UFC Fortaleza will decide who is the top contender in the bantamweight division, and Cageside Press has their picks set for the Brazilian card.

Staff Writers
Souza vs. Frota
Walker vs. Ledet
Oliveira vs. Teymur
Maia vs. Good
Aldo vs. Moicano
Assuncao vs. Moraes
Jay Anderson (10-1)
John Franklin (10-1)
Alex Scaffidi (9-2)
Drake Riggs (9-2)
Jason Payne (9-2)
Joe McDonagh (8-3)
Heath Harshman (8-3)
Shawn Bitter (8-3)
Josh Evanoff (8-3)
Mike Straus (8-3)
Paarth Pande (8-3)
Dan Doherty (7-4)
Gabriel Gonzalez (7-4)
Jesse Gillette (7-4)
Steve King (7-4)
Bryson Hester (7-4)
Al Zullino (6-5)
Eddie Law (6-5)

The main event of UFC Fortaleza is a rematch between the two top bantamweight contenders, Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes. Their first fight came in Moraes’ promotional debut, and Assuncao was able to earn a split decision victory, standing as Moraes’ only defeat in his last 17 fights. Assuncao is on his own great run, winning in 11 of his last 12 fights, all in the Octagon. Moraes received 12 of 14 picks.

The co-main event features the legendary Jose Aldo against rising contender Renato Moicano. Aldo was in prime form in his last appearance, piecing up Jeremy Stephens en route to a first-round knockout, snapping a two-fight losing streak. Moicano is 5-1 in the UFC, only losing to Brian Ortega and coming off a victory over Cub Swanson. All but three writers favored Aldo.

Demian Maia looks to snap his three-fight losing streak on the main card against Lyman Good. Maia, a jiu-jitsu expert, went on a seven-fight win streak to earn a title shot against Tyron Woodley, but has lost both fights since his title fight to top contenders Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman. Good, a former Bellator champion, is 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off a 90-second knockout win. Maia was picked by all but one writer.

It’ll be a striker vs. grappler matchup when David Teymur faces Charles Oliveira. After losing four of six, Oliveira has submitted his last three opponents, earning a Performance of the Night bonus each time and setting the promotion’s record with 12 submissions inside the Octagon. Teymur is an impressive 5-0 in the UFC, and has not lost since his professional debut in 2013. The staff was split at seven picks a piece for this fight.

Johnny Walker puts his seven-fight win streak on the line against former heavyweight Justin Ledet. Walker, a Tuesday Night Contender Series alum, impressed in his promotional debut with a first-round knockout against Khalil Rountree. After a 3-0 start to his UFC career, Ledet dropped down to light heavyweight and took a decision loss in his 205-pound debut. Walker was a near unanimous selection at 13 picks to one.

Former Invicta FC champion Livia Renata Souza welcomes Contender Series alum Sarah Frota to the Octagon. Frota missed weight by a longshot, weighing in at 123 pounds for the strawweight battle. She’s a dangerous fighter though, with five first-round stoppages to her name. Souza submitted Alex Chambers in her promotional debut in September. The jiu-jitsu specialist comes in with a 12-1 record. Souza was favored by 11 of 14 writers.

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