Ryan Bader (21-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 33 Weight: 205 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Ilir Latifi (9-3-16)
  • Camp: Power MMA (Arizona)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   2x Div. 1 All-American Wrestler
+   3x Pac-10 Champion
+   8 KO victories
+   3 Submission wins
+   8 first round finishes
+   KO power
+   Improved striking & footwork
+   Accurate jab
+   Good cardio & conditioning
+   Explosive power double takedown
+   Strong pressure against fence
^   Effective clinch & body lock
+   Solid positional awareness & rides
^   Active ground striker
+/-2-3 against UFC southpaws

Antonio Nogueira (22-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 40 Weight: 205 lbs Reach: 75″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Pat Cummins (5-14-16)
  • Camp: Team Nogueira (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   BJJ Black Belt
+   Pan-American Boxing Medalist
+   7 KO victories
+   6 Submission wins
+   8 first round finishes
+   KO power
+   Solid boxing technique
^   Accurate left hand–right hook
+   Hard knees to the body
+   Underrated wrestling ability
+   Crafty Submission setups
^   Excellent grip/hand-fighting
+   Favors deep half-guard
^   Creates sweeps and scrambles
?   Questionable physical state


The main event in Sao Paulo is a rematch between Ryan Bader and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira as they do battle one more time. Coming off an impressive win over Ilir Latifi in Germany, Ryan Bader will once again hit the road as he makes his way back up the ranks. Also fresh off a fantastic performance is Rogerio Nogueira, as he will be looking to avenge a loss to the American in front of his home country of Brazil.

From Nogueira’s point of reference, he has seen this matchup many times before. In fact, the bulk of his UFC career(’10-’14) was spent facing the who’s who of wrestlers in the light-heavyweight division(Ryan Bader, Phil Davis, Tito Ortiz, and Rashad Evans). Despite showing improvements to his surrounding game and making for competitive affairs, Nogueira’s style ultimately scored poorly within the western scenes of MMA as the Brazilian spent most of his Octagon time defending shots & losing rounds.

Six years later, the same factors will likely still apply as wrestling usually has a purpose within the gameplan of Ryan Bader. Whether he uses it to stay standing when the striking is going well–or uses it offensively to change the terms of a fight, Bader will possess the more effective plan B between the two competitors. However, Bader has a tendency to shoot naked(without strikes for disguise), which can put him in precarious positions when his opponent is able to sprawl out and transition(as seen in his bouts with Johnson & Latifi). Although Nogueira is not known for explosive transitions and positional riding, the Brazilian is an underrated wrestler who could once again pose problems for Bader’s shots.

Favoring a power double-leg takedown, Bader can be effective coming forward offensively or using it in a reactive capacity to counter the offense of his opposition. However, we saw Nogueira stuff his shots repeatedly as the Brazilian defends this style of takedown particularly well. Like many southpaws, Nogueira has traditionally shown to defend standard shot entries easier with the given space differentials, whereas single-leg attempts can be harder to stop as the lead leg is forward and vulnerable. We saw Phil Davis discover this in his fight with Rogerio, as the Penn state alum was able to adjust and outwork Nogueira later on in the match.

Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua also had moments of success in taking down Nogueira when switching-off or chaining from a single-leg. With the given information out there, it will be interesting to see Bader’s approach in that department. That said, Ryan’s power double-legs may have success should Nogueira show a further decline in his hip mobility. Regardless of the route, no picnics will take place on the ground as Rogerio should still be competitive given the technical basis for his style. Utilizing superb grip fighting to stifle and set up opponents from guard, the Brazilian also has a renown half-guard that he favors operating from.

Referred to as “Deep Half“, Nogueira will brilliantly dive a deep under-hook followed by his head underneath his opposition. Not only does this make Rogerio hard to hit, but it also obstructs his opponents base and opens up multiple avenues to sweep. This will without a doubt be his most tangible path back to his feet against Bader, who will likely have his own answers to this. Although Ryan had a poor showing against Anthony Johnson on the floor, I do not believe that should be a condemnation of his skills as I feel that performance was a panic-driven downward spiral(and a technically brilliant performance by Johnson).

That said, I feel Bader shows the positional awareness to stay out of danger, but will likely lack the pathways for major advancements if he cannot combat the grip-fighting of Nogueira. Ultimately, I believe Bader will be looking to strike or get back to his feet in this fight. Although Rogerio should still have the striking edge on paper, the Brazilian will be facing a much different fighter than he did six years ago. Working heavily on his stand up with his new striking coach Chaz Turner, we’ve seen clear fight-to-fight improvements in Bader’s techniques. With a huge focus on opening up Ryan’s hips and stance, he’s shown to more fluidly hit and move as he strings his strikes together.

