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.
The unbeaten streak of 2019 came to an end last week with Aleksandra Albu’s quick loss. We look to get back on track with one of our favorite gyms to follow – and one of the most successful this year.
Carlos Diego Ferreia
Affiliation – Fortis MMA
From – Amazonas, Brazil
Height – 5’9″
Weight – 155 lbs (Lightweight)
Record – 14-2 (5-2 UFC)
What makes him impressive
Carlos Diego Ferreira is one of those guys who, if you have been watching him lately, you might think of him as a knockout guy (or at least a ground and pound guy). Three of his last four wins have come by way of (T)KO with only Olivier Aubin-Mercier surviving the distance.
Even though we’ve come to see him that way, his positional awareness and submission skills on the ground are incredibly underrated. He’s a 3rd degree jiu jitsu black belt with six subs to his name, including one against TUF winner Colton Smith. When he gets someone down, they rarely work their way back up, and certainly do not without taking some damage or giving up a dangerous position.
Why he has been overlooked
In his last five fights, Ferreira is 3-2, which is nothing to really write home about. However, let’s take a look at those two losses.
Firstly, he lost a decision to Beneil Dariush in a fight that he took on just a few weeks’ notice. While that gave him time to prepare, it was far from a full camp fight.
Secondly, he was knocked out by Dustin Poirier. Although that was in the first round, Ferreira scored a takedown and pushed Poirier to the fence with a second one.
While this is not a record that instills confidence over five fights, those losses certainly aren’t anything to be worried about.
What makes this a good match-up
Rustam Khabilov is known for his big takedowns and his ability to take the fight to his opponent. However, if you look at his last fight with Kajan Johnson, he has trouble with fighters who scramble and/or grapple particularly well. Although he won that fight, MMAJunkie gave it the Robbery of the Year Award, and 12 of the 13 media outlets on MMADecisions.com gave the fight to Johnson. Given this fact and knowing that Ferreira is a much better grappler than Johnson, he’ll likely give Khabilov a lot of trouble in that department.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 165-69-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)
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