UFC on Fuel 10 Observer Preview & Picks

UFC on Fuel 10

By Josh Nason

While we're in one of the best times for sports with baseball, NHL playoffs and the NBA Finals, the summer season for the UFC is also here. Over the next three months, there are eight events in a 12 week span. This is, well, one of them.

It's UFC on Fuel 10 in Fortaleza, Brazil, the 5th largest city in the country with 3.4 million residents in the metropolitan region. Thiago Silva, Jorge Gurgel, Hermes Franca, Marcus Aurelio, and Wilson Gouveia are the notable MMA natives.

Here's our panel:

Our Panel:

- Dave Meltzer (39-20 -- .661): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

- Todd Martin (40-19 -- .677): Weekly FFD guest | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sempervive (35-24 -- .593): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

- Mike Sawyer (39-20 -- .661): ToughTalkMMA.com

- Josh Nason (43-16 -- .728):
Wrestling Observer web editor, social media guy

- Oliver Copp (35-24 -- .593)
of combat sports insider fame

- Bryan Alvarez (34-12 -- .739): Figure Four Weekly founder and writer


Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1-1) vs. Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1)

At this stage of his career, the 37-year-old Nogueira is one bad loss away from the end of his run. Could it come Saturday night? It's possible. Nog is 3-3 in his last six dating back to December 2008, last submitting mid-tier heavyweight Dave Herman in October. The middle of the road hasn't been the problem. It's the jump up in level that he's failed to do much with in the last few years.

That brings us to the 35-year-old Werdum, a perfect 2-0 since his return to the Octagon with wins over Roy Nelson and Mike Russow. The man who submitted Fedor has lost just once since 2009 (5-1), but also hasn't competed in nearly a year due to filming of the second season of TUF Brazil.

(By the way, did you know that the show had already wrapped? I have heard zero about the filming, results, anything.)

The big question for the main event: is Werdum a level up from Nogueira or does "Big Nog" still have something left in the old tank?

Big Nog: Nason, Alvarez
Werdum: Martin, Sawyer, Copp, Meltzer, Sempervive

Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (11-3-0-1) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3-0-2)

On his FFD appearance this week, Todd Martin chuckled at this match-up given these two fighters' checkered PED past. Cavalcante has been on the shelf since May 2012 when he tested positive for stanozol after his quick win over Mike Kyle.

Silva got popped for marijuana metabolites after his November 2012 submission win over Stanislav Nedkov, suspended for six months. Nearly two years prior, he was out for an entire year due to using an altered urine sample to take a test. With a loss, Silva could be easily cut with a 0-2-2 mark in his last four.

Cavalcante: Martin, Sawyer, Copp, Alvarez, Meltzer, Nason
Silva: Sempervive

Erick Silva (14-3-0-1) vs. Jason High (16-3)

After getting "Fitched" by the former UFC talent in October, the once fast rising Silva looks to get back in the win ledger. Originally slated to face John Hathaway, he faces Strikeforce veteran High who rides into Saturday having won seven straight. High has been out of action since July 2012 and has one UFC bout on his record, a March 2010 decision loss to Charlie Brenneman.

Silva: Martin, Sawyer, Copp, Alvarez, Sempervive, Nason, Meltzer

Daniel Sarafian (7-3) vs. Eddie Mendez (7-1)

TUF Brazil 1 finalist Sarafian's UFC debut was a Fight Of The Night winner, a split decision loss to C.B. Dollaway in January. He faces UFC newcomer Mendez, a winner in two of his last three. However, he's been out of action since May 2012.

Sarafian: Martin, Sawyer, Copp, Alvarez, Meltzer, Sempervive, Nason

Rony Jason (12-3) vs. Mike Wilkinson (8-0)

Sounds like an AWA on ESPN match, doesn't it? The first TUF Brazil featherweight winner looks to extend a seven fight win streak and is coming off a 2nd round TKO beating of Sam Sicilia in October. Wilkinson made his UFC debut in December with a decision win over Brendan Loughnane. (Yeah, I have never heard of him either.)

Jason: Martin, Sawyer, Copp, Alvarez, Meltzer, Sempervive, Nason

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