Mounir “Sniper” Lazzez, 35, has a professional record of 11-2 with eight knockout wins and one knockout loss, the rest of each came via decision. In the UFC, Lazzez is 2-1 and most recently won a unanimous decision in 2022. Gabriel “Marretinha” Bonfim, younger brother of Ismael, who is also fighting on this card, is making his UFC debut at 25 years old following a submission win on Dana White Contender Series in 2022. Professionally, Bonfim is 13-0 with all finishes, three knockouts, and ten submissions.
Despite being his debut and fighting a dangerous opponent, the 25-year-old Bonfim is the respectable favorite.
- Bonfim: -180
- Lazzez: +150
Lazzez is one of these fighters who, unfortunately, joined the promotion too late in his career to make a real climb in the rankings. He has the tools to challenge ranked fighters; but, at 35, his time in the promotion is likely going to be short. Lazzez has an incredibly accurate nickname, “The Sniper,” which describes his octagon style well. He is a patient striker who lets guys come to him so he can sharply counter them. He tends to prefer to strike from range where his straight punches setup a quick and powerful head kick. When he’s at range, his hands are fast and accurate and he throws combinations with variety. If his prefered distance is closed, Lazzez will often clinch up and look to land heavy knees. Typically, Lazzez looks to be all the way out, at range, or all the way in, in the clinch. He can sometimes get into trouble when Lazzez is caught in the middle, in the pocket, where he loses his edge in straight punches and cannot implement his knees. When trapped in the pocket, Lazzez does have the hand speed, power, and chin to throw down in a brawl but his footwork becomes stagnant and he exits the pocket with a high chin. In this brawl exchanges, Lazzez seems to look to exit by any means necessary and is willing to take a risk to get the fight back to range or clinch up. In those moments, he can be hurt. When he is able to control distance, though, Lazzez is impressive. He lands with high volume, reliable accuracy, and can defend strikes well. Bottom line, Lazzez is a polished kickboxer with a high level of skill and power. The only struggle he’s shown so far in the UFC is when an opponent create a fight or brawl more than a match.
Bonfim is a polished striker himself with a strong wrestling game and lethal submission arsenal. On the feet, Bonfim has an impressive jab, hook, and body shot. He can favor striking from the left side, but his strikes are fast and well timed. Just like his brother, Bonfim is a clean boxer with excellent vision. He is able to prod his way into range behind his jab and then unload combinations that find even small openings. He hits with more precision than power; but, when he lands in combination, damage is still the result. Defensively, Bonfim relies on size and athleticism to eat or evade strikes. He tends to back straight up on the center line with an exposed chin. However, because of his length, few opponents are able to catch him when his chin is open. Pair his length with his flowy footwork and head movement and even fewer opponents can touch him cleanly. Where his brother is more explosive, Bonfim’s striking is more technical. The big difference between the siblings, and an x-factor in this fight, is Bonfim’s grappling. He times takedowns well, often following up on a multi-piece combination. He drives his hips through his opponent with consistency and is often able to finish his first takedown attempt. Once on the mat, just like his striking, Bonfim’s grappling is more technical than athletic; but, make not mistake, it is lethal. He quickly and intelligently moves for a submission as soon as the fight hits the mat. Like an experienced grappler often is able, Bonfim seems to be able to sense the opening for a submission rather than look for it. The kid is talented and seems to fight within himself; but the UFC, especially in his home country of Brazil, might amp up the prospect a bit. He’ll need to mind his defense if he wants to win his debut.
Prediction and Betting Guide
I’ve gone back and forth on this fight since the odds came out. I expected the odds to be near pick’em or have Bonfim as a slight hometown favorite. The -180 tag surprised me. Lazzez is nowhere near a layup fight for a debuting fighter, he is technical, long, powerful, and patient. I think Lazzez is a live dog here, but I still side with Bonfim. Bonfim is much younger, has more paths to victory, and continues to impress fight after fight. I wouldn’t go heavy on him but I like Bonfim to win. If he wins convincingly, watch out because this kid can go far.
Pick: Bonfim to win (-173 odds)