Mateus Mendonca vs. Jesus Aguilar prediction | UFC Mexico City 1

Mateus “Bocao” Mendonca, 25, is a powerful flyweight who has yet to realize success under the UFC banner. Following a 48-second knockout win on DWCS in 2022, “Bocao” has lost both fights in 2023, by decision and knockout respectively.

Jesus Santos Aguilar, 27, earned his first UFC win with a 17-second knockout in July of 2023. That came on the heels of a first-round submission loss four months prior.

Betting Odds

Mendonca opened as a slight favorite but has already swelled early in the week.

  • Mateus Mendonca: -160 (BetUS)
  • Jesus Aguilar: +135 (BetUS)

Fight Breakdown

Mendonca is an offensively gifted and defensively concerning flyweight. Mendonca is a well-built brawler who has previously fought at 135. His size is relevant, given his hyper-aggressive style.

Mendonca tends to blitz forward while aggressively throwing looping hooks and heavy overhand crosses. His goal is to clip and hurt his opponent quickly; then, like a shark with wounded prey, attack until he ends the fight.

Mendonca has heavy hands and a solid top-control submission game. But his best attributes are his size and aggression. He’s lost both of his UFC fights, though, because he gassed himself out.

In his debut, Mendonca fought a striker with high-level footwork who was able to avoid the linear brawler. Mendonca was unable to cut off the cage, gassed out, and dropped a decision win. Then, in his next fight, Mendonca ran into a fighter with the durability to survive his early onslaught of strikes and respond with his own. A gassed-out Mendonca was unable to survive the 1st round.

Ultimately, Mendonca’s offense is exciting and dangerous. But his defense and gas tank have proved too unreliable and have resulted in back-to-back losses. Mendonca will either need to pace himself better while minding his defense, or, revert back to his pre-UFC success and find the quick finish.

While Mendonca is an ex-bantamweight with good size, Aguilar is one of the smallest fighters on the roster, if not the smallest. Generously listed at 5’3 with a 62” reach- he looks more 5’1 with a sub 60” reach- Aguilar relies on his toughness and a willingness to take risks in the cage to overcome his physical shortcomings.

Aguilar fights similarly to Brian “Boom” Kelleher- he frequently throws leg kicks and a big overhand right and follows the momentum into a takedown attempt. Beyond that pattern- leg kick, right hand, takedown attempt- Aguilar hasn’t shown much more of a striking arsenal. Crazily enough, in two fights, one win and one loss, Aguilar has landed a total of two strikes in both fights.

In his first fight, Aguilar was taken down and controlled for 3:49 of round 1 before being submitted. Then, in his second fight, he knocked out the glass chin of all glass chins with his patented overhand right.

Aguilar’s limited striking, limited size, and inconsistently successful wrestling make him a prospect that doesn’t garner much excitement. But, several fighters have sustained a career in the UFC on the back of pressure and toughness- both of which Aguilar has in spades.


This fight comes down to Mendonca’s ability to execute a game plan. He is by far the more talented, powerful, explosive, and versatile striker with the size and takedown defense necessary to overcome Aguilar’s basic offensive approach.

But, banking on Mendonca to fight intelligently wouldn’t be a smart bet, given he’s 0-2 in the UFC. Still, I like him to win and win emphatically on Saturday night. Aguilar is hittable and his striking is basic enough that Mendonca can wait for Aguilar to come forward, block or evade the right hand, and land a heavy counter of his own. Mendonca can also expedite the process and pressure forward himself.

In either case, I expect Mendonca to land the more powerful strikes and eventually find the finish. Given Aguilar’s toughness, Mendonca’s almost insistence in gassing out, and the narrow enough odds, though, I’ll just take Mendonca to win. However, if he gets north of -180, I’ll look at him by finish to cut the price down. For now, give me “Bocao” to get his first UFC win.

Best Bet: Mendonca to win (-160 at BetUS)

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