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The Rookies: UFC Fight Night 231


There are no soft landings in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Ask Victor Hugo Silva.

The Astra Fight Team export will be one of three Octagon rookies on the UFC Fight Night 231 docket, as he squares off with the unbeaten Daniel Marcos in a three-round bantamweight prelim this Saturday at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Silva, 29, enters the cage as a short-notice fill-in for Daniel Santos and does so on a remarkable 13-fight winning streak that now spans more than nine years. He punched his ticket to the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series in October, when he dispatched Eduardo Torres Cant with a second-round kneebar and improved to 24-4. The seasoned Brazilian has delivered 17 of his 24 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

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Silva draws Marcos in his first UFC assignment. “Soncora” boasts a perfect 15-0 record, with eight wins by knockout or technical knockout. Marcos, 30, last competed at UFC Fight Night 224, where he eked out a split decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 finalist Davey Grant on July 22. He held the 300 Sparta bantamweight championship in his native Peru prior to joining the UFC.

Two other hopefuls are set to make their promotional debuts at the event: undefeated women’s strawweight prospect Eduarda Moura and once-beaten Nova Uniao lightweight Kaue Fernandes.

Moura has her sights set on Montserrat Ruiz in a three-round undercard clash at 115 pounds. The 29-year-old operates out of the Galpao da Luta camp in Salvador, Brazil, where she trains under Yuri Moura and Herrick Marinho. She has compiled a 9-0 mark as a pro, with eight of those nine wins having resulted in finishes. Moura nailed down her spot on the UFC roster with a rear-naked choke submission of Janaina Silva during Week 2 of DWCS on Aug. 15. In Ruiz, she confronts a ferocious competitor in dire need of a victory. A late replacement for So Yul Kim, the Kings MMA rep finds herself reeling after back-to-back stoppage losses to Amanda Lemos and Jaqueline Amorim. Ruiz, 30, lasted a mere 35 seconds against Lemos at UFC on ESPN 26.

A Shooto Brazil and Legacy Fighting Alliance alum, Fernandes tackles Marc Diakiese in a three-round lightweight prelim. The Andre Pederneiras protege steps into the UFC spotlight on the strength of consecutive wins. Fernandes, 28, moved to 8-1 at LFA 154, where he buried Felipe Douglas with a head kick a cool 45 seconds into their March 10 pairing. It was the third sub-minute finish of his nine-fight career. Diakiese, meanwhile, has yet to establish a firm foothold in his seven-plus years on the UFC roster. The former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion last appeared on July 22, when he succumbed to a brabo choke from Joel Alvarez in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 224 battle. Diakiese has lost seven of his 11 bouts since starting his UFC run with three straight wins.
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