UFC Fight Night 29: Preliminary Card Predictions
It's seemed like an eternity, but the UFC returns with their 29th installment of the "Fight Night" series on Wednesday. Headlined by welterweight contenders Jake Shields and Demian Maia, the card hosts a bevy of Brazilian talent, as well as talent from a couple of other countries.
Before the main card, we have a four-fight preliminary card. Unfortunately, the most intriguing fight of the prelims was cancelled over the weekend, as Rodrigo Damm has kidney issues and an opponent couldn't be found for Hacran Dias.
Here are the predictions for the preliminary card this upcoming Wednesday.
Allan Patrick vs. Garrett Whiteley
The opening contest, a lightweight matchup, will see the debut of both Allan Patrick of Brazil and Garrett Whiteley of the United States.
Patrick is undefeated in his career and brings a well-rounded game to the cage. Half of his victories have come via decision, most of which are in his most recent outings.
Patrick is strong like a bull and has proven cardio. If he brings this fight into deep water, he will be in good shape.
As for Whiteley, he has spent his entire undefeated career in the Midwest regionals. He has only left the first round once, as he mixes up power striking and top-game grappling.
It's hard to pick against Patrick here, as he is incredibly athletic and strong. He should use his solid wrestling ability to pick up a decision.
Prediction: Patrick def. Whiteley via decision
Chris Cariaso vs. Iliarde Santos
The flyweights are up next. Brazil's Iliarde Santos takes on American Chris Cariaso in a bout that could put either man into the top 10.
Cariaso is in a must-win situation. He is currently in the midst of a two-fight losing streak. Since dropping from bantamweight, the Muay Thai specialist has picked up a decision win over Josh Ferguson, but lost to title challenger John Moraga and Jussier da Silva.
Santos is in a similar spot as his American counterpart. He is 0-2 with the organization, dropping a late-notice bantamweight bout to Yuri Alcantara and a flyweight fight to Ian McCall.
Cariaso will have the better striking, which complements his solid takedown defense. While Santos is a brute and can be dangerous anywhere the fight goes, I like Cariaso in this one via decision.
Prediction: Cariaso def. Santos via decision
Yan Cabral vs. David Mitchell
A pair of grappling-based welterweights are set to meet, with TUF Brazil 2 vet Yan Cabral taking on David Mitchell.
Cabral's run on TUF was cut short due to injury, but he was a favorite to win from the start. He choked out Ronaldo Oliveira to get into the house. He was then picked second by Team Werdum and choked out David Vieira. That's when he broke his hand and couldn't continue in the tournament.
Mitchell is definitely on the chopping block with his subpar 1-3 UFC record. The Californian has a victory over Simeon Thoresen, but was beaten via decision by TJ Waldburger and Paulo Thiago before getting crushed by Mike Pierce.
Both men are jiu-jitsu specialists with a combined 19 tapouts to date. However, Cabral is the better ground fighter and he should be able to secure a tap at some point.
Prediction: Cabral def. Mitchell via submission
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Igor Araujo
The featured prelim will be in the welterweight division as Ildemar Alcantara takes on TUF 16 alum Igor Araujo.
Araujo gets a run with the company after not being picked up after the show. While on TUF, Araujo choked out Cortez Coleman to get into the house. He then defeated Nic Herron-Webb by decision before dropping a decision to eventual show winner Colton Smith.
After the show, he rematched Herron-Webb outside the UFC and took a decision. That earned him an invite back to the big show, which is good news for the submission fighter and Greg Jackson pupil.
Alcantara has looked like a UFC staple in his tenure with the company. He opened his UFC career at light heavyweight, where he tapped out Wagner Prado with a nice kneebar. He then dropped two weight classes and defeated Leandro Silva to get to his current UFC record of 2-0.
Alcantara should have a considerable size advantage. He will use that to outgrapple Araujo for 15 minutes en route to a decision.
Prediction: Alcantara def. Araujo via decision