Quietly developing an active and accurate jab, Bader has been able to bludgeon the right eyes of both Phil Davis and Rashad Evans in more recent history. In Ryan’s first fight with Nogueira, we saw very little jabs as Bader lacked the outside-foot-awareness to open up striking lanes, much less find his range. Subsequently, Nogueira was able to abuse the young Bader anytime they would exchange in boxing range. Now moving much better, Bader’s in-and-out approach will serve him well in this fight. However, if he cannot use his improved jab to establish the range on his southpaw foe, his arsenal may not have the effect he desires.

That said, Bader wields some underrated kicks from his right side, as I see his kicks to the head and body being a key factor in this fight. As we saw in Nogueira’s fight with Phil Davis, you can still win rounds against the boxing Brazilian by leaning heavily on kicks and footwork. From that fight with Davis to his most recent bout with Shogun, we have seen Nogueira be traditionally susceptible to body kicks. Considering that the right body kick is Bader’s most effective kicking technique, I suspect we may see a healthy serving in this fight. And although Nogueira does a good job at blocking head kicks, he tends to naturally lean heavy to that side as a southpaw, which could accentuate the impact of oncoming attacks.

However, Bader will not be without worries of his own as he some tendencies worth watching for. Despite his improvements offensively, the All-American still shows the defensive issues that have traditionally troubled him. Although he does not carry his hands as low as before, Bader will still typically retract his hands low when coming forward with strikes. We saw this perfectly demonstrated in his fight with Lyoto Machida, as I suspect the counter left will be Nogueira’s best bet to close the show here. As a fan of both Nogueira brothers, I would love to see Rogerio score the upset in Sao Paulo. That said, I ultimately see the scale being too tilted at this point of these two fighter’s careers.

Official Pick: Bader – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Bader – TKO (round 3)

Thales Leites (26-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 35 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 78″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Chris Camozzi (8-6-16)
  • Camp: Nova Uniao (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   4 KO victories
+   15 Submission wins
+   10 first round finishes
+   Improved striking
^   Heavy cross-hook combos
+   Hard leg kicks
+   Strong body lock/outside-trips
^   Favors attempts off the fence
+   Excellent back taker
+   Smooth transitional grappler
^   Dangerous arm-triangles in transit
+/-1-1 against UFC southpaws

Krzysztof Jotko (18-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 27 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 77″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Tamdan McCrory (6-18-16)
  • Camp: Planet Eater (Poland)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Brown Belt BJJ
+   2x Amateur Polish Champion
+   6 KO victories
+   1 Submission win
+   4 first round finishes
+   Good lateral footwork
^   Unorthodox mover
+   Heavy left hand–right hook
^   Offensively & off of the counter
+   Hard Thai kicks
+   Deceptively strong inside the clinch
^   Competent takedown defense
+   Scrambles well on the floor
+/-Often fights along the fence


In a middleweight matchup on the main card, Thales Leites takes on Krzysztof Jotko. A former challenger for the title, Thales Leites will attempt one more run to the top after bouncing back with a win in his last fight. Looking to spoil the party is Krzysztof Jotko, an unassuming talent who has been quietly climbing the ranks.

Starting off on the feet, I give a slight edge to the Polish striker as I see Jotko’s unorthodox movement giving him an intangible advantage. Utilizing odd tempos and deceptive lateral footwork, Jotko will mostly look to counter with crosses and hooks as he sprinkles in sporadic forward attacks. Perhaps it is the Pole’s breakdancing background that is responsible for his odd movement and abrupt timing changes, nonetheless, Jotko is honing in on his style and finding his range more effectively from fight-to-fight.

Although Krzysztof has shown to add in some hard Thai kicks to his arsenal, I doubt he will lean too heavily on them here with the threat of Leites looking to take him down. The problem with Jotko’s game is that he tends to circle along the outside of the cage. In doing so, the Pole has often found himself in ugly clinch battles along the fence. Considering that he is facing a fighter who is most effective within that space, this could be a potentially bad night for Jotko.

Despite not having a huge sample-size of southpaw opposition to draw from, Leites wields an arsenal that translates well to this type of stance. Showing good outside-foot-awareness, the Brazilian will throw his patent cross-hook combinations as he enters space. Although he will often punctuate his combos with leg kicks, Leites is ultimately looking to take his opponents down as I suspect he will attempt to do here.

