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, four intriguing WMMA talents, and hot flyweight prospects Rogerio Bontorin & Gustavo Gabriel. DWTNCS Brazil 1 airs on Combate (Brasil) on Friday 8/24 and 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)


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.

At 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.


Womens Flyweight 125 lbs:

Sarah Frota (8-0, #37 World, opponents 17-9)
Maiara Alves (7-2, #71 World, opponents 29-4)

Odd pairing here, as these two fighters already battled earlier this year at a Super Fight League event in Mumbai, India. Maiara Alves will be hoping for a better result when they rematch in Las Vegas; their first fight saw Sarah Frota lock up a pretty academic triangle choke that earned a round 1 tap. The 31 year old Frota fights like a 5’6″ tank, an approach that she’s used to overwhelm and finish six of her eight professional opponents including reigning Queen of Pancrase Viviane Araujo. Thus far Alves, also 31, has defeated a couple of relatively weak opponents with good-looking records in Kiran Singh & Samara Santos while falling short in her serious tests versus Frota & UFC short-timer Ericka Almeida.


Mens Flyweight 125 lbs:

Rogerio Bontorin (13-1, #139 World BW, opponents 99-36)
Gustavo Gabriel (13-0, #69 World, opponents 39-14)

This is a battle of two of the hottest flyweight prospects that Brazil has to offer. Rogerio Bontorin, 24, is the more well-traveled of the two fighters with a pair of bouts in Japan including a well-contested third round loss to five-fight UFC vet Michinori Tanaka. Like his undefeated opponent Gustavo Gabriel, also 24, Bontorin has never lost inside the borders of Brazil and he holds wins over the likes of Pancrase/Akhmat veteran Rildeci Dias and Brave CF contender Cristiano Souza. Gabriel’s run has come against solid Brazilian regional opposition, though he lacks a win over anyone of particular note. The fact that he’s finished 11 of 13 fights, on the other hand, is pretty eye-catching at 125 pounds. Bontorin, to his credit, has Gabriel topped in that department with 12 finishes in 13 wins against largely more experienced opponents.


Womens Bantamweight 135 lbs:

Mayra Bueno Silva (4-0, #39 World, opponents 12-1)
Mayana Kellen (7-0, #51 World, opponents 9-6)

A battle of Brazilian mystery women. Mayra Bueno Silva has a pair of very good wins on her short resume, with a TKO of then-undefeated Marila Santos in 2016 and a decision over upcoming Invicta 31 co-main eventer Daiana Firmino in 2017. Mayana Kellen has mixed TKOs and decisions in her seven regional triumphs. Good luck finding footage of either fighter!


Middleweight 185 lbs:

Diego Henrique (8-3, #254 World, opponents 75-39)
Antonio Arroyo (7-2, #215 World, opponents 22-12)

Diehard AXS TV viewers may remember 31 year old Diego “Gaucho” Henrique from his 2014 Legacy FC win versus Alex Morono that saw him take out the UFC welterweight in just 115 seconds. Like Henrique, 29 year old Anotonio Arroyo has one strong win on US soil, a lightning quick headkick KO in the regionals over then 11-2 Trevor Carlsen. Both men have finished all of their wins on Brazilian soil, though Henrique has done so against better competition. Ring rust could play a factor for Henrique, as this fight will be the first time that he steps in the cage in 2 years.


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

World MMA Geek Guide 8/22 – 8/26: Results/Recaps/Clips of Justin Gaethje & UFC Lincoln, M-1 Challenge 96, tons more!


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