#4 Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (21-5-0) returns to the octagon in Barueri, Brazil, facing #10 and TUF 7 finalist “The Doberman” CB Dolloway (16-6-0) at UFC Fight Night 58.
A win by Dollaway would likely catapult him further up the rankings, while the 36-year-old Machida is trying rustle up another run at the title after a tough loss to champion Chris Weidman at UFC 175.
Sudbury’s Mitch Gagnon (12-2-0) walks into the lions den, facing a determined former bantamweight champion Renan Barao (34-2-0, 1 NC). Gagnon knows almost everyone has written him off.
Can Gagnon gagner?
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman returns to action, sharing her thoughts on the main card matchups:
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DANIEL SARAFIAN (9-5-0) VS “JUNIOR ALPHA” ANTONIO DOS SANTOS (6-1-0)
Wiseman: For someone making his debut, dos Santos has his work cut out for him. Dos Santos needs to use his aggressive striking and power to take control of this fight early. Sarafian only fires strikes to set up takedowns, so most often there isn’t a chance for counters due to the fact that the opponent is quickly trying to defend a takedown. Realistically, when Sarafian has any of your limbs he is automatically in control of the fight, so dos Santos will need to get in and out of the pocket, move laterally and never stand still. But, I still see Sarafian scoring at least one takedown, and that is all he is going to need.
Wiseman Prediction: Daniel Sarafian via submission.
ERICK SILVA (16-5-0, 1 NC) VS MIKE “BIGGIE” RHODES (6-3-0)
Wiseman: A couple of things here. Rhodes hasn’t won since joining the UFC, which means he is coming off two losses. Next, Silva has never lost 2 in a row. For those who forgot his last fight, it was against Matt Brown, where he lost due to punches (TKO). This means Silva will be coming with more passion and drive than ever. He’s aggressive, fast, and a man on a mission. Rhodes honestly doesn’t stand a change. I have Silva rushing in, scoring a takedown after a flurry of bewildering strikes, and transitioning into a submission. Done.
Wiseman Prediction: Erick Silva via submission.
ELIAS “XUXU” SILVERIO (11-0-0) VS RASHID “GORATZ” MAGOMEDOV (17-1-0)
Wiseman: This will be a striking match, period. Magomedov doesn’t go for takedowns and he has solid takedown defence. Silverio will take things to the mat to try to mix things up, so at most he will tire out Magomedov. Rashid has more power, so that will help him keep Silverio at a distance, but Silverio throws many precise strikes which will help with the scoring in the eyes of the judges. What will give Magomedov the edge is his movement after he throws his power. He is not the easiest to counter, plus with his takedown defence, Silverio will get frustrated.
Wiseman Prediction: Rashid “Goratz” Magomedov via decision.
“CARA DE SAPATO” ANTONIO CARLOS JUNIOR (5-0-0) VS PATRICK “DURKIN” CUMMINS (6-1-0)
Wiseman: The problem when going against a wrestler like Cummins is that he can minimize his opponents’ ground game. Carlos Junior has a good ground game, but Cummins will use his wrestling to weigh down and tire him out. Thus far in his career Carlos has perfect takedown defence, but he hasn’t gone against someone like Cummins.
Wiseman Prediction: Patrick “Durkin” Cummins via TKO.
RENAN “THE BARON” BARAO (34-2-0, 1 NC) VS MITCH GAGNON (12-2-0)
Wiseman: If Barao can make weight (he did), Gagnon is in trouble. Other than TJ Dillashaw, no one has come close to defeating Barao, so the submission game isn’t going to be able to bring something different to the table against Barao. The ground game, the takedown defence, the power, combinations, and I can go on, are just going to be too much for Gagnon.
Wiseman Prediction: Renan “The Baron” Barao via TKO.
#4 LYOTO “THE DRAGON” MACHIDA (21-5-0) VS #10 CB DOLLAWAY (16-6-0)
Wiseman: Dollaway will try to shoot in for takedowns, but he will struggle with the stance of Machida. Lyoto will counter and attack every time Dollaway tries to get something set up. Dollaway is good against southpaws, but Machida brings something different with his karate stance. He doesn’t have the speed or ability to close distance quick enough to do what he will need to do. Machida’s timing is also something that will throw Dollaway for a loop. It gave Ryan Bader a tough time, just like it gave Dan Henderson a tough time. Dollaway isn’t on the wrestling level of Phil Davis, so Machida won’t need to worry, but rather will be able to focus on making the statement he needs to make another run for the belt.
Wiseman Prediction: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida via TKO.