Daniel “Miojo” Lacerda is a 25-year-old flyweight prospect making only his 2nd walk to the UFC octagon. In his debut, Lacerda was finished in round 2 via TKO. That was only his second professional loss, the other also by KO/TKO. Of his 11 wins, five have come by KO/TKO, and six have come by submission. Francisco “Sniper” Figueiredo, older brother of the current flyweight champion, is 12-4 as a professional with only 4 of his 16 fights reaching the judges. Though, in both of his UFC fights, 1-1, Figueiredo has gone all three rounds.
The odds are nearly at pick’em.
- Lacerda: -120
- Figueiredo: -110
Lacerda is an all-action fighter whose offense and defense is rooted in athletic burst movements. Offensively, on the feet, Lacerda will seamlessly switch stances and mix his strikes effectively. When standing southpaw, Lacerda has a quick and thudding left kick that he can throw to all areas of his opponent’s body. When standing orthodox, Lacerda takes a more boxing-focused approach where he throws multi-piece combinations. On the feet, Lacerda tends to weaponize his pressure and aggression which can sometimes leave him overextended and exposed to wrestlers. This approach is more of a strategy and less of a mistake because Lacerda trusts his submission ability from his back. On the ground, Lacerda further leans on his athleticism to scramble well. However, once he’s down, Lacerda can be held down and contently spend precious minutes playing guard while his opponent racks up control time. Lacerda is an impressive athlete with a well-rounded and dangerous MMA game; however, his tendencies to get into firefights on the feet and held for a long time on the mat have proved problematic for the young flyweight.
Figueiredo is an interesting case; when he is offensive and willing to initiate the exchanges, he is successful and can look impressive. However, more often Figueiredo is passive, almost laid back, in the octagon and looks for the fight to come to him. When this happens, he struggles to effectively counter on the feet, or reverse grappling exchanges to advantageous positions. The question before every Figueiredo fight is whether or not he will go first. His striking style is long and rangy with straight shots. Then, typically, he’ll look to put a combination together to crash distance and secure a clinch or takedown. Figueiredo’s best path to victory is to drag his opponent down and rack up several minutes of control time. He is a BJJ black belt but tends to prefer position over submission once the fight hits the mat. Ultimately, Figueiredo wins fights when he is the one moving forward, lands a takedown, and can ride out the round on top. When forced to fight off his back foot or against a fighter with solid takedown defense, Figueiredo struggles.
Lacerda is young, growing, and still learning how to win in the octagon, so it is possible he makes a poor decision, walks straight into a counter shot, or plays guard for an entire round. However, if he can fight with intelligence while still being the fighter to pressure forward, I like him in this spot.
Prediction: Lacerda to win
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.