It’s looking like Brazil will get another UFC this year as UFC on Fox Sports 1 #3 is reportedly slated for Belo Horizonte. The promotion wasted no time in making two bouts for the card, as Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader and Jacare Souza vs. Yushin Okami are on the docket. Each fight holds good ranking implications and will also feature a popular Brazilian fighter. The news was confirmed by MMA Junkie and is still awaiting a formal confirmation by the UFC.
Teixeira will enter the bout on a tear, having won a staggering 19 bouts in a row. He’s undefeated since making his way to the big leagues, besting Kyle Kingsbury, Fabio Maldonado, Rampage Jackson, and James Te Huna in rapid succession. Many have hyped Teixeira up as the best prospect at 205, and ‘Darth’ could be his stiffest competition yet.
His opponent Bader suffered a brutal KO loss to Lyoto Machida at last summer’s UFC on Fox 4, but rebounded well with a first round submission of Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on Fox 6. Bader has always had great potential with his potent mix of wrestling and knockout power. His only roadblocks have come when he has faced truly elite competition in Jon Jones and the aforementioned Machida. He’ll look to silence the critics with a win over the surging Teixeira
At middleweight, Yushin Okami will look to extend his winning streak to four. He’s beaten Buddy Roberts, Alan Belcher, and Hector Lombard in that order since suffering two stoppage losses in a row to Anderson Silva and Tim Boetsch. Okami looks to be at the top of his game right now, using a smothering top game to effectively neutralize his opponents’ strengths. He holds firm to a high ranking in the UFC 185 lb. division, only stalled by the distinction of having lost badly to the current champ.
Still, he’s a very game opponent and a truly difficult test for grappling ace Jacare, who made his successful UFC debut at UFC on FX 8 this May. There, he submitted Chris Camozzi with relative ease, so Dana White immediately came out with the idea of a bout against Okami. Souza sits at an impressive 8-1 over his past nine bouts and will seek to make a statement in his home country. He holds a veritable laundry list of grappling medals and accolades, so it will be very interesting to see if he can find an outlet to implement them against the excellent top control of Okami.
Both of these fights should feature an excellent display of skill for the Brazilian fans. Teixeira vs. Bader could provide some fireworks in the standup, but neither fighter is a slouch in the grappling department. Okami vs. Jacare will prove just how ready Souza is to swim the sharks near the top of the UFC middleweight division. Who are your early picks to win at UFC on Fox Sports 1 #3?