Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight bruisers Michel Prazeres and Desmond Green squared off last night (Feb. 3, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 125 inside Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil.
Actually, Lightweight is not a fair word to describe Prazeres anymore. The Brazilian has missed weight in three of his previous four bouts, which — hotel water heating issues aside — is pretty inexcusable. At the very least, Prazeres was hoping to enter the Welterweight division on a win streak. Meanwhile, Green fulfilled his obligation to make weight. Still a relative newcomer to the Octagon, Green was hoping to leapfrog many of his fellow Lightweights with a big victory here.
Prazeres used some power kicks early to close the distance and transitioned into an early takedown, but Green defended it with some great scrambles. Immediately after, Green returned the favor with a slam takedown of his own, though he was unable to keep the Brazilian pinned to the mat.
The two continued to trade takedown attempts deep into the round. Green actually found the most success in securing top position, but he was unable to do much damage at any point. Meanwhile, Prazeres landed some good kicks but was otherwise ineffective.
In all likelihood, the American had taken a competitive opening frame.
Prazeres advanced behind single power shots to start the second, but Green countered with yet another takedown. Once again, Prazeres was able to scramble up rather quickly, although Green returned to the shot just moments later. Despite his size advantage, Prazeres seemed to be slowing a bit, as his scrambles were not quite so explosive.
However, the Brazilian reversed his fortune with a takedown directly into mount with about two remaining. Prazeres immediately attacked with an arm triangle and followed up with a guillotine, using these submissions to maintain top position.
Prazeres finished the round attempting another north-south choke, clearly taking back the round.
Both men were moving rather slow to start the third, but Prazeres was still firing heavy kicks. Openings were there, but Green did not fire back all that much, allowing his opponent to dictate the pace and range quite a bit.
With just 90 seconds remaining, Prazeres managed to get in on the hips and slam his foe to the mat. Green immediately moved to scramble but wound up stuck underneath “Trator.” He finished the bout stuck in a crucifix position, unable to do much but absorb small shots.
Prazeres had secured his sixth straight victory.
It was not the prettiest nor the most dominant of Prazeres’ wins, but it counts! Green is a seriously tough customer and showed great takedown defense, but Prazeres just bore through his defenses until he was able to get on top. Once in top position, Prazeres showed extremely heavy hips and smashed his foe into the mat, sucking the life from Green.
In addition, Prazeres’ kicks looked better than ever. He was never truly able to find his range with punches, but Prazeres nevertheless did more damage on the feet than his opponent.
Having missed weight numerous times, Prazeres is likely headed back to Welterweight. He’ll by dwarfed there in terms of height and reach, but perhaps Prazeres will still be able to get in on the hips and drag his foe to the mat regardless.
As for Green, a pair of factors led to his defeat. First and foremost, his opponent’s size advantage was quite obvious. Green fatigued far worse than in any recent bouts — even the five round fights on the regional scene — and that’s a direct result of wrestling with a bigger man. Early on, Green won those scrambles, but it cost him a great deal of energy.
The second factor is related to the first, but Green’s lack of urgency has now cost him twice. He managed to thwart the takedown attempts of both Rustam Khabilov and Prazeres, but his opponents pushed forward and threw strikes anyway. Green did not get hit all that much by either, but allowing them to initiate ended up costing him on the scorecards.
Last night, Michel Prazeres’ grappling earned him yet another victory. What Welterweight should Prazeres face in his next match up?
For complete UFC Fight Night 125: “Machida vs. Anders” results and play-by-play, click HERE!