The first time Edgar Chairez and Daniel Lacerda fought, the match would end in controversy. Referee Chris Tognoni made a crucial mistake, believing that Lacerda had gone unconscious inside a standing choke attempt by Chairez. However, explained by the commentary team, the visual was due to Lacerda relaxing inside the submission in order to defend it, and the anaconda choke in particular is not only especially difficult to complete standing but wasn’t ever really locked in.
The mistake would void Chairez’s victory, and ultimately the fight was deemed a no contest. The two will get to run it back almost immediately however, when they rematch this weekend at UFC Fight Night 230.
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The line has broadened compared to the two men’s first fight. Chairez was originally a -205 favorite, but will now come in the -340 favorite.
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Edgar Chairez is best known for his exceptional boxing skills and utilizes the other facets of his game to enhance his primary skills. For example, he will open up his fights with chopping low kicks to stifle his opponent’s movement, for the purpose of catching them in boxing exchanges as the fight continues. As most good boxers in the UFC, Chairez has specifically good head movement on his exits, and tends to roll well with punches when he is caught. His jab is the first line of attack, drawing out counters that he can fade away from, angle off and counter with shots of his own.
Contrastingly, Lacerda is much more wild in his approach. He utilizes all and any weapons he can, as evident in his Brazilian Muay Thai style, making it very obvious that he comes from the Chute Boxe lineage. He will attempt jumping and spinning attacks constantly, which are high-risk high reward. Often missing, costs him energy in the long run, and gain little in terms of scoring, but whether it’s a wheel kick, flying knee or something equally as dynamic, when he does land, it takes these one or two big moments to put his opponent on ice and steal him the round. The biggest knock on this style is when he does have his opponents hurt, his over-exertion looking for the finish leaves him gassed if he cannot get them out of there.
However, this seems to be something he has addressed based on the short time fans saw him fight last. Although he never hurt Chairez in their first fight badly enough to rush a finish, he did come out looking much more patient and composed at the opening bell, than fans are used to seeing. It was also evident that the game plan involved taking Chairez down and earning control time, another indicator of a more thought-out and calculated approach. Chairez was most recently out grappled in his last loss to Tatsuro Taira, outlining potential routes to victory for those who can look to wrestle him. However, in their first fight it was also obvious that Chairez has prepared his offensive grappling opposite Lacerda, quickly establishing a high guard when he was taken down and quickly attacking a choke in the second attempt, which ultimately lead to the false finish.
Now that the two men have felt each other’s strengths and seen to some extent the approach the conceived to face one another, it will be fascinating to watch them go back to the drawing board again. Lacerda’s more patient demeanor can only be a good thing I believe, especially if he does land a big shot and takes his timing picking his shots from there. It would be smart for him to still mix in takedowns, as the initial shot highlighted that wrestling is still Chairez’s biggest shortcoming, but must have a better respect for the potential submission threats coming at him from the bottom, and from the initial takedown defence.
For Chairez, the confidence knowing that he can successfully threaten submissions will likely aid him, however at the end of the day, although he was in the dominant position at the end of the fight, it was relatively closely matched until then. At -340, it seems like a steal in a fight where the line should probably be a lot closer, even if Chairez is still the likely favorite.
Pick: Daniel Lacerda to win (+250)