos sits at the big underdog price of +375 ($100 to win $375) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is healed up from injuries and finally making a return to the Octagon since claiming the TUF: Brazil season 1 crown, when he outstruck Sergio Moraes en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. Moraes was an injury replacement for the original finalist Daniel Sarafian, but Sarafian had to pull out. Had Sarafian avoided the injury, I believe he would have beaten “Mutante” to become the winner of TUF: Brazil season 1. — “Mutante” is an average striker with a decent Brazilian Jiu-Jits game. He will be the taller, bigger fighter going into this match-up, and will have a distinctive size advantage. Cezar is a slow fighter. His movements appear slow to me, both in his striking and submission attempts. Worst of all, he doesn’t have a good chin. Moraes had him in trouble in their fight. His recovery is good, I suppose, but I think a more talented striker than Moraes would have put him out after hurting him. His cardio is generally good, but with the year-long layoff, that isn’t a certainty; also, ring rust is a worry. None of that really matters, though, as I believe he is being spoonfed an easy match-up here and should come away with the win. Thiago “Marreta” Santos (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) steps up a weight class from welterwight to middleweight for a short notice fight, replacing an injured Clint Hester. Santos will be fighting in his hometown, as he lives and trains in Rio de Janeiro. While I think “Mutante” is an over-rated fighter, he is going to be a giant step up in competition for Santos. He is skilled on the feet, both in the offensive and defensive departments. His striking is fluid, in both southpaw and orthodox stances. Santos’ takedown defense isn’t bad, either, but he is under-sized and over-matched in this bout, so I don’t think he will find much success in stopping Ferreira’s takedown attempts. When taken down, he is generally tough to keep down, but again, I don’t think Ferreira will have much trouble, should he decide to take the fight there. Fight Prediction: I don’t think “Mutante” will risk getting knocked out by a welterweight striker, so I see him using his size and strength advantage to take this fight to the ground, where he will control “Marreta” and likely reward him the first submission loss of his professional career. Gabe’s Pick: Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira by Submission (arm-triangle-choke, 3:50 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended (5 UNIT) Play: 3.5u on Cezar Ferreira Inside the Distance -155 and 1.5u on Cezar Ferreira by Submission +441 — the odds indicate that “Mutante” will much more likely finish the fight with strikes, but I find myself disagreeing. The TKO/KO prop is -110, while the Submission prop is +441 — I definetly see enough value to warrant a bet.
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