*FPR derived from video scouting due to lack of Fight Metric data.
Michel Prazeres is a Brazilian fighter who lost his UFC debut to Paulo Thiago back in May. Thiago is a very tough opponent for a debuting fighter since he’s a very good grappler with a lot of experience against high-level competition. However, Thiago is not a very polished striker – which is why it’s a red flag that Prazeres was out-struck by Thiago, by a 46-30 margin in significant strikes.
Prazeres was able to narrowly win the takedown battle 3-2, but then was out-grappled by Thiago on the ground. Ultimately, it was a fairly unimpressive debut for Prazeres, but again, that’s in the context of him having to face a tough opponent in Thiago.
Even so, I was a lot more impressed by what I saw of Jesse Ronson on tape. Ronson had clean, crisp striking and a good diversity of attacks, with punches to the body and head, and kicks to the legs, body, and head. Ronson’s head movement and evasion were a bit lacking, but his striking offense more than made up for it. Ronson definitely has striking worthy of the UFC… but I might be overrating him because I just watched Nandor Guelmino and Daniel Omielanczuk throw strikes the other day, and Ronson is so much better than those guys.
Where Ronson has gotten in trouble in the past is when he’s been forced to grapple. He has a loss by submission and has been put in trouble on a number of occasions in the past. However, in recent fights Ronson has become good at getting back to his feet after being taken down. He also has a number of good techniques to counter takedowns. The result is a fighter who is not as easy to tap out as he used to be.
On the feet, Ronson should easily get the better of Prazeres. If Prazeres wants to win he will need to not only take Ronson to the ground, but hold him down, advance position, and threaten to finish the fight. If Prazeres faced the Ronson of a couple years ago then I would favor him to get the job done, because Ronson’s takedown defense and grappling were liabilities. Ronson is getting into the UFC at the right time because of his progression as a counter-grappler.
I believe Ronson will punish Prazeres with strikes and if he is taken down, will get back to his feet without too much trouble. Prazeres can win this fight if he can keep Ronson on his back, but I doubt he’ll be able to pull that off.
Pick: Jesse Ronson by decision