Daniel Barez prepares to fight Carlos Hernandez in a flyweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season 5 week 6 at UFC APEX on October 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Daniel Barez will finally get his shot inside the UFC octagon. In 2021, the Spaniard was pitted against Carlos Hernandez on the Contender series, fighting to a split decision loss which came down to one judges nod and the closest of rounds. Since then he has returned to fighting with a fury, dispatching four straight opponents inside one round.

He will meet Jafel Filho, the Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist who made his UFC debut in March opposite Muhammad Mokaev. Although he lost that contest, his toughness and ability to rally back in the third round with about as close a knee bar can get, earned him the respect of mixed martial arts fans everywhere.

Betting Odds

About a pick em’ fight, both men are extremely close in terms of the betting odds.

  • Jafel Filho: -120 (BetUS)
  • Daniel Barez: -110 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Jafel Filho is a very exciting fighter. He has wild dynamic striking and a very high level grappling game. He stands conventional and throws a lot of low kicks, however he does have a habit of loading up on these. He does do a good job of setting them up sometimes behind a wide left hook, almost leaping behind the punch with a heavy kick. In general, his pace and pressure is an asset, as it forces his opponents to work and make chaotic rapid decisions, which in turn allow Filho the opportunities to have more success with his wilder style or snatch onto a neck in a scramble. The largest area of worry about his style opposite Barez, is as Barez is a such a good counter striker down the pipe, throwing naked kicks without any set up could really expose Filho to eating heavy leather.

Daniel Barez has very good combinations when he lets them go. However since his losing effort on the Contender series, potentially because of late fatigue, he has developed into more of a calculated sharp shooter. Barez will walk his opponents down to the cage and cut it off laterally with a stiff jab or left hook and a sharp calf kick from the right. If his opponents try to lash out and make up that ground, he will fade away to the bare minimum of space and counter with a straight right. Smelling blood, he will look to chain in his left hook to the body to overhand right combination. Barez has unusual power for the flyweight division, it’s extremely evident how his opponents freeze up under his punching power, and get spun by his low kicks, This allows him to pressure with ease and control the centre of the cage.

What is even more special may be his elite timing. The same that allows him to give up minimal space and counter, is what makes him such an effective wrestler. He has a beautiful reactive takedown that he hits underneath his opponents forward movement. Especially later on in the fight, if he is unable to hurt Filho on the feet this is very likely, as Filho does rush forward in big movements, and has a habit of accepting bottom position in order to hunt for a neck. Filho has a tremendous guillotine, but the frequency with which he goes to it borders on predictable. If he can roll under from his guard he will look to take the back and is also a rear naked choke specialist.


This is a very fascinating fight. Both men can finish one another, Barez more likely with strikes although Filho has never been knocked out, and Filho could absolutely submit Barez given the opportunity. At the same time, depending on where the fight goes, both could also win a hard fought decision at the end of the day.

I lean towards Barez, because although Filho has so far been able to lean on his chin, he does tend to move forward with loaded-up movements, and clashing in the middle with Barez is a gamble few could win. Barez will likely take advantage of the big low kicks from Filho with counter crosses, and level changes of his own, and as long as he minds his Ps and Qs when protecting his neck, I think he also dictates when the fight hits the mats more than naught.

Pick: Daniel Barez to win (-110)

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