Paulo Thiago is notable for having one of the most difficult UFC careers in history. A victim of his own success, he's faced many of the UFC's top welterweights in his 9 outings with the promotion. He's been on a bit of skid lately, losing his last two and going 1–4 over his last five fights. Many thought he was getting a bit of a break in facing the young and hitherto unimpressive Lance Benoist. Now he's got an entirely unknown fighter on his hands in Michel Richard dos Prazeres.
MMAjunkie reports that Benoist has been forced out of his UFC on FX 8 fight due to injury, and will be replaced by divisional newcomer, Michel dos Prazeres. Dos Prazeres is an unbeaten submission ace in a 16–0 career (although Jungle Fight listed him at 21–0–1), with more than half of those victories coming inside the distance.
'The Tractor,' as he is known to Brazilian fans is built in the Rousimar Palhares mold. He's stocky and strong with a hyper aggressive submission offense. However, unlike 'Toquinho,' he appears to have a well developed double-leg-takedown to top control game and works for subs primarily out of that setup. If nothing else he's an entirely different fighter than the lanky striker Thiago was training for and has the potential to pull off a major upset with his specialized skills.
UFC on FX 8 takes place on May 18th Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil. Here's the card barring any further last minute changes:
Constantinos Phillipou vs. Ronaldo Souza
Fuel TV Card:
Paulo Thiago vs. Michel dos Prazeres