Given that the Pole does tend to play along the fence, Thales will have ample opportunities to corral Jotko into clinching situations. Although Krzysztof’s potential improvements and athleticism cannot be overlooked, it is hard not to see the persistence of the savvy veteran paying off in these scenarios. In the past, Jotko’s scrambly nature has saved him from precarious positions, but against a world-class grappler, it may only further sink him into the quicksand.

Unless Jotko can catch Leites coming in with a counter, then the Brazilian will likely be able to force his terms of the fight. And although Leites has the striking to close the show, I feel his advantages on the floor should be the clearer path. Despite officially siding with the Brazilian to find a submission, bet cautiously on this one as it has all the makings of a trap fight.

Official Pick: Leites – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Jotko – Unanimous decision

Pedro Munhoz (12-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 30 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 65″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Russell Doane (7-7-16)
  • Camp: Blackhouse / Kings MMA (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   RFA Bantamweight Title
+   2x No-Gi Champion (Brazil)
+   3 KO victories
+   6 Submission wins
+   5 first round finishes
+   Improved Muay Thai
^   Accurate elbows & knees
+   Hard leg & head kicks
+/-Favors shell-defense
+   Competent takedown ability
^   Favors double-legs from fence
+   Good base & balance on top
+   Dangerous Guillotine (5 finishes)
+   Good inside the scramble
^   Transitions well w/leg-locks

Justin Scoggins (11-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 24 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 66″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Ray Borg (2-6-16)
  • Camp: Revolution Martial Arts (South Carolina)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Switch-stance / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Black Belt Kenpo Karate
+   IKF Wold Kickboxing Champion
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   6 KO victories
+   1 Submission win
+   5 first round finishes
+   Excellent footwork & movement
^   Manages distance well
+   Accurate shot selection
^   Counters well w/left-hand
+   Solid kicking variety
^   Favors lead-leg side & hook kicks
+   Superb defensive/positional awareness
^   Inside the pocket & in scrambles
+   Smoothly floats & transitions
^   31 passes in 6 fights


Headlining the action on UFC Fight Pass is a fantastic bantamweight matchup between Pedro Munhoz and Justin Scoggins. Coming off an impressive submission win, Pedro Munoz will look to give his home of Sao Paulo something to cheer for with another big performance here. Seeking to spoil the homecoming is Justin Scoggins, who will be moving up in weight and into enemy territory.

Originally slated to face Ian McCall at UFC 201 in July, Scoggins was forced to withdraw due to medical issues stemming from a bad weight cut. Huge for the flyweight division, the young and growing Scoggins decided that it was time to move up to bantamweight as he felt that it would be a healthier fit. Standing in front of him is no easy litmus test as he draws Pedro Munhoz. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and accoladed no-gi grappler, Pedro has steadily developed his striking since moving to the United States.

Spending his time between Blackhouse and Kings MMA, we have seen a diverse Muay Thai arsenal emerge from Munhoz. A carryover from his grappling game, Pedro’s leg and hip dexterity translate nicely to his kicking as he has a natural snap to his assault. Pedro’s flexibility also translates into accurate knees, as we saw Munhoz execute beautiful roundhouse knees in his war with Jimmie Rivera.

Although Munhoz has admittedly lacked a strong boxing presence, his ability to manage distance with his kicks have kept him alive and well in most of his outings. However, the problem with playing the distance game with a Karate striker is not that they are better at it, but that they are operating on different terms as they subtly force traditional combat strikers from their games.

A Karate fighter cut from the same cloth as Stephen Thompson, Justin Scoggins bears the similar traits of stance switches and lateral shifts. When standing orthodox, we will see Scoggins employ more kickboxing based attacks. When standing southpaw, the South Carolinian favors lead-leg side & hook kick variations to keep his opponents honest. From Justin’s counter cross he keeps at-the-ready to his spatial awareness and reaction times, Munhoz may start to get overloaded if Scoggins finds his rhythm first.

Where I see Scoggins having some potential success is in his body kicks. Munhoz often reverts to a shell-defense, which traditionally opens up uppercuts and body shots. It is not that the shell is a bad defense, but it can become a false sense of security when relied upon up heavily while wearing small gloves. Should Pedro continue his defensive trend, he may open himself up to body kicks from Scoggins’ oncoming bombing runs. Where I see Munhoz having his best chances of winning is on the floor.

An on-paper edge in the grappling department, Munhoz could gain some real ground if he can get topside in this contest. However, Scoggins is not an easy striker to takedown as he has been wrestling since he was a small child. Utilizing his preternatural positional awareness, Scoggins can scramble with the best of them. Employing solid hand-fighting and head positioning, Scoggins displays the ability to shut down his opposition on a technical level.

