Five Under-the-Radar Matchups for UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Anders

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UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Anders will take place Saturday, September 22, 2018, from the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The main event is a last-second switch as Alabama’s own Eryk Anders replaces Jimi Manuwa to take on the 18-6 hard-hitting Brazilian, Thiago Santos. As with every card, there are always a handful of matchups that tend to steal the show. Here are five potential matchups for this weekend to keep an eye on in the prelims and main card.

Santos vs. Anders Fight Pass Prelims

Livia Renata Souza vs. Alex Chambers

Former Invicta FC strawweight champion, Livia Renata Souza, makes her long-awaited UFC debut against Alex Chambers. Souza’s lone loss on her 11-1 record is a split decision title loss to current UFC fighter Angela Hill at Invicta FC 17. Since then Souza has one her last two Invicta bouts before her UFC call-up. Souza would love nothing more than to have an impressive showing to make a quick climb up the strawweight ladder. Chambers is as desperate for a win but for a much different reason. The 39-year old strawweight is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Nadia Kassem marking Chambers’ third loss in four contests. Two of the three losses are submission defeats. A loss almost guarantees Chambers will be on her way out the UFC doors.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Luigi Vendramini

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, the former Jungle Fight welterweight champion, will make his third straight UFC appearance in his home country of Brazil. Dos Santos is on an amazing run since joining the UFC winning his last five in a row after dropping his debut to Nicolas Dalby by split decision. Three of those fight matchups have produced a Fight of the Night award bonus. Look for dos Santos to continue his amazing showing in his home country. Luigi Vendramini, the 22-year-old Brazilian star, looks to continue upon his 7-0 record with all seven wins coming by finish. The UFC debutant will look to make an immediate impact in the talent-rich lightweight division.

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 2)

Luis Henrique vs. Ryan Spann

Brazil’s Luis Henrique needs a big win to get back on track after dropping his last two contests. Henrique had quite the introduction to the UFC making his debut against Francis Ngannou losing by second round knockout. The Brazilian rebounded well winning his next two by submission but dropped his most recent two matchups. Ryan “Superman” Spann gets his first crack at the main UFC stage after his first round submission win against Emiliano Sordi on DWTNCS 2018. Spann’s last six bouts have all ended in the first round, with Spann only being on the losing side of one of those matchups. Look for both fighters to try and make a statement with a first round ending.

Augusto Sakai vs. Chase Sherman

Another DWTNCS fighter (from the Brazil series) will make his UFC debut. Augusto Sakai defeated Marcos Conrado by second round TKO to earn his shot in the Octagon. The former six-time Bellator veteran has won nine of his 11 professional victories by knockout. Sakai will meet another heavy-handed heavyweight as he takes on “The Vanilla Gorilla” Chase Sherman.

Sherman, the Mississippi native, is 2-4 in the UFC and needs an impressive showing to keep any hopes of alive of being a major player in the heavyweight decision. Another loss could even mean being outed by the UFC. Prior to entering the UFC, every single one of Sherman’s 10 bouts ended in the first round with him losing only one of those to Alex Nicholson. Look for both heavyweights to come out swinging to try and reproduce a Fight of the Night similar to that of Sherman and Rashad Coulter from UFC 211.

Main Card (Fox Sports 1)

Sam Alvey vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

“Minotouro” Nogueira makes his return after being out almost two years after a failed USADA test. The 42 year old has been a homer as of late with his last three matchups all being contested in his native Brazil. He is 1-2 in those matchups but earned Fight of the Night honors along with Shogun Rua at UFC 190 in August 2015. Nogueira’s last time in the octagon was a third round knockout to Ryan Bader in November 2016. One Brazilian on the card, Thales Leites, has already announced he will retire after his fight on this card. Could this be the “swan song” for the legendary Nogueira as well?

“Smile’n” Sam Alvey, a veteran in his own right with 44 professional bouts under his belt, will look to continue his momentum in the light heavyweight division, coming off of a split decision victory of Gian Villante in June 2018. Alvey is 2-0 in his move up to light heavyweight which seems to be a better weight class fit at this point of his career. 33 of Alvey’s 44 fights are victories with one “no contest” in which the fight was stopped due to rainfall. Can Alvey continue to improve in the light heavyweight division and add a legend to the list?

Make sure to catch the event on UFC Fight Pass, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 1. As always, follow MMA Sucka for all of your previews, reviews, and informative articles for any and all upcoming events.

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Matt's love and passion for martial arts began at the age of four with Taekwondo. Matt later trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu while serving nearly ten years in law enforcement. Matt has just recently discovered his passion of writing on mixed martial arts.

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