Headliner Augusto Sakai cut his teeth in Bellator

DWTNCS Brazil 1 Preview: Spoiler-free notes & preview clips on the 5 matchups at Dana White Contender Series Brazil #1

Here’s your spoiler-free preview for Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series Brazil, Episode 1. The show features notable names like ex-Bellator heavyweight Augusto Sakai, UFC vet Marcio “Lyoto” Alexandre, and undefeated WMMA prospects Marina Rodriguez and Taila Santos. DWTNCS Brazil 1 films 8/9/2018 but will be aired on tape delay at a later date on UFC Fight Pass.

 

Heavyweight 265 lbs:

Augusto Sakai (10-1-1, 4-1-1 Bellator, #56 World, opponents 67-24)

vs.

Marcos Conrado Jr. (5-0, #106 World LHW, opponents 22-10)

Still just 27 years old, Augusto Sakai already has plenty of North American experience with four wins on the Bellator prelims topped by a TKO of PFL heavyweight Daniel Gallemore. Sakai seemingly hit a wall when he stepped up to main card Bellator competition, recording a less-than-thrilling majority draw against Dan Charles before losing a grinding split to Cheick Kongo in his most recent big show appearance. At 6’3″ and weighing in near the heavyweight limit, you may be surprised to hear that the hulking Parana native does a lot of his best work while circling at range, but he can also be a beast in the clinch against smaller foes.

In the main event of DWTNCS Brazil 1, Sakai will be an overwhelming favorite when he takes on 36 year old Goias denizen Marcos Conrado Jr.  Since starting his pro career in 2017, Conrado has decimated all comers and was last seen scoring a pair of quick wins earlier this year in Super Fight League. Taking out the top ranked light heavyweight in India is nice, but Conrado will need to have something special in store to step up in weight class and beat a larger, more experienced, and younger fighter like Sakai.

 

Women’s Strawweight 115 lbs:

Marina Rodriguez (10-0, #57 World, opponents 41-26)

vs.

Maria Oliveira (10-3, #23 World W105, opponents 21-18)

Santa Catarina’s Marina Rodriguez has earned this opportunity on the strength of four straight decision over winning opponents in the Brazilian regionals. This will be Rodriguez’s first business trip outside of Brazil, while her 21 year old opponent Maria Oliveira already has a pair of road fights under her belt courtesy of a two-fight run in RIZIN. Oliveira outstruck noted wrestler Alyssa Garcia in the opener of the RIZIN 2017 atomweight Grand Prix before falling to eventual champ Kanna Asakura. We’ll see if the size difference plays a factor here as Oliveira steps up to 115 pounds.

 

Middleweight 185 lbs:

Marcio Alexandre Jr (16-4, #132 World, opponents 111-58)

vs.

Leonardo Silva (12-2, #130 World LHW, opponents 67-40)

When Marcio “Lyoto” Alexandre steps inside the cage this Thursday, he’ll become the first former UFC fighter to get a shot in DWTNCS Brazil. After reaching the TUF Brazil 3 finals as a welterweight, Alexandre suffered his first pro loss via Warlley Alves guillotine. The striker received his pink slip two fights later after he fell short on the cards to Tim Means and Court McGee. Alexandre has been busy since his return to the regionals, with four victories against winning competition and a single loss that saw the ref fail to call obviously illegal ground strikes. Alexandre will take on 26 year old Sao Paulo native Leonardo Silva, who is currently best known for falling short to undefeated Russian light heavyweight prospect Shamil Akhmedov at Fight Nights Global 82 last December.

 

Womens Flyweight 125 lbs:

Taila Santos (14-0, #49 World W135, opponents 7-11)

vs.

Estefani Almeida (7-1, #112 World, opponents 19-13)

Astra Fight Team has a track record of producing young fighters like Luis Japa and Julio Cesar Neves who build impressive-looking records on a steady diet of complete mismatches. Taila Santos is no exception to the rule, as her 14 fallen opponents owned a combined record of just 7 wins, 11 losses on fight night; that said, she does hold a notable win over fellow DWTNCS Brazil fighter Gisele Moreira. Much of 25 year old Santos’ early career work has been done at 135 pounds, but she’ll be stepping down to flyweight to face her most legit opponent yet in 29 year old Manaus native Estefani Almeida. Almeida is the reigning champ in Amazonas province’s Mr. Cage promotion, and she managed to get to the judges’ scorecards in her one pro loss versus UFC #2 bantamweight Ketlen Vieira. It’s anyone’s guess what to expect when the consistent can-finisher Santos locks horns with the much more battle-toughened Almeida.

 

Middleweight 185 lbs:

Andre Muniz (16-4, #97 World LHW, opponents 114-44)

vs.

Bruno Assis (8-2, #222 World, opponents 46-8)

The DWTNCS Brazil 2018 series opener will be a war between two fairly well-tested middleweight finishers who have yet to break out of the regional scene. The 28 year Muniz’ most recognizable win is a 2014 decision over already-faded former WEC star Paulo Filho; otherwise, he’s feasted on a mixed bag of regional opposition. Assis has faced more consistent competition, including losses to ACB contender Baisangur Vakhitov and UFC #8 middleweight Paulo Borrachinha Costa and a couple of wins against Jungle Fight’s best. Expect fireworks in this battle of well-rounded fighters; Muniz has only been to the scorecards once versus Filho, while Assis has been to the judges twice.

 

Love World MMA? We do!  Covering Contender Series and Everything pro MMA in the Geek Guide:

World MMA Geek Guide 8/7 – 8/12: Results/Recaps/Clips of the DWTNCS 2018 Finale, RIZIN 12, LFA 47, Bigfoot Silva in Beijing, lots more!

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