Not afraid to engage in takedowns of his own, Justin will seamlessly change his levels and transition. Carrying over his taste for transitions topside, Scoggins floats from position-to-position with impunity as the 32-takedowns & 31-passes in 6-fights would suggest. That said, the eagerness of Justin has got him caught speeding before as he tends to give his head on entry. We saw Scoggins nearly get Guillotined by Will Campuzano and eventually tapped by John Moraga in this fashion.

Justin will need to be especially careful in this fight as Munhoz has one of the best Guillotine chokes in the division. Not only is this a submission that Pedro consistently looks for in transition, but he also shows the ability to variate and improvise with his attacks. In his last fight, we saw Munhoz jump on an arm-in Guillotine variation that is often referred to as a Boa choke. Regardless of the manner, chokes in transit will likely be the Brazilian’s most potent path to victory.

That said, Scoggins showed major improvements to his head positioning and grip awareness in his last fight with Ray Borg, another dangerous submission artist. Although it is hard to count out a Brazilian fighting at home, I feel that Scoggins’ striking and speed will be too much for Munhoz. And with Justin arguably being the better wrestler, I feel that he will ultimately be the one dictating the terms of this fight.

Official Pick: Scoggins – Decision

Official Outcome: Munhoz – Submission (round 2)

Main Card Predictions:

  • Bader def. Nogueira
  • Almeida def. Morales
  • Gadelha def. Casey
  • Leites def. Jotko
  • Usman def. Alves
  • Moraes def. Ottow

Preliminary Card Predictions:

  • Hermansson def. Ferreira
  • De Lima def. Antigulov
  • Eduardo def. Gamburyan
  • Henrique def. Colombo
  • Scoggins def. Munhoz
  • Barroso def. Stewart

Recommended Plays:

Draft Kings recommended rosters:


Team #1: $49,800.00

-Thomas Almeida ($9,700.00)
-Jack Hermansson ($8,900.00)
-Marcos de Lima ($8,500.00)
-Justin Scoggins ($8,400.00)
-Manny Gamburyan ($7,600.00)
-Rogerio Nogueira ($6,700.00)

Team Summary:

UFC Sao Paulo has many potential players for your DraftKings lineups as I present you my roster recommendations. For my higher tier favorites, I elected to go with Thomas Almeida and Jack Hermansson. Thomas Almeida is facing an aggressive and dangerous fighter in Albert Morales. Although Almeida has some defensive liabilities of his own, he has a more diverse arsenal and works at a quicker pace. Despite it being a gunfight, it is a gunfight that favors the Brazilian in a potentially high-scoring affair.

I also went with Jack Hermansson as I feel he matches up well with Cezar Ferreira. Not only does Hermansson have the accuracy and power to test the chin of Ferreira, he is also an effective inside fighter who will not be hanging out in the Brazilian’s kicking range. Couple that with Hermansson’s wrestling advantage, we will likely see Jack dictate the terms of this fight with the strong possibility of a finish. Another favorite worth adding to the roster is Marcos de Lima who comes in with the 3rd highest APPG(average points per game) at 84.

Although Antigulov has handled some stiff competition in the ACB organization, he seems to require a certain level of control to see his objectives through. With the explosive de Lima likely being a bad matchup for Antigulov, I would side with the guy who is not debuting against a Brazilian in Brazil. Coming in just behind the heavyweight at 83-APPG, Justin Scoggins makes my roster for the reasons listed in the breakdown above.

For my lower tier underdog picks, I decided to go with Manny Gamburyan and Rogerio Nogueira. Although Manny Gamburyan is respectfully on the b-side of his career, his opponent Johnny Eduardo isn’t any worse for wear. At 36 years of age and only 2-fights in the last 4-years, I am not sure what version of Eduardo we will see. If he cannot consistently test Manny’s chin, then Gamburyan could possibly ground him to exploit a grappling advantage.

For the low price of $7,600.00, Gamburyan could be worth the gamble for an upset win with points attached. Finally, I went with Rogerio Nogueira despite officially siding with Bader. Even though I think Bader should win this fight, Nogueira has shown that he still has a grasp of the tools needed to deal with this type of fighter. As a main event participant who’s path to victory likely involves a finish, Little Nog could potentially score you some points or at the very least make room on your roster for the small price of $6,700.00.

Props worth looking at(5Dimes.eu):

-Justin Scoggins by decision: +139 (1 Unit)

Playable favorites for your parlays:

-Kamaru Usman
-Jack Hermansson

Fights to avoid:

-De Lima vs Antigulov
-Eduardo vs Gamburyan
-Henrique vs Colombo

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit MixedMartialAnalyst.com and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws MMALatestNews.com

Fuller Products