Last Updated: 2017-10-25
UFC Fight Night 119 has a card that more closely resembles a pay-per-view event than a regular cable event, but that means that it should be one of the better events for those that aren’t willing to shell out the extra funds. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that we have a great card in Sao Paulo, since the fighting world has such a rich tradition in Brazil. In total, 12 fights are listed for Saturday’s action in South America, including a main event of Derek Brunson vs. Lyoto Machida.
We’ll give an overview of the undercard and focus on the main card fights with odds from DSI Sportsbook.
Things get underway on the UFC Fight Pass digital network with a heavyweight fight featuring Christian Colombo and Marcelo Golm. Golm is a -170 favorite in a fight expected to be over before the midway point of the first round. Golm is heavy chalk despite being a late replacement for Carlos Felipe, who popped a positive test for banned substances. The other Fight Pass bout features flyweights Deiveson Figueiredo and Jarred Brooks. Brooks is a -190 favorite in a contest that is projected to go the distance with a -200 on the over 2.5 rounds.
Moving over to Fox Sports 2, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos takes on Max Griffin in a welterweight scrum. Griffin is the +150 underdog in another fight that is expected to require judges’ input. Hacran Dias takes on Jared Gordon in lightweight action, with Gordon a -165 favorite over the veteran combatant. Gordon, a CFFC champ, is fighting for just the second time in UFC, but he is 13-1 in his career.
Antonio Carlos Junior takes on Jack Marshman in middleweight action at 185 pounds. Marshman has 28 career decisions with a 22-6 record, but the 27-year-old is only 2-1 in UFC fights. This will be his third fight of the year. Carlos Junior, a Brazil native, is 8-2 in his career with each of his last three fights ending with his arm in the air. He has six submission stoppages and is a -365 favorite to get another win. At 170 pounds, Vicente Luque will square off against undefeated Niko Price. Luque is a -145 favorite to give Price his first loss. Initially Luan Chagas was in this fight, but Luque will take his place as an injury replacement.
Marlon Vera (+350) vs. John Lineker (-450); Total: 1.5 (-152/122)
Marlon Vera has an uphill battle against John Lineker as main card action gets underway on Fox Sports 1. Vera is stepping up in class here with probably his best opponent in the UFC. Vera is 10-3-1 in his career and has eight wins by either knockout or submission, but he’s beaten a lot of inferior fighters. The better ones he has faced have taken him the distance or deep into the third round, like Guangyou Ning and Brad Pickett.
John Lineker is giving up quite a bit of size in this fight, but he needs to bounce back from the loss to TJ Dillashaw back at UFC 207. This is his first fight since the December defeat that snapped a six-fight winning streak, including wins over Ian McCall, Francisco Rivera, and Rob Font. Powerful things come in this small 5-foot-2 package, as Lineker has 13 career knockout wins and appears to be in line for another here.
Pick: John Lineker (-450)
Lineker has the big experience edge and this is a big step in class for Vera. He’ll also be doing it in Lineker’s home country and that means a very boisterous crowd in support of the favorite.
Thiago Santos (+105) vs. Jack Hermansson (-135); Total: 1.5 (-101/-129)
It shouldn’t be a big surprise to expect a quick outcome in the battle between Thiago Santos and Jack Hermansson. Of Santos’s 20 professional fights, 15 have ended with a stoppage. Thirteen of Hermansson’s 16 wins and two of his three losses have been stoppage outcomes. Both of these guys love to throw. Each of Santos’s last five fights has ended with a stoppage before the middle of the second round. He’s 3-2 in those fights, all knockout wins, including two this year over Gerald Meerschaert and Jack Marshman. The 33-year-old doesn’t seem to be losing much of his striking power, making him a dangerous dog in this fight.
Hermansson has never been knocked out, so we have to wonder if that will continue or if he will fall victim for the first time. The very lanky Norwegian has a bit of a reach advantage on Santos, and most of his opponents, so that plays into the equation for this one. If Santos had more of a ground game, he’d be a more attractive candidate for the short upset. Hermansson has won three of his four UFC fights, but he is stepping up in class here with Santos.
Pick: Thiago Santos (+105)
We’ll still take a shot on Santos in front of his countrymen. Hermansson has some powerful striking capabilities, but he’s at the top of his level now against a very skilled, very savvy fighter. Santos should be more adept at getting inside than other competitors have been and that could be the difference.
Jim Miller (+150) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (-190); Total: 2.5 (-214/169)
Grizzled veterans Jim Miller and Francisco Trinaldo are starting to lose some strength and that appears to be a driving force behind the total for this fight. The over is heavily juiced and that makes sense, as each of Miller’s last four fights have gone to the cards and Trinaldo has gone into the third in three of his last four bouts. Miller does have a strong ground game, with 14 career submission wins, which is the biggest advantage that he has in this contest. Miller will be fighting his 28th UFC fight this week, which is a new record for the promotion, and it will be his 39th overall.
