(P-p-please, Ben! Don’t knock me out! You’re making a big mistake!)
Although none of the bouts have been officially confirmed by the UFC as of this writing, it looks like the UFC will be sticking with their time-tested method of stacking its foreign cards with local fighters, as Brazilian’s Gabriel Gonzaga, Diego Nunes, Milton Viera, and Iuri Alcantara have been booked to face Ben Rothwell, Nik Lentz, Godofredo Castro, and Johnny Eduardo, respectively, at an unnamed event scheduled for Janurary 19th in Brazil.
Rothwell vs. Gonzaga is probably the biggest fight out of the four that us non-Brazilians can get excited about. Both men are big heavyweights who aren’t afraid to throw leather and have knockout power when they choose to do so. Although Gonzaga has relied heavily upon his grappling base (and rightfully so) since un-retiring and returning to the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before we see “Napao” revert to the whimsically hopeful striker that we came to know and love in his victories over Mirko Cro Cop and Chris Tuschsererererer’s balls and his losses to Shane Carwin and Junior dos Santos. Speaking of dos Santos, Gonzaga was scheduled to square off against Geronimo dos Santos at UFC 153, but the bout was cancelled when “Mondragon” failed his medical exam due to Hepatitis B (Author’s note: Brazilian prostitutes, they’ll get you every time.). Rothwell, on the other hand, recently saved his UFC career by knocking out Brendan Schaub in hilarious fashion at UFC 145.
Also in the works for January 19th is a featherweight clash between Nik Lentz and Diego Nunes. Following a pair of losses at lightweight to Mark Bocek and Evan Dunham (the latter of which was one HELL of a fight), Lentz recently made the cut to 145, where he picked up a first round TKO victory over Eiji Mitsuoka at UFC 150. Nunes was also able to bounce back in the win column in his last fight when he defeated Bart Palaszewski via unanimous one-sided ass whooping at UFC on FX 5.
You might not recognize any of the names booked in the other two matchups, being that most of them last participated — or made their UFC debut, in some cases — at UFC 147 a.k.a the TUF Brazil Finale. Strikeforce veteran Milton Viera fought to a draw that night, whereas Iuri Alcantara was bested by Hacran Dias, another name I have no clue of but will just assume for the time being that he was on TUF Brazil as well. Ditto for this Godofredo Castro feller.
I have, however, heard of Johnny Eduardo, who is expected to face Alcantara at the same event. He’s currently 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jeff Curran at UFC on FUEL 3.
I know, try to hold back your excitement.