Mixed martial arts is extremely popular in the United States, but the country that is likely the second-most into the sport is Brazil, which has supplied the UFC with more than a few legends. On Saturday, the UFC heads to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for UFC Fight Night 137: Santos vs Anders. The main card starts at 10:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. Here’s a look at the top fights inside Ibirapuera Gymnasium alongside the UFC odds favorites to win.
UFC Fight Night 137 Odds & Predictions – September 22nd
- When: September 22, 2018
- Where: Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil
- Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Thiago Santos (18-6) vs Eryk Anders (11-1)Santos is a -150 favorite for this light-heavyweight bout with Anders at +130. A light heavyweight bout between former top contender Glover Teixeira and Jimi Manuwa was expected to serve as the event headliner but Teixeira pulled out due to a shoulder injury. He was replaced by Santos. Then Manuwa pulled out just recently due to an undisclosed injury and was replaced by Anders.A dynamic striker by nature, Santos can hit as heavy as anyone. With a background in capoeira, the Brazilian’s base shines through in his athletic movement. Almost shuffling laterally, Santos will smoothly switch his stances, fighting equally effective from either side. Anders, despite being a bit greener on paper, possesses attributes that can cause problems for Santos. A southpaw, Anders calmly comes forward and targets his opponent.Both men are coming off wins that raised questions. Anders defeated Tim Williams with a head kick knockout a month ago, but prior to finishing Williams, he seemed to be struggling with the long reach of his opponent and arguably lost the first two rounds before the knockout. Santos defeated newcomer Kevin Holland and dominated but was unable to put him away despite gaining many advantageous positions throughout the fight. The fight before that was more worrying, though, Santos was knocked out by grappler David Branch, who isn’t known for his punching power.Santos stepping in for an injured Teixeira on roughly one month’s notice isn’t too big of a deal. However, Anders is stepping up on just six days’ notice for this potential five-round affair.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (22-8) vs Sam Alvey (33-10)Alvey is -310 for another light-heavyweight fight with Nogueira at +250. A proficient amateur boxer, Nogueira was the 2006 and 2007 Brazilian Super Heavyweight Champion. He also won a bronze medal in the 2007 Pan American Games. He is the twin brother of Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira.It’s been nearly two years since Nogueira last stepped into the Octagon. That fight was a complete disaster as Nogueira was brutalized by Ryan Bader. It was a truly lopsided affair with Nogueira’s only real offense coming in the opening seconds of the fight as he tagged Bader with a couple solid punches, but that only forced the former All-American wrestler to push for the takedown. Once Bader had Nogueira on the ground, it was an absolute mismatch as he pummeled the Brazilian with strikes after trapping him against the cage.Nogueira was to face Jared Cannonier on Dec. 16, 2017, but he was pulled from the bout after being flagged by USADA for a potential violation. Earlier this year, Nogueira was cleared of intentionally using PEDs as Nogueira had allegedly taken a tainted supplement which contained hydrochlorothiazide from the compounding pharmacies in Brazil.A professional MMA competitor since 2008, Alvey has also formerly competed for Bellator, King of the Cage, the MFC, and was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson. Alvey comes off a June split decision over Gian Villante. Alvey was getting outstruck by Villante in the first but put Villante on his backside in the final 10 seconds of the frame. Then he went on to take a split decision with a pair of 29-28 scores. Villante got a 29-28 dissenting scorecard of his own.Outside of his notoriously heavy right hook, Alvey’s main attributes are toughness and some very solid takedown defense. When not landing his favorite counter, Alvey is notoriously low volume.
Renan Barao (34-6) vs Andre Ewell (13-4)Barao is -130 for the bantamweight bout with Ewell at +110. Barao is a former UFC Bantamweight Champion. He held one of the longest unbeaten streaks in MMA history as following a loss in his professional debut, he recorded 32 straight fights without a loss (31 victories and 1 no contest) over a span of 9 years. However, those days are long gone as Barao has lost two straight and five of seven. Barao lace faced Brian Kelleher UFC on Fox 28 and lost the fight by unanimous decision.Ewell has won four straight since a loss to Patrick Mix. An athletic bantamweight with power in his hands, Ewell has won eight of his previous nine bouts. Overall, Ewell has been able to lay waste to most of his opposition when able to keep the fight standing. This is a great chance for Ewell to add his name to that deep list of 135-pound talent with a victory over someone people have heard of even if it isn’t the Barao of old.
Expert Picks for UFC Fight Night 137Take Santos, Alvey, and Ewell in a minor upset.
Rest of the Card
- Alex Oliveira vs Carlo Pedersoli Jr
- Randa Markos vs Marina Rodriguez
- Charles Oliveira vs Christos Giagos
- Francisco Trinaldo vs Evan Dunham
- Luis Henrique vs Ryan Spann
- Augusto Sakai vs Chase Sherman
- Sérgio Moraes vs Ben Saunders
- Mayra Bueno Silva vs Gillian Robertson
- Thales Leites vs Hector Lombard
- Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs Luigi Vendramini
- Livia Renata Souza vs Alex Chambers