World MMA Featherweight Scouting Report: #7 - Marcos Vinicius

Special thanks for Guilherme Pinheiro of Sherdog for translating a small interview to contribute to this report. Follow him on Twitter, @gui_pinheiro

It's rare to find fighters in any weight division who can provide threatening offense in both the striking department and ground game at early stages in their careers. Most of our prospects are proficient in one of the two areas with a progressing skill-set in the lesser of the two. For our #7 ranked featherweight, Marcos Vinicius (6-0), it doesn't appear to be a problem. A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu who has proven to be a very effective kickboxer inside the cage, the 29-year-old could be a dark horse on our countdown who has the ability to make a significant impact in the worldwide featherweight rankings.

Offensive Skills: As evident in the footage below, Vinicius sports a skill-set that is largely focused on kickboxing and the use of his reach to keep opponents at bay. He has a propensity to use a speedy lead jab in combination with a steady diet of leg and body kicks to damage his opponents while he moves frantically backwards to avoid the incoming rushes and takedowns.

Seasoned veterans may be able to absorb the damage that Vinicius creates, but his last three opponents succumbed quickly to his power. Vinicius made Lauro Figueiroa quit while he was still able to stand in February of last year, and he crushed Claudemir Souza with a beautiful glancing uppercut in his most recent win in December.

Vinicius' skill-set consists of Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an extensive amateur kickboxing background, and eighteen months of Muay Thai and boxing training.

Defensive Skills: Vinicius is surprisingly resilient when it comes to defending offensive attacks. From some of the footage we've seen, Vinicius is prone to being hit often in the stand-up department. He hasn't quite mastered the ability to consistently land his lead jab and deter opponents from moving inside. What he has mastered is the ability to create an impenetrable wall around his chin and head. In his more recent victories, Vinicius has been caught off guard and brutalized by his opponents' power, but he's never been rocked or in danger. He normally exits the fray completely unscathed and ready to pounce. It's an uncanny ability that can only be explained by exceptional training in the gym.

As far as Vinicius' ground game goes, he's content with using his lengthy frame and underrated jiu-jitsu skills to escape back to the feet where he's most effective. Most opponents try to take him down instantly, but Vinicius is a solid grappler in his own right. He may not specialize in submitting opponents, but his technique on the ground is good enough to allow him to escape danger.

Progression: I wasn't able to find any footage of Vinicius' early career bouts. It doesn't help that there are a few other fighters named Marcos Vinicius in Brazil either. From what I can gather, there is some slight improvement in his technique on the ground, and he's become much more effective in implementing a lead jab to keep opponents away from him. It's a far cry from some of his earlier performances as he would defend takedown after takedown before he could settle into his stand-up game. Better footwork has been a key to giving him the opportunity to work kicks and jabs, and continued progression in both areas should help him become a more proficient finisher.

Environment: Marcos is considered the leader of the Nine Nine team in Recife, Brazil. While there doesn't appear to be any notable or recognizable names associated with his branch of the camp, Nine Nine is a network of gyms throughout Brazil. Furthermore, Marcos is heavily involved in both kickboxing and grappling on a day-to-day basis, and his gym provides training in all areas.

Featherweight Lightweight Welterweight

#7 - Marcos Vinicius
#8 - Matt Fiordirosa
#9 - Isaac DeJesus
#10 - Michel Gagnon

#1 - Thiago Michel
#2 - Ricardo Tirloni
#3 - Magno Almeida
#4 - Ui Cheol Nam
#5 - Henrique Mello
#6 - Reza Madadi
#7 - Alexander Sarnavskiy
#8 - Ole Laursen
#9 - Guillaume DeLorenzi
#10 - Al Iaquinta
#1 - Yuri Villefort
#2 - Alex Garcia
#3 - Erick Silva
#4 - Douglas Lima
#5 - Luis "Sapo" Santos
#6 - Jesse Juarez
#7 - Gunnar Nelson
#8 - Quinn Mulhern
#9 - Alberto Mina
#10 - Joe Ray

Middleweight Light Heavyweight
#1 - Papy Abedi
#2 - Chris Weidman
#3 - Vitor Vianna
#4 - Vyacheslav Vasilevsky
#5 - Bruno Santos
#6 - Costantinos Philippou
#7 - Jordan Smith
#8 - Uriah Hall
#9 - Victor O'Donnell
#10 - Assan Njie
#1 - Marcos Pezao
#2 - Gian Villante
#3 - Jimi Manuwa
#4 - Glover Teixeira
#5 - Jan Blachowicz
#6 - Yoel Romero
#7 - Ryan Jimmo
#8 - Nik Fekete
#9 - Marcus Vanttinen
#10 - Ronny Markes

Scouting_report_medium

Potential: Vinicius is a fighter who isn't even on the radar with most analysts, let alone fans. He's highly unknown, but he possesses solid kickboxing and Muay Thai techniques. A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu awaits any fighter believing he can control Vinicius on the ground, and his lengthy frame for a 145 pound fighter adds even more danger to opponents hoping to counter his striking with takedowns.

Marcos has major potential to become a top fifteen or ten fighter in the division. He's a huge 145 pounder, and he's had aspirations to fight K-1 as well as MMA in the future. He considers himself to be that good in both MMA and kickboxing. He has talked about possibly moving up to 155 pounds in the past, but the merger of the WEC's featherweight division into the UFC has likely thwarted that thought. The money is now there, and the opportunity is presenting itself. He fights Matt Hughes' trained Randy Fuentes on February 26th in Recife.

Video:

Marcos Vinicius vs. Claudemir "Tico" Souza

Marcos Vinicius vs Leandro Killer


Marcos Vinicius vs. Lauro Figueiroa

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