The 39-year-old Trinaldo isn’t showing too many signs of slowing down, but his fights seem to be more methodical in nature. He’s still fought some of the better lightweights in Chad Laprise, Chad Pearson, Paul Felder, and Kevin Lee, who beat him back in March. He’s a favorite here because of the way that he can control the cage and keep the fight at his own pace. Trinaldo has never been much of a finisher with 12 stoppage wins out of his 21, but his workload and his top control seems to be enough to get by more often than not. If Miller makes a mistake, Trinaldo can capitalize, but this looks like a fight without a ton of fireworks.
Pick: Francisco Trinaldo (-190)
If Miller can get top control and lock in a submission, much like Kevin Lee did, then we could see an upset here. With Trinaldo having a lot of time to prep for this one and with him fighting in his home country, he should be in a better state of mind. Who knows how many more fights Trinaldo has in Brazil and he certainly doesn’t want to waste this one. Miller has lost consecutive fights, but he has fought some very good competition lately. There may be some line value with that angle, but Trinaldo looks like the pick.
Pedro Munhoz (+155) vs. Rob Font (-185); Total: 2.5 (-140/110)
A couple of 14-2 fighters square off here as Pedro Munhoz of Brazil and Rob Font of the United State meet at 135 pounds. Munhoz has gotten back on track after his loss to Jimmie Rivera with two submission wins over Russell Doane and Justin Scoggins and a decision win over Damian Stasiak. Munhoz has fared well in most of his fights, but he missed a year from a ban after his win over Jerrod Sanders was overturned. Font has never been forced to submit, so Munhoz may have to outlast him for a decision.
Rob Font has wins over a lot of weaker competitors, but the one time he stepped up in class, he lost to John Lineker. Font has six knockouts and four submissions out of his 14 wins and has done well in that regard as part of UFC. Font took Lineker all 15 minutes, so that may have been a bit of a moral victory, but he hasn’t fought a whole lot of top-notch competition. The question we basically have to ask here is how good is Pedro Munhoz?
Pick: Rob Font (-185)
Font should control this fight. He’s the bigger fighter and can keep Munhoz on the outside, which should keep him from being able to grab top control and lock in a submission. If Font can keep this fight upright, he’ll have a much better chance and he should be able to do that.
Demian Maia (+105) vs. Colby Covington (-135); Total: 2.5 (-208/168)
This is a very good appetizer to the main course. The spectacular ground game of Demian Maia up against the controlled style of Colby Covington will make for a very exciting chess match. Maia has 12 career submission wins and three knockouts en route to his 25-7 record. Maia, like Francisco Trinaldo, is trending towards the end of his career. The 39-year-old lost his title shot against Tyron Woodley and would love one more crack at it before he rides off into the sunset. That was a really quick turnaround for Maia, who fought on May 13 and then again on July 29. He went the distance with Woodley and lost. What state is he in now?
Colby Covington is gaining a bit of steam. He’s controlled recent fights against Dong Hyun Kim and Bryan Barberena. He had a rare knockout win over Max Griffin at UFC 202. Covington should be the younger, fresher fighter. The profile isn’t all that exciting, with two knockouts and five submission stoppages in 12 career wins. His one loss came in short order when Warlley Alves surprised him with a first-round guillotine. Since then, all four of Covington’s fights have gone into the third round.
Pick: Colby Covington (-135)
Unless Maia catches Covington early, this fight should go the distance and should go to the favorite. If you want to play around a bit, you can grab Maia by stoppage early in the fight to see if he can do what Alves did. Covington should get stronger as this fight goes along and it’s hard to see a similar pattern for Maia at his advanced age.
Lyoto Machida (+135) vs. Derek Brunson (-165); Total: 2.5 (122/-152)
This almost seems like a legacy fight for Lyoto Machida. It feels like a thank you for his UFC service. Machida is clearly in the twilight of his career, with his last fight coming all the way back on June 27, 2015. Machida was once a great fighter capable of going toe-to-toe with the best, and he did, with a UFC 175 title shot against Chris Weidman and wins over Gegard Mousasi and CB Dollaway around that time. Now? This feels like a swan song. Machida is back off of an 18-month suspension for a banned substance, but who knows what he has left in the tank.
Derek Brunson hasn’t fought many guys of Machida’s caliber and certainly not many guys with his resume. He did fight Anderson Silva at UFC 208, but Silva’s injury history and some of the other things that have happened along the way have had a major impact on his career. Brunson lost that fight by decision. Brunson has a lot of key advantages here. He’s the bigger fighter. He’s the younger fighter. He has a really good motor. Who knows what Machida will look like with the long layoff?
Pick: Derek Brunson (-165)
As a result, we’ll pick Brunson. It certainly seems plausible for Machida to score the upset and UFC bookers did a good job giving him a solid, but unspectacular first opponent in his return. Still, it feels like Brunson, the younger, more athletic fighter has the upper hand.