The 5 match-ups at UFC China that Jiu-Jitsu fans can’t miss

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O caveira Paulo Thiago entra em ação na China. Foto:UFC
Brazilian police officer Paulo Thiago returns to the octagon, in Macau. UFC publicity photo.

This Saturday the UFC makes its first incursion into Chinese territory, pitching tent in Macau. What follows is’s list of the five fights on the card that are bound to get the Jiu-Jitsu crew out of their seats. The main event doesn’t even figure in the equation, to give you an idea of how potent a mix there is to come.

Which is the one you’ll make a point not to miss?

1. Thiago Silva vs. Stanislav Nedkov

It’s no easy task that he’s got ahead of him, but Thiago Silva has to win to keep in the UFC top brass’ good graces. After all, three failures in a row would have anyone nervous about their job security. Now, while the Bulgarian beast Stanislav Nedkov boasts a Jiu-Jitsu black belt of his own, it’s the perfect fight for the light heavyweight Silva to use his sweep- and submission-heavy ground game. Might the Brazilian soften the undefeated Nedkov up on the feet before finishing him off on the ground? Or will he wear the Bulgarian out on the ground to knock him out on the feet? Either way, we’re bracing for a barnburner, standing or on the ground.

Prediction: Thiago Silva

2. Dong Hyun Kim vs. Paulo Thiago

Dong “Stun Gun” Kim and the policeman from Brasilia are in the same boat: they’re both coming off a loss and need a win to stay relevant in the welterweight division. Kim will have the crowd on his side, and he will be looking for all-out standup exchanges, using his characteristic long-range kicks and punches. Officer Paulo Thiago will need to curb the Korean’s enthusiasm, and Jiu-Jitsu may be the way.

Prediction: Paulo Thiago

3. Takanori Gomi vs. Mac Danzig

A beast from back in the days of Pride FC, Takanori Gomi will be looking to take his American foe down and work him over with ground and pound. Gomi will likely try to steer clear of the striking game, as Mac Danzig is proven in the Thai boxing department. Who falls first? Who wins?

Prediction: Mac Danzig

4. Zhang Tie Quan vs. Jon Tuck

Chinese lightweight Zhang Tie (15w, 3l) is a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu and has 12 submission wins to brag of. The coolest part is that he likes keeping the fight standing at the start, throwing potent punches and counter-attacking with his takedown game. That’s the style undefeated UFC first-timer Jon “Super Saiyan” Tuck of Guam will need to decipher. Tuck is a well-rounded fighter himself, so the odds are the match-up will make for a great fight.

Prediction: Zhang Tie

5. Riki Fukuda vs. Tom DeBlass

An experienced New Jersey-based Ricardo Cachorrão black belt, Tom DeBlass has held heavyweight and light heavyweight titles from other promotions. Now a middleweight in the UFC, Tom is hoping to get back to his winning ways, since failing to take down and finish the lanky Cyrille Diabete losing via split decision. Now he’s set to face Riki Fukuda, a Japanese fighter who has been around the block himself, having fought in the Shooto, Pancrase, K-1 and Deep promotions. The Chinese crowd probably won’t be too keen on a Japanese fighter, so Tom’s task is to win them over, sidestep Fukuda’s fists and go for the finish.

Prediction: Tom DeBlass

Check out the full card for the Saturday event in Macau.

UFC on Fuel TV
Cotai Arena, Cotai, Macau
Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rich Franklin vs Cung Le

Thiago Silva vs Stanislav Nedkov

Takanori Gomi vs Mac Danzig

Dong Hyun Kim vs Paulo Thiago

Alex Caceres vs Montonobu Tezuka

Zhang Tie Quan vs Jon Tuck

Under card

Yusuhiro Urushitani vs John Lineker

Riki Fukada vs Tom DeBlass

Takeyda Mizugaki vs Jeff Hougland

David Mitchell vs Hyun Gyu Lim

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