UFC Fight Night 32 Preliminary Card Preview for Facebook Fights

Godofredo PepeyYouTube and Facebook are getting a massive dose of UFC this week, with Fight for the Troops on Wednesday, now we have UFC Fight Night 32 coming at us live from Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil and it is good. Headlining the prelims on Facebook/YouTube, are featherweights Godofredo Pepey (9-2) and TUF 15’s Sam Sicilia (11-3). Both men have had shaky UFC runs, Pepey losing 2 of 3 fights since becoming a finalist on TUF Brazil, and Sicilia also going 1-2, losing two in a row since defeating Cristiano Marcello via awesome KO at the TUF 15 finale. Both of these guys will have no problem brawling, and while Sicilia arguably holds the punching power advantage, Pepey holds exceptional submission skills, subbing six men before entering the UFC. This is a must-win for both men, and they will likely want to do it in impressive fashion, considering a pink slip could be in their future with another win. Pepey won’t mind being on his back, and there’s a chance Sicilia may want to put him there with his wrestling, but that’s only if he’s confident he can nullify Pepey’s BJJ. On the feet, it’s an extremely close fight, with Sicilia holding a slight advantage. Middleweights are up next, as Thiago Perpetuo (9-1-1) will look to make it six big wins in a row against Omari Akhmedov (11-0). Akhmedov is a scary Russian who has nine first round finishes, five knockouts and four submissions. Perpetuo will likely stand and bang with him, as he’s a vicious competitor brandishing seven knockouts and one submission. Perpetuo hasn’t fought for a year, defeating Leonardo Mafra at UFC 147 via knockout in the third round, so the layoff could bring about ring rust. This is an interesting example of a slow-starting monster against a guy who rarely goes to the second round. The majority of Perpetuo’s wins come in the third round, but Akhmedov likely won’t give him a second to warm up. This could end violently. To the lightweight division, we have late-replacement Justin Salas (11-4) stepping in for Quinn Mulhern on a few weeks’ worth of notice, to face Thiago Tavares (17-5-1). Salas is 2-1 in the UFC, with a TKO loss to Tim Means back in June, and then bounced back with a good split-decision win against Aaron Riley at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moreaga. Tavares was last seen getting absolutely destroyed by by Khabib Numagomedov at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping. Tavares has an all-time 7-5-1 UFC record since joining in 2007, and his biggest wins could be from 304 years ago against Manny Gamburyan or Michihiro Omigawa. He’s a black belt in BJJ who has trouble not getting his chin touched. Salas is a Grudge Training wrestler, and seems to be trending up, rather than plateauing like Tavares. Standing up, Salas holds the advantage, while on the ground, Tavares may be alright off his back, Salas’s wrestling with completely outmatch any type of offense Tavares may present. Tavares is an exciting fighter, and Salas has a deep gas tank with “always move forward” type of style, so this could be a really fun fight. It’s Strikeforce vs. UFC in this lightweight fight, as TUF 15’s Daron Cruickshank (13-3) takes on Strikeforce’s Adriano Martins (24-6). Martins is a veteran of Jungle Fights primarily, and has 11 knockouts to go along with his 11 decisions. He’s currently on a five-fight winning streak that includes a win over Jorge Gurgel at Strikeforce’s last event in January. Cruickshank is 3-1 in the UFC, and his last win was a slit-decision over the veteran Yves Edwards in July. Cruickshank would prefer to keep the fight standing, and h has good movement and a decent gas tank, but this also plays right into Martins’ strengths. We could be in store for a kickboxing match here, with some clinch work against the cage thrown in for good measure. Right now, it’s hard to judge Martins, considering his competition, but he’s a game fighter and Cruickshank will be his toughest test. For his part Curickshank will have to overwhelm him early and hopefully can use his UFC veteranship to his advantage, even in Brazil. This could be a close, good fight.

Written by Jason Nawara

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