5 Reasons to Watch UFC on FX 7

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Gabriel Napao de volta a Sao Paulo para o UFC on FX 7 Foto Gaspar Nobrega/UFC

Gabriel Napão: the ultraheavyweight Jiu-Jitsu world champion is back in São Paulo for the UFC. (Photo by Gaspar Nóbrega, courtesy of the UFC)

1. Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping

Anyone who got a glimpse of the Carlson Gracie black belt training in Florida will guarantee it’s been a long time since Belfort has been so prepared for a fight. His motivation to be in tip-top shape is through the roof, seeing as he will be headlining the event in his home country of Brazil. During physical conditioning sessions, his teammates and instructors can hardly keep up. In boxing last week, a sparring partner of his went straight from Blackzilians academy to get a dozen stitches put in over his eye. In Jiu-Jitsu, Vitor has been getting world-class tutelage from Zé Mario Sperry and Gilbert Durinho. As for Bisping, he has been grappling away with Ricardo “Demente” Abreu. A guaranteed barnburner, and any Jiu-Jitsu that may come of it is just a bonus.

Prediction: Vitor Belfort by knockout

2. Daniel Sarafian vs. CB Dollaway

UFC first-timer Daniel Sarafian’s fists and knees are his bread and butter. A training partner to Demian Maia, Sarafian has got plenty of Jiu-Jitsu to teach, too—if there’ll be time for that.

Prediction: Daniel Sarafian

3. Gabriel Napão vs. Ben Rothwell

As Gabriel “Napão” Gonzaga stated himself, the Jiu-Jitsu world champion and UFC heavyweight is at an all-time low. So, this is the fight where Gonzaga—who tends to take a Zen approach to training, spending hours sketching out drawings—needs to get his career back on track. Against Ben Rothwell, a guy who not long ago survived two rounds with Cain Velasquez, Napão will need to show he’s gotten back his gas tank and that his guard is still deadly—or that his high kicks can still find their mark.

Prediction: Gabriel Napão

4. Godofredo Pepey vs. Milton Vieira

The 25-year-old Godofredo “Pepey” Castro dreams of moving up the ranks of the event and proving that he’s one of the best guard players in the UFC. Milton Vieira is 34 and wants to show that he’s an MMA fighter at his technical and physical peak, not over the hill and washed up. The better man on the night will prove their point of view.

Prediction: Milton Vieira

5. Francisco “Massaranduba” vs. CJ Keith

Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo’s got one of the heaviest haymakers in the lightweight division and only two losses on his record. Not long ago, after coming up on the wrong end of a decision against Gleison Tibau, he decided to revamp his training methods, so we’ll see how that pans out for him.

Prediction: Francisco Massaranduba

UFC on FX 7
Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil
January 19, 2013

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping
  • Daniel Sarafian vs. CB Dollaway
  • Gabriel Napão vs. Ben Rothwell
  • Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Godofredo Pepey vs. Miltinho Vieira
  • Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig
  • Diego Nunes vs. Nik Lentz
  • Edson Barboza vs. Lucas Mineiro
  • Iuri Marajó vs. Pedro Nobre
  • Wagner Caldeirão vs. Ildemar Marajó

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