Kaik Brito celebrates a Oktagon MMA victory (Oktagon)

Preluding the featured bout of week three of Dana White’s Contender Series is a Welterweight matchup between Kaik Brito and Oban Elliott.

These are two young fighters with good experience and this type of matchup is exactly what both guys need to prove they belong in the UFC.

Betting Odds

The odds initially favored Elliott but have shifted, with Brito currently the small favorite:

  • Kaik Brito: -175 (BetUS)
  • Oban Elliott: +135 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Kaik Brito is an extremely powerful striker who’s game is predicated around that strength. The 26 year old Brazilian prospect is 16-4 with all wins coming inside the distance. Early in fights, Brito has quick, bouncy footwork but this quickly diminishes as the fight progresses. He’s shown to be adept at using this footwork to pull his opponent into his powerful right hand that he looks to land more often than not. He’s looking for the right hand as well when he comes forward, often telegraphing the heavily loaded strike that his opponents have found success timing for a takedown. It’s frustrating to watch as he over-extends so heavily on these strikes as he can do a lot of damage without it. This is most evident in his jab and leg kick; he doesn’t throw either as often as he should but he’s knocked guys down with the straight left from orthodox and his leg kicks hit with a ton of force as well.

The game plan for every one of his opponents (at least his last four) has been to go for the takedown. It’s understandable due to the power of Brito alone, but the wrestling opportunities seem ever-present with Kaik when he’s winding up for the power shot. When he’s taken down, it’s almost always this situation; when he isn’t timed as he goes to throw, he’s displayed adequate takedown defense along the cage and is usually able to separate to space.

Worth noting for Brito as well is the motor. I mentioned that his footwork slows quickly and this is due to the gas tank running low after the first round. I think shortening up on his strikes and not relying on the power on every punch would be a starting point to looking better in the later rounds. However, this hasn’t hampered the finishing ability of the young Brazilian as the power seems to stay over three rounds.

He’ll face the Cage Warriors product in ‘Evil’ Oban Elliott. Elliott is 25 years old with an 8-2 pro record. He’s a well rounded fighter who uses a lot of movement on the feet to stick and move with his strikes while mixing in takedowns as the opportunities present themselves.

Elliott has quick hands that can do a lot of damage over time as he lands his boxing combinations. He has a very good low kick to the lead leg of his orthodox opponents that he’ll time well both when his opponent is the aggressor as well as when he is the one putting the pressure on.

Oban likes to mix in takedowns as he finds openings for them. He does this a lot with his back to the fence but has shown good timing as his opponent looks to throw a strike to get under their shots and get to the hips. On the ground, he has a slick rear naked choke as well as ground n pound. He accumulates ground control time with heavy pressure in his upper body, especially along the fence. He has been out-grappled at times which led to his most recent loss, but when he’s the one on top, he’s shown to be effective.

Elliott’s movement and overall pace is one that he has a hard time keeping over three rounds. Given that a lot of his game is predicated around movement and being quick, you’d like to see that explosive speed hold up a bit better. He can get in trouble as he tries to circle the cage, even early on, as he allows himself to get too squared in his stance and his hands hang low. He’s hittable in these scenarios and against a power puncher, that could prove to be a massive error.


The matchmakers may not always bring in the top talent for the Contender Series, but they always make sure to test the guys/women they do bring in. For Brito, we know he has the power to end the fight in one shot, but Elliott brings a speed factor that could make him hard to hit. Elliott is capable of landing his own boxing as well as takedowns which Brito has struggled with against guys with the timing and feints of Elliott. If Elliott can time a takedown early and wear on the gas tank of Brito, he can try to neutralize the power of the Brazilian and give himself the chance to land quicker, more technical strikes.

Brito needs to be much more composed in this one than he was in the regional circuit. He has loads of talent and power you can’t teach, but we’ve seen plenty of times that speed usually beats power. He needs to show that he can strike without constantly over-extending to land one big right hand. He needs to utilize his jab and low kick as well as feints to set up the right hand. I like Elliott’s chances as the underdog here but I’m betting on Brito to show enough improvements in his striking ability to track his opponent better and land the right hand.

Best Bet: Brito by knockout

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