Belfort-Bisping Headlines UFC on FX

The UFC presents its first fight night of the year on Saturday, with UFC on Fox: Belfort vs. Bisping airing live from the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The event opens with a preliminary bout on Facebook at 6:30 PM ET, before the preliminary bouts proper begin at 7:00 PM ET on Fuel TV. The four-bout main card gets underway at 9:00 PM ET on FX.

The event’s headline bout pits Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort against Michael Bisping. Belfort returns to middleweight status following an unsuccessful attempt at the UFC light heavyweight title.

Belfort (21-10-0) will look to return to winning ways after being handed a submission loss by Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 152 in Toronto on Sep. 22. In order to do so, Belfort will need to win in his home country of Brazil, against a tough Bisping (24-4-0).

Bisping won by unanimous decision over Brian Stann at that same event, and has won five of his last six bouts. The British fighter is 13-4-0 since joining UFC in 2006, and has secured eight TKO wins during the period.It was reported that the two combatants had a run in at a press conference on Thursday but yesterday’s weigh in went by without incident.

Prior to September’s loss, Belfort had won seven of eight bouts, the only loss coming to Anderson Silva at UFC 126, another fight in which the Brazilian failed to win gold, this time the UFC middleweight crown.

The matchup – which could easily have appeared on one of UFC’s pay-per-view cards – sees Belfort a marginal favorite.

The undercard features the UFC debut of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil finalist, Daniel Sarafian.

Sarafian (8-2-0) will battle C.B. “The Doberman” Dollaway (13-5-0), a finalist in The Ultimate Fighter 7.

The bout will be Sarafian’s fifth professional fight in Sao Paulo, a city he is undefeated in. Dollaway will make his first appearance in Brazil fresh in the knowledge that he is 2-0 when fighting outside of the United States, with wins in Australia and Mexico.

Sarafian has won four straight contests, three by submission. Meanwhile, Dollaway snapped a two-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision win over Jason Miller on May 26, 2012, at UFC 146.

Sarafian is favorite to take the bout.

In a heavyweight battle, Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (13-6-0) will face Ben Rothwell (32-8-0).

Rothwell was awarded ‘Knockout of the Night’ honors in his last bout, a 1:10 first-round knockout of Brendan Schaub at UFC 145. The victory curbed a streak of three losses in five fights, and moved Rothwell to 2-2 since debuting in UFC.

Gonzaga – who has been fighting in the UFC since 2005, compiling an 8-5 record – has won two straight fights, both by submission. The Rio de Janeiro native is 5-1 when fighting in Brazil, although most of those fights came early in his control. A victory over Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 142 in Jan. 2012 – his last outing – took place in Rio.

Rothwell is a narrow favorite ahead of the showdown.

Rounding out the main card is a lightweight showdown between undefeated Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (18-0-0) and Brazil’s own Thiago Tavares (21-4-1).

The Russian Nurmagomedov is 2-0 since joining UFC, with one unanimous decision and one submission victory. Prior to arriving in the United States, “The Eagle” was as adept at knockout as submissions, a dual threat that could spell trouble for Tavares.

Tavares has won two straight and three of the last five, including one draw. He has posted a 7-4-1 record since joining UFC. However, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist is 2-0 when fighting for UFC in Brazil and 5-0 in his native country all told. Saturday’s bout will be Nurmagomedov’s first fight in South America.

Nurmagomedov is a heavy favorite to win the bout, despite his lack of experience fighting in the Southern Hemisphere.

For information  and odds on the undercard, check our quick guide below.

 

UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping Full Card

Saturday 19 January, 7:00 PM ET

Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida, Sao Paulo, Brazil

All odds supplied by Bovada.

 

MAIN CARD

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (21-10-0) vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping (24-4-0)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Belfort (10/11), Bisping (5/6)

 

Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (13-6-0) vs. Ben Rothwell (32-8-0)

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Gonzaga (5/6), Rothwell (10/11)

 

Daniel Sarafian (8-2-0) vs. C.B. “The Doberman” Dollaway (13-5-0)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Sarafian (4/7), Dollaway (29/20)

 

Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (18-0-0) vs. Thiago Tavares (21-4-1)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Nurmagomedov (10/19), Tavares (31/20)

 

PRELIMINARY CARD

Ronny Markes (13-1-0) vs. Andrew Craig (8-0-0)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Markes (5/18), Craig (27/10)

 

Diego “The Gun” Nunes (18-3-0) vs. Nik “The Carny” Lentz (24-5-2, 1NC)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Nunes (5/8), Lentz (13/10)

 

Milton “Miltinho” Vieira (13-7-2) vs. Godofredo “Pepey” Castro (9-1-0)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Vieira (1/2), Castro (8/5)

 

Edson Barboza (10-1-0) vs. Lucas “Mineiro” Martins (11-0-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Barboza (20/57), Martins (9/4)

 

Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara (26-4-0) vs. Pedro “The Rock” Nobre (14-1-2)

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Alcantara (2/11), Nobre (15/4)

 

Wagner “Caldeirao” Prado (8-1-0, 1NC) vs. Ildemar “Marajo” Alcantara (17-5-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Prado (20/47), Alcantara (37/20)

 

Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo (11-2-0) vs. C.J. Keith (8-1-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Trinaldo (2/9), Keith (13/4)

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