Preliminary Card (FX)
Featherweight Bout: Rony “Jason” Mariano Bezerra (11-3) vs. Sam Sicilia (11-1)
A striker vs. grappler match up headlines the UFC 153 preliminary card in a clash of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show veterans. Bezerra needs to be weary of the knockout power carried by Sicilia; if he can avoid it and take the fight to the ground, he’s in good shape. The first winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” should push his UFC record to 2-0 with a submission of Sicilia.
Prediction: Rony “Jason” Mariano Bezerra via Submission – R2
Lightweight Bout: Gleison Tibau (25-8) vs. Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo (11-1)
Gleison Tibau arguably won his last fight and if he did would be on a four-fight win streak going into UFC 153. However, the decision did not go Tibau’s way so he dropped down the ranks and faces UFC sophomore Francisco Trinaldo. Both men are exceptionally large for 155-pounds, so in a situation where each would normally have a strength advantage over their opponent, the strength evens out. If that’s the case and all other things are equal, Tibau is simply the better fighter. He should grind his way to a win.
Prediction: Gleison Tibau via Unanimous Decision
Featherweight Bout: Diego Brandao (14-8) vs. Joey Gambino (9-1)
Diego Brandao needs to win in impressive fashion after his disappointing loss to Darren Elkins coming off his winning stint on the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show. Brandao has wilted in the past due to being in less than perfect shape in some of his fights. Brandao is the more dangerous fighter when compared to his opponent Joey Gambino and if the Brazilian had a good camp and is ready to compete at a high pace, he picks up the “W”.
Prediction: Diego Brandao via TKO – R2
Welterweight Bout: Sergio Moraes (6-2) vs. Renee Forte (7-1)
Sergio Moraes surpassed expectations on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil”, but he draws a tough assignment in Renee Forte. While UFC 153 marks Forte’s UFC debut, there is a lot of positive talk surrounding him. At 5’8”, Forte is one of the shortest fighters in the middleweight division. While the lack of height is a disadvantage for some fighters, Forte has made it work up to this point in his career and will continue to do so.
Prediction: Renee Forte via Unanimous Decision
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Middleweight Bout: Luiz Cane (12-4, 1 NC) vs. Chris Camozzi (17-5)
A nearly 14-month layoff combined with a cut to 185-pounds for the first time makes it nearly impossible to pick Luiz Cane to beat Chris Camozzi.
Prediction: Chris Camozzi via TKO – R2
Lightweight Bout: Christiano Marcello (12-4) vs. Reza Madadi (12-2)
There is potential for a seriously awesome grappling match when Christiano Marcello and Reza Madadi meet inside the octagon. Of a combined 24 professional victories, Marcello and Madadi have submitted 16 opponents. The winner could very well come down to who obtains an advantageous position on the ground first. Marcello has a very, very dangerous bottom game and if Madadi winds up in top position he should look to stand back up or he could get caught in one of the slick transitions of the Brazilian.
Prediction: Christiano Marcello via Submission – R2
Mike Bohn, founder and lead writer of FightCove.com, wrote this article. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBohnMMA. Also, follow @FightCove on Twitter and “Like” Fight Cove on Facebook.