The Fight Report: UFC Fight Night 28

| September 2, 2013 | 11:43 am | Reply

UFC Fight Night 28The third UFC event in a week (UFC Fight Night 28) will take us down to Brazil, for a card that has suffered greatly from injuries to be something only a native would recognize. The main event is still intact however, as Glover Teixeira looks to continue his march to a title shot, taking on Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader. We also have a compelling co-main in the middleweight division, as Yushin Okami faces former Strikeforce champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a division shaping match-up.

Let’s take an in-depth look at those, as well as the other bouts that bear mentioning and get excited for our Wednesday MMA fix.

Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader: The hype train continues to roll for Glover Teixeira, with the bodies of elite competition starting to stoke that engine. From a technical stand-point, what Teixeira brings to the table is primarily power and composure, both of which have served him well. He has a farmer’s functional strength which allows him to muscle through takedowns and apply brutal crushing chokes, and that kind of core strength to translate well into short power punches. He isn’t afraid to strike in the pocket and the willingness to give one to take one has panned out primarily because of that crippling power behind his blows. While the holes in his game have been shown to use in glimpses, he hasn’t faced anyone who can bring him to task on it just yet, and will keep rolling on until that time.

Bader brings skills to the cage, though if those are the ones needed to win here remains to be seen.  Having worked steadily up and down the ranks, Bader has made small improvements through the years that are hard to see given his matchmaking against the cream of the crop. While Teixeira’s main weapon is power, Bader’s tends to be speed, having translated his wrestling shot into lunging punches that make him a multi-platform attacker. While he’s had issues with other fast fighters like Machida, he’s generally found his way around the bruisers of the division with timing and finesse.

Bader has a better chance than people may think here due to his technical aspects and ability to close range and hit his opponent, but I don’t trust his ability to avoid the vicious counters that will surely come his way. While Teixeira’s chin will eventually be cracked in his career, Bader isn’t the best guy for the job. Bader won’t be able to hit takedowns consistently, and every time he comes close, he risks getting devoured by Teixeira’s standard three-punch combo, hitting the mat for good at the end of the first round.

Yushin Okami vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza: An elite fighter for the last five years, Okami has battled the best in the division and remained a rock-steady competitor, whether coming off of a loss or building on win-streaks. Having built his career on control, Okami thrives when he can either keep an opponent at the end of his jab or under him as he works heavy ground and pound while suffocating submission attempts. While he’s shown weakness when on the bottom against strong wrestlers or hustled against the cage where his clinch work turns defensive, it take a particular kind of foe to put him into those danger zones, and those men are few and far between.

Souza hasn’t been far from the top himself and continues to improve at a rate that should give other fighters concern. Already possessing world-championship grappling chops, Souza has fleshed his game out to include powerful and accurate boxing skills that flow perfectly with his takedowns, leaving no safe haven for foes. With a complete dismantling of Chris Camozzi in his UFC debut, Souza signaled a permanent changing of the guard at the top of the division; working his way into title contender status with a win here.

Okami is a decent reactive fighter, but his lack of finishing ability could cause him nightmares against a heavy slugger like Souza. The main issue here is that Souza has absolutely nothing to fear of Okami on the mat, having the bottom game to snap those long arms in a heartbeat and spelling doom if he can find his way to top position. With the ground being a viable option if the stand-up goes south, Souza will be able to work his mobile boxing against Okami’s more rooted style, battering the UFC veteran from bell to bell for the decision win.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Jussier Formiga: Two fighters looking to work through the thin ranks of the Flyweight division, Benavidez will surely earn another title bout here, provided he can make it past BJJ ace Jussier Formiga. Formiga is one of the best positional grapplers in the division, with a ridiculous back ride and suffocating top game, but lacks the striking to create openings or wrestling to force the fight on the world stage. This leaves him at a massive disadvantage against Benavidez, who has the firepower to crush Formiga on the feet and the wrestling to easily evade those BJJ pitfalls his opponent can lay. A lopsided fight sees Benavidez blast Formiga inside the three-minute mark and head off to a rematch with Mighty Mouse, with the highest stakes in the business.

Rafael Natal UFC Fight Night 28

Rafael Natal

Rafael Natal vs. Tor Troeng: A fun match that could have some interesting twists and turns, Rafael Natal takes on TUF competitor from Team Darkside, Tor Troeng. Natal doesn’t get the credit he deserves due to his best moments being buried on undercards, but his blend of hard-nosed striking and merciless top game BJJ has made him a rough draw for many mid-carders in his career. Troeng really made a name for himself due to his fluid matwork and positioning strengths that allowed him to dominate the euro MMA scene. These attributes are nothing special on the world stage however, and Troeng will have a difficult time working his standard game plan against Natal. While there’s always an out with Natal due to his lack of three round cardio, Troeng will have issues even surviving to see that window of opportunity, and I can’t see him finding a finish after being down two rounds, giving Natal the decision win.

UFC Fight Night 28: Teixeira vs. Bader takes place from the Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and all but one of the 10 bouts will air live on FOX Sports 1.

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Category: Featured, MMA, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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