UFC Fight Night 36 Date: February 15, 2014 Arena: Arena Jaragua City: Jaragua do Sul, Brazil Featherweight bout: Felipe Arantes (-105) vs Maximo Blanco (-115) Fight Breakdown: A preliminary bout which will be featured on UFC Fight Pass is a featherweight contest between a Brazilian and a Venezuelan, when Brazil’s own Felipe Arantes takes on the vicious and aggressive Maximo Blanco. The odds are currently at a near coin-flip, with Arantes being -105 ($105 to win $100) and Blanco being -115 ($115 to win $100) 5Dimes Sportsbooks. FELIPE ARANTES (15-6-1-2 NC MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) will be making both his sixth appearance in the UFC and his sixth appearance on a UFC Brazil card. He is coming off a split decision loss to Kevin Souza. Arantes is a talented Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai fighter with very good takedown defense. He has a solid base, as he has been training in judo since childhood. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so he is also well-versed on the ground. He owns four career wins by submission and eight by knockout. Eight of his seventeen professional mixed martial arts bouts have gone the distance, but he’s had his hand raised in only four of them. Arantes is a well-conditioned mixed martial artist, and I believe he will be prepared for a three round war with the Venezuelan. MAXIMO BLANCO (9-5-1-1 NC MMA, 1-2 UFC) is coming off of a DQ loss against Akira Corassani just 25 seconds into the very first round of action. Now after a short layoff, he looks to make a quick turnaround and get back on a win streak he feels he should already be on, as the knee he landed would have been deemed legal in previous organizations he has competed for. Blanco is a talented freestyle wrestler who used his wrestling to make the transition into mixed martial arts, where he has found a new love in the form of striking. He made the move from wrestler to cagefighter when he failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Blanco now prefers to look to knock his opponents out. He is a quick featherweight who moves around well and throws good combinations. Nicknamed “The Max Murderer”, Blanco’s style of striking has drawn comparisons to “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva. The Venezuelan is a very well-conditioned athlete who will be on top of his game for all 15 minutes of action. Fight Prediction: I think this fight is going to take place on the feet, where it may be close, but I see Blanco landing the more damaging blows. If he does not finish the fight with them, I think it will likely be convincing enough to get the nod from the judges in a Brazilian upset. Gabe’s Pick: Maximo Blanco by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Maximo Blanco (-115) 2.3u to win 2u, as I feel he should be -170.