UFC Fight Night 119 - The Main Card Breakdown

Date: Sunday 29th October, 2am (UK)

Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Venue: Ginasio do Ibirapuera

Derek Brunson vs Lyoto Machida

The return of The Dragon. Lyoto Machida makes his comeback to the octagon after serving a ban for consuming a banned substance. However, his stock is still high especially in Brazil where he is adored and the fans cannot wait for him to display his mesmerising ability once again.

Loved for his throw-back style, Machida is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but made his name as one of the best Karate practitioners in MMA with deadly precision and ruthless counter-striking, which has created a sensational highlight reel.

With an epic highlight reel of his own, including five 1st round knockouts in his last seven fights, Derek Brunson is one dangerous opponent, especially after such a long layoff. However, the tactics of Brunson fall straight into the hands of the Karate expert. Brunson charges at his opponents, throwing bombs, hoping to catch them off guard, which is exactly the trap Machida strives to set. He lures them to attack after frustrating with a lack of offence but counters like a marksman, only requiring one shot to completely fold his opponents.

So we may see Brunson reframe from his usual blitz attacks and focus on his exceptional wrestling. He is a powerful grappler but also has to be weary on the ground with Machida's Jiu-Jitsu's skills.

The key stat highlighted is Machida’s takedown defence. If he can keep the fight standing, he is in his element, but if Brunson can take him down, it could be a long night.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Brunson v Machida.JPG

Demian Maia vs Colby Covington

This is a blockbuster for a co-main event. Demian Maia found his sweet spot when he dropped down to the welterweight division and focused on his world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling. He suffocated seven top contenders earning himself a shot at the champ, Tyron Woodley. Unfortunately, he fell short along with the expectations of the fight and on his return to the cage, he has been handed the red-hot prospect of Colby Covington.

With only one loss to his name, he has become a real threat in the division. This match-up has many fans excited due to the fact Covington is a similar mould to Maia. An NCAA Division 1 wrestler, he takes his opponents down at will and grinds them down into submission.

Their game plans are effective as they are predictable. They want to get their hands on their opponents, take them down and control them which should provide an intriguing contest to see who is the better grappler. Let’s just hope their strengths do not cancel each other out and they decide to stand for the duration of the fight.

The key stat highlighted is their submission average. The fight is expected to take place on the mat so the deadly finishing of Maia may be the deciding factor in the grappling exchange.

See below for the statistical breakdown:

Maia v Covington.JPG

Pedro Munhoz vs Rob Font

Pedro Munhoz is the hometown boy, hoping for his fourth win in front of his own fans. After losing a razor thin decision to Jimmie Rivera in 2015, he excellently submitted Russell Doane and Justin Scoggins via a guillotine and then went on to earn a decision over Damian Stasiak, so a win over Rob Font will put him on track for a fight with a top-ranked bantamweight.

This will be no easy feat as Font has proven his calibre after dominating in lesser-known promotions; he has won five of his six fights and has only lost to John Lineker. Font is extremely well-rounded with a host of knockouts and submissions so is confident wherever the fight goes.

However, he will have to be careful if the fight goes to the ground as Munhoz has elite level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and will love nothing more to submit Font in front of his home fans.

The key stat highlighted is the significant difference in reach. They are very evenly matched but keeping the distance with strikes will be crucial to Font’s game plan.

See below for the statistical breakdown:

Munhoz v Font.JPG

Francisco Trinaldo vs Jim Miller

Two more veterans feature in São Paulo – Francisco Trinaldo with a UFC record of 11-4 and Jim Miller with a UFC record of 17-9-0 (1), meet at UFC Fight Night 119. Both are well-seasoned but incredibly dangerous.

Trinaldo enjoyed some of the best form of his career until he was outclassed by rising star Kevin Lee, who went on to compete for the interim lightweight title. He strung seven wins together against stellar competition including Paul Felder, Yancy Medeiros and Ross Pearson.

Miller is coming off two losses of his own to Anthony Pettis and Dustin Poirier but has never lost three in a row. He has been a fan favourite throughout his career with an astounding 10 fight bonuses including ‘Fight of the Year’ against Joe Lauzon, but will settle for playing the villain in Brazil.

All of their stats have to be considered here as they are so evenly matched. Trinaldo may edge the stand-up whereas Miller may edge the grappling but both are so well-versed and experienced in every area making this fight very tough to call.

See below for the statistical breakdown:

Trinaldo v Miller.JPG

Thiago Santos vs Jack Hermansson

Thiago Santos welcomes Jack Hermansson for his second fight in Brazil and the two are fully expected to put on a show and contend for ‘Fight of the Night’.

Santos is a UFC veteran, amassing a record of 7-4, and is coming off two superb knockouts over Jack Marshman and Gerald Meerschaert. Santos is no slouch on the ground but makes it clear he wants the fight to stay on the feet and why wouldn’t he with a black belt in Muay Thai.

Hermansson has looked electrifying throughout his career, finishing 13 of his 16 wins with 10 knockouts. Last time he fought in São Paulo, he got caught in an arm triangle courtesy of Cezar Ferreira but bounced back with two blistering knockouts in the first round.

The key stat highlighted is their tally of knockouts, illustrating their preferred game plans. Both will hunt each other’s chin which will have all the fans on the edge of their seat.

See below for the statistical breakdown:

Santos v Hermansson.JPG

John Lineker vs Marlon Vera

John Lineker returns in front of his home fans after his six-fight win streak was snapped by top bantamweight contender, TJ Dillashaw. Lineker looks more at home back in the bantamweight division, not because he lacked success as a flyweight but because he came into those fights incredibly depleted, struggling to make weight on almost every occasion. He now looks more energized which means more fuel for his famed power.

Infamous in his own country of Equador, Marlon Vera makes the short trip to Brazil looking to continue his surging career. A fledgling compared to Lineker, Vera has displayed a remarkably well-rounded skill set in his six UFC fights. Lineker is by the biggest fight and most dangerous opponent of his career so far and he will shoot up the rankings with a win.

The key stat highlighted is their significant strike accuracy. If Lineker can find a home for his heavy hands the fight can end at any moment. Vera has proven knockout power of his own but will be looking to avoid all significant strikes and take the fight to the canvas where he can unleash his skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

See below for the statistical breakdown:

Lineker v Vera.JPG

Striking and grappling stats sourced via Fight Metric.