UFC 283: Daniel Marcos shuts down Saimon Oliveira in second with brutal knees to body (Zuffa LLC)

UFC London takes place this Saturday at the O2 and, as always, features a plethora of talent from across the pond, including the lone bantamweight Englishman on the card, ‘Dangerous’ Davey Grant, who will be taking on Daniel ‘Soncora’ Marcos.

These two high-action strikers will surely deliver a banger to conclude the prelims. Neither fighter has been knocked out, but I’m willing to bet both guys will be looking to notch the first one on record for their opponent.

With hopes of staying undefeated, Daniel Marcos enters his opponent’s backyard after finishing his last opponent at home as well (Saimon Oliveira in Brazil back in January). Meanwhile, Dangerous Davey Grant will be looking to tally another win onto his current two-fight win streak and put himself back in contention for a future matchup against a ranked opponent.

Betting Odds

The odds are tight for this one, but have the undefeated Peruvian as the slight favorite:

  • Davey Grant: +110 (BetUS)
  • Daniel Marcos: -140 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

37-year-old Davey Grant is 13-6 and a high-powered, striking-oriented veteran. He’s well-rounded with underutilized yet high-level grappling that has notched him seven submission wins, but when you watch his UFC tape, it’s obvious he prefers striking. He carries power in all of his shots, especially early on when his kicks are the most effective. He’s willing to throw down in heavy exchanges in the pocket as well, often eating a shot to land a shot.

The main weapons of choice for Grant are his kicks. Round 1 of his fights are often filled with his opponent eating heavy kicks to the leg and body before he begins to work the body and head with heavily-thrown boxing combos. He keeps a super high pace early which often leads to him being winded by the end of the first/early second depending on his opponent’s output. His best kick is arguably the back leg front kick to the body but he’ll mix them up from different stances to keep his opponent guessing as to where the power shots are coming.

His boxing does get wild; he loves to counter with big, looping hooks that are very fast and, like his kicks, land with force. He likes to work these combos of hooks to the body and the head – often starting low and working high. As the fight goes on (and even in early exchanges), Davey leaves his chin high to be countered which is exacerbated when his motor starts to fail him in the beginning of the second as he is slower to leap out of range of the big counter shot.

Another area of focus for opponents should be the low kick to his lead leg. It’s been effective against Grant in most of his fights, but isn’t targeted nearly enough for the damage it does. He’s also kept the same stance and defense for the majority of his time in the UFC even though the leg kick is a blatant weakness, so he doesn’t seem keen on adjusting his style to limit it.

After an extended break from being in the octagon as a pro, 30-year-old Daniel Marcos returned after three years off for a DWCS fight where he beat down the calf of Brandon Lewis for the better part of three rounds. He’s undefeated at 14-0 and displayed impressive striking in his debut win over Saimon Oliveira in January 2023. He likes to use his boxing and an array of kicks from the back leg that attack all three levels.

Marcos excels when using his forward pressure to chain together combos with his boxing as well as kicks. He doesn’t exert too much energy when using his boxing but will pour on powerful punches that vary the tempo and rhythm of the strikes coming in at his opponent. He’ll work the body as well as the head and mixes in the kicks as he gets his timing and range down.

Though the boxing is one of his strengths, he has sneaky good kicks as well. His best is the low calf kick with the right rear leg. He nearly TKO’d Brandon Lewis with it and used it effectively in his debut against Oliveira. That same right rear leg is used for front kicks up the middle to the face as well as the round kick to the body and head. He utilizes these kicks well to prevent his opponent from escaping his traps along the cage where he can work methodically to pick the right shots.

Defensively, Marcos seems to be sound. He keeps a high guard to defend but also utilizes head movement and springy footwork to keep out of range. He has shown a tendency to eat calf kicks himself, but unlike Grant, he adjusts to check them when needed. He also seems to fatigue when he’s forced into exchanges, though he hasn’t looked too gassed, even in his DWCS fight where he threw almost 180 strikes over 3 rounds and defended 11 of 13 takedown attempts. My main concern for Marcos is experience; we haven’t seen him face high-level offensive fighters who can match his length and range like Grant will be able to and so although he’s looked great on film to date, history shows that there are levels to the game and we’ll get to see if he deserves to be apart of the upper-echelon of prospects as 135 lbs.


Davey Grant has long been one of the most under-appreciated fighters in the Bantamweight division. He doesn’t boast a crazy record, nor does he possess the finish rate of some of the bigger names, but he’s constantly an enjoyable watch and puts on a show every time he steps in the octagon. Daniel Marcos has all the makings of another great striking prospect at 135 lbs, but we’ve yet to see him against a level of competition even close to that of Dangerous Davey. There are always weak points in fighters’ games, and undefeated fighters have a tendency to be unaware of where they fall short and where their opponents can find success until that zero has been erased from their record.

Grant is an offensive force to deal with in the first round, but after this, his striking loses the pop it had early on and becomes much more labored and telegraphed. He always starts out hot with a ton of volume in his kicks and powerful counter combos which Marcos will likely need to weather before being able to do too much advancing of his own. Daniel is the more technical striker of the two; his boxing is tight, straight and accurate and his kicks are mixed in really well to give his opponent multiple weapons to worry about. He doesn’t fight at the blistering rate of Grant, but he’s capable of raining down offense when he’s the one advancing. If Marcos can work the leg kicks early to immobilize the kicker in Davey Grant, he’ll find much more success moving forward with his combos of punches and kicks. Grant doesn’t like to cover up defensively so if Marcos thinks he can execute a combination from start to finish without head movement or being aware of the counter, Grant will catch him with those looping shots. Marcos has shown good in-and-out movement to evade counters while staying balanced and in range to land his own shots so it’ll be pivotal for him to continue this against Davey.

One area that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Grant test is the takedown and submission defense of Marcos. Though Marcos has stuffed 88% of takedown attempts against him in the UFC/DWCS, we have yet to see him defend from his back too often. Grant has impressive grappling for someone who uses it so little, and this feels like the perfect opportunity for him to showcase it so keep an eye out for the takedowns coming late in the first, or second/third rounds from Grant.

Outside of this scenario, I see the fight playing out like a lot of those where Davey has faced high level strikers; he starts out hot, often winning the first round, before getting outworked in the second and third rounds where his gas tank just doesn’t hold up. Marcos, though only having two fights in the last three and a half years, has shown good patience and has been defensively aware of what’s coming at him. If he can weather that early onslaught of attacks from Grant as well as stay aware of his dangerous counter punches, he should be able to outstrike the Brit over the course of 15 minutes. Grant’s never been knocked out in his career (though he’s been stopped four times by submission).

Grant only being a +110 underdog feels too high to deem his odds better; the moneyline is tight enough that Daniel Marcos straight up is, in my opinion, the best bet of the fight.

Best Bet: Daniel Marcos to win (-140)

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