Gabriel Bonfim submits Trevin Giles (Zuffa LLC)

The Bonfim Bros are back again. Gabriel “Marretinha” Bonfim, 26, continued his unbeaten streak with yet another first-round finish back in July. That brought his UFC record to 2-0, with both wins coming in the first round.

Nicolas “Danish Dynamite” Dalby, 38, is quietly on a three-fight winning streak after dropping a decision in 2021. Overall, the tenured UFC veteran is 6-3-1, with all nine fights going the distance.

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Betting Odds

Gabriel Bonfim is set to enter UFC Fight Night 231 as a significant betting favorite with odds of -625.

  • Gabriel Bonfim: -625 (BetUS)
  • Nicolas Dalby: +425 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Bonfim is an electric prospect who has done nothing but further ignite the excitement around his potential. He is a predatorial fighter. By that I mean that he takes his time to dismantle his opponents but does so effectively and efficiently by exploiting the first opening he creates for a quick finish. A lot of fighters with a career full of 1st round finishes are blitz style fighters whose whole game plan is to implement extreme pressure and aggression early to overwhelm. Those fighters struggle if an opponent can survive and push the fight into rounds 2 or 3. Bonfim, on the other hand, is not a blitz fighter and he doesn’t rush. He fights with a stiff jab and impressive hand speed in his combinations. He rarely throws one strike at a time and often works the body and head during the same combination. His strikes are often well-timed and well-placed while his vision and footwork allow him to exit the pocket after a combination or continue to push forward safely if his opponent is dazed. His goal is to push an opponent backward, trap them against the cage, and then tee off while they’re vulnerable. But, even when teeing off on an opponent, Bonfim strikes with strategy and a defensive awareness that keeps him safe. Then, once he hurts his opponent, or gets them to shell up, he’ll drag his opponent down and look to take the back. Once he gets his hooks in, it’s just a matter of time before the jiu-jitsu ace racks up another submission win.

Dalby is a grizzled veteran who uses cardio, lateral movement, and a complete MMA skillset to drag opponents into deep waters and beat them with persistence and grit. He is a strong offensive and defensive wrestler; but, given his age, can struggle to hold opponents down once he’s on top. He has an excellent chin and defensive awareness, often through lateral movement which allows him to exit danger before he really gets rocked. But, most importantly, Dalby has a high fight IQ and often takes the path of least resistance in a fight. He can strike patiently with counters or strike aggressively with combinations; he can clinch and hold position against opponents with poor cardio; and he can out grapple pure strikers while out striking pure grapplers. Dalby’s issues, at this stage in his career, are that well-rounded fighters who have a danger component to their game can beat him because he rarely is the one dealing out the damage. While he can survive and take the fight into deep waters, Dalby struggles to put a true stamp on any round and hasn’t gotten a finish since 2019, before he was even in the UFC.


I expect this fight to mirror Pimblett v Gordon. In both cases. In his home country, we have a highly touted prospect who has been running through the competition with flashy first round finishes against a tested UFC veteran known for being a jack of all trades but master of none who uses cardio and toughness to pull opponents into deep water. Pimblett’s cardio, grit, and mental toughness were all tested, a test he arguably didn’t pass. I expect the same attributes of Bonfim to be tested on Saturday. However, unlike the British Bob Cut, I expect Bonfim to handle the test with confidence and clarity. While Bonfim hasn’t yet proven he can survive and thrive in deep waters, his predatorial style of picking an opponent apart without rushing and then pouncing on a hurt foe for the finish is a strong strategy that is replicable for a full fight. While Dalby is a dog who will likely push Bonfim into the later stages of the fight and have moments of success, I fully expect Bonfim to have his hand raised at the end. My favorite bet is a more unique play, a same game parlay. Because I expect Bonfim to win and Dalby to push it outside of the first round, I like playing Bonfim (-500) and o1.5 rounds (-190).

Best Bet: Bonfim & o1.5 rounds (-120)

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