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The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
Eight in a row for Prelim Breakout Star, and perhaps none of our picks in that span feature a fighter as good as the one this week. You’re gonna wanna tune in early for this guy.
Affiliation – Team Nogueira
From – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Height – 5’7″
Weight – 145 lbs (Featherweight)
Record – 9-1 (0-1 UFC)
What makes him impressive
One of the things that Moraes does so well is he forces his opponents back to the cage. His footwork is really subtle, but he cuts angles extremely well and with just enough forward pressure to get his opponents to constantly move back and not be able to circle to the center. In this range is where he does his damage. He’s got solid clinch work mixing knees and elbows, but his most deadly weapon is when he creates just a little space; his left hook. From close range, his tight right hook has floored opponent after opponent. His fight with UFC veteran Robbie Peralta is a great example of how deadly it can be.
Why he has been overlooked
At 9-2 his record is pretty impressive, but it gets more impressive when you look at those two losses. His only losses come in the UFC against Zabit Magomedsharipov and for the WSOF title against Marlon Moraes. Both men are highly ranked fighters in the UFC now and are losses that Sheymon can’t be all that ashamed of.
Still, when you failed in a bid for a smaller promotion title and lost your UFC debut, some of the luster is gone. However, his skills shine brighter than his record and it’ll all show itself on Saturday.
What makes this a good match-up
Matt Sayles comes to us as an alumni from both Dana White’s Looking for a Fight and Dana White’s Contender Series. In those bouts, he’s shown to have pretty solid top game and fairly good distance striking. The problem is that he most likely does not have the technique to keep this a distance striking fight. Additionally, his striking is not such that he can afford to fight this one with his back against the cage.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 150-64-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)