Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight finishers Mairbek Taisumov and Carlos Diego Ferreira will go to war this Saturday (Sept. 7, 2019) at UFC 242 from inside The Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This is one of those fights that’s really just UFC beating us over the head with how absurdly talent-rich the Lightweight division is. Neither of these men are ranked, but both are top-tier martial artists with some really high-level skill. Russia’s Taisumov has only been held back by visa issues, not performances, as “Beckan” has hammered each of his six previous opponents, finishing five via strikes. Ferreira is on quite a tear as well, as the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has won four straight and stopped two opponents via knockout in the process.
It’s a battle of divisional dark horses, so let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man.
Key Wins: Desmond Green (UFC Fight Night 136), Alan Patrick (UFC Fight Night 69), Felipe Silva (UFC Fight Night 115)
Key Losses: Michel Prazeres (UFC Fight Night 38)
Keys to Victory: It’s a shame that Taisumov has been unable to fight consistently inside the Octagon, because he’s a lot of fun to watch. The Russian hits scary hard, and his work at Tiger Muay Thai has really refined the technical side of his kickboxing.
Taisumov has knocked out 15 of his past opponents.
This match up seems like a recipe for another brutal right-hand knockout from Taisumov. Ferreira is genuinely very good, but he has never been especially difficult to hit. Worse still, the Brazilian’s default reaction to adversity is to attempt to punch his way out, which reads like an awful strategy opposite such a ferocious puncher.
Opposite Ferreira, perhaps the best key here is patience. Ferreira’s top game is nasty — there’s no reason to take extra chances and risk winding up on bottom. Taisumov can let his hard kicks encourage Ferreira into a brawl without charging forward with punches, and it’s not like he needs a ton of opportunities to land to end the bout.
Carlos Diego Ferreira
Key Wins: Rustam Khabilov (UFC Fight Night 145), Jared Gordon (UFC Fight Night 126), Olivier Aubin-Mercier (UFC on FOX 18), Ramsey Nijem (UFC 177)
Key Losses: Dustin Poirier (UFC Fight Night 63), Beneil Dariush (UFC 179)
Keys to Victory: Ferreira is the classic combo of jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, but the Brazilian is especially potent in both realms. A third-degree black belt, Ferreira is really dangerous from top position, both with strikes and submissions.
To win here, Ferreira likely needs to find a way into top position. In a straight up wrestling exchange, Taisumov is likely the stronger man, particularly early. However, in his sole UFC loss, Taisumov was simply overwhelmed with the takedown attempts of Prazeres, and by the midway point of the fight, it was nowhere near competitive anymore.
That’s not to say Ferreira can replicate Prazeres’ performance exactly — the two are different fighters with different body types. However, Ferreira can definitely pressure well, particularly when he’s shooting a nice snap kick up the middle. If the Brazilian can stay on the offensive with both strikes and takedown attempts and bully Taisumov — rather than the opposite — he definitely gives himself a fair shot at pulling off the upset.
Bottom Line: It’s an excellent match up that should produce a fun fight.
Hopefully, a win for either of these Lightweights on such a high-profile event will help them break through into the rankings or at least get a ranked foe next. They both deserve it: Taisumov hasn’t lost since 2014 and generally wins in remarkably violent fashion, whereas Ferreira has likely beaten the better opponents, like when he ended Rustam Khabilov’s win streak earlier in the year.
Either way, the winner should get a step up next.
Alternatively, a loss hurts. Given how much it has taken for either man to make it this far up the Lightweight ladder, a single misstep can require a couple years of victories to make back up. With both men in their 30s, there isn’t a whole lot of time to waste in such a crowded division.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 242 fight card right HERE, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 242: “Khabib vs. Poirier” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
At UFC 242, Mairbek Taisumov and Carlos Diego Ferreira will open the main card. Which man will have his hand raised?