The UFC is returning to Sao Paulo and the prelims event is looking promising with its potential for numerous highlights, possibly even equal to those of the main card. Although it may not be the most thrilling in terms of action, the featured prelim is highly crucial for the welterweight division. Rising Russian star Rinat Fakhretdinov has been making waves and this event will no doubt see him continue his strong progression as he takes on the ever-steady Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Vitor Petrino, a light heavyweight prospect with one of the highest upsides on the card, will also be one to look out for; he’s expected to face off against Modestas Bukauskas.
Another prominent bout of the Fight Night event includes Angela Hill and Denise Gomes, a bout that poses a critical veteran-versus-prospect challenge. Adding to the exciting line-up is strawweight prospect Eduarda Moura who will be making her debut. This fresh, young talent makes the Fight Night event an impressively deep showcase of mixed martial arts.
In one of the most interesting pairings on the card, Rinat Fakhretdinov will square off against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Fakhretdinov has built an impressive UFC return with his win against Kevin Lee this past July within 55 seconds flat, a feat that calls for acknowledgment for its level of competition and the dominant performance by Fakhretdinov. Up until that match, Fakhretdinov had exhibited his effectiveness but much of his events showed him as an uninspiring grinder, relying significantly on his wrestling skills.
The bout against Lee, however, demonstrated a different side of him. He managed to nearly defeat Lee before securing his victory with the submission that ended the match. Fakhretdinov is now looking to keep his winning momentum alive, facing Zaleski dos Santos who has certainly seen better days in his career. Despite a few setbacks in recent years, dos Santos is still a competent fighter and will prove to be Fakhretdinov’s toughest challenge to date. Despite the odds, he stands a chance of outperforming Fakhretdinov with his usual style of grinding away. However, it is more likely Fakhretdinov will dominate the battlefield while scoring a substantial amount of damage. Based on current stats and momentum, Fakhretdinov is predicted to win by decision.