The UFC is heading back to Brazil for the first time in three years on January 21, 2023. With the card still wide open, read about five prospects the UFC could sign to debut on the card…
Bantamweight, Felipe Lima (11-1)
If Lima was a bit more active, he would’ve been on this last season of Contender Series or just with the UFC straight out. The bright side is he is set for a featured fight on Road to the UFC later next month. An impressive win there would give him enough time to get signed and be ready for UFC Brazil. Lima trains out of a top gym at Allstars Training Center. He’s a former champion of Fight Club Rush, which he recently was stripped from it due to inactivity.
Lima is a stud at 135 and has looked outstanding thus far. While he lost his pro debut, he hasn’t lost since, winning eleven straight. He’s gone the distance five times and that doesn’t mean he lacks the killer instinct, because he goes after it. Lima is a dynamic striker… He’s an athletic fighter that favors the flying knee. He goes body to head better than most. Lima is also very well-rounded, as his grappling and wrestling are up to par.
Bantamweight, Jean Matsumoto (11-0)
Matsumoto is another one that could be a little more active. He has fought twice this yea, but for a small promotion. The young man was supposed to fight in July for LFA, which would’ve been a big fight. But was canceled due to his opponent pulling out… Matsumoto hasn’t been fighting for all that long, and has a strong resume. But he won the SFT flyweight title, then moved up to bantamweight and won that title as well.
On the feet, his output/volume is highlighted. Matsumoto is always throwing in volume usually throwing a one-two followed by a leg kick. Not just a one-two though—Matsumoto will fire hook after hook while ripping the body. Putting together punches, leg kicks, and body shots is something he does very well. With how good he is on the feet, he’s looked even better on the mat. Jean only has three submissions on his record, but is a big threat always looking for them. Especially the anaconda choke, which is one of his go-to’s. He throws very good active ground and pound, and that mixed in with solid jiu-jitsu, makes him a huge threat.
Flyweight, Carlos Mota (8-1)
I would be surprised if Mota isn’t on the UFC Brazil card. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he was signed and fought before the Brazil card too. Mota is the flyweight champion, and is a big fan favorite. He smoked the talented Russian, Rizvan Abuev, to earn that LFA flyweight title in August. He is now 8-1, and in his prime at just 27-years-old.
Mota is well-rounded and does everything very well. On the feet, he has the power and speed, as well as output and combinations. He’s got a good kicking game as well, and good jiu-jitsu. He doesn’t have any submission wins, but has the control and transitions down pat. This is not just a must for UFC Brazil, but a must for Brazil in general.
Bantamweight, Luan Lacerda (12-1)
Luan Lacerda is a top prospect out of Brazil, but often gets lost in the shuffle. He’s not as talked about as the others on this feature, however, he deserves some love. Lacerda is at his prime being 29 years old. He trains out of one of the best gyms in Brazil, Nova Uniao. Two wins in a row for LFA should have him on the UFC’s short list of possible call-ups…
Lacerda is a legit jiu-jitsu player who is so fun to watch once the fight hits the mat. His striking is still a work in progress, but it’s been coming together. Lacerda will even pull guard to close the distance and for his sake, it’s a good idea. He is excellent no matter where on the mat, and very fluid off his back attacking submission and sweeping his foes. Lacerda is a big submission threat and he’s good at attacking the neck, but has won with a heel hook, and an armbar twice. He really looks like a problem in this division.
Featherweight, Gabriel Alves Braga (8-0)
Braga is a personal favorite of mine, even though he doesn’t have as big of a resume as the others in this feature. You gotta think, fighting twice for LFA and recently for UAE Warriors has to put you on the radar of the UFC…
Braga is very technical, as he loves to throw from all different kinds of angles. He throws a bit of everything including knees and elbows, putting all his strikes together perfectly. Braga rips the body frequently and he mixes that into combinations very well too. He’s always throwing output, mixing in all his weapons. It would truly be an underrated signing from the UFC if it was to happen.
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