Joao Zeferino drops to welterweight, meets Kenny Robertson at UFC Fight Night 28


The "Brazilian Samurai" Joao Zeferino has dropped back down to his natural weight class to take on tricky wrestle-grappler Kenny Robertson.

Sometimes being exciting counts for a lot. That certainly seemed to be the case when (according to Tatame) the UFC decided to give Kenny Robertson and Joao Zeferino another shot in the octagon. Both men are coming off performances in which they fought fun fights, but ultimately lost.

Robertson took on Sean Pierson at UFC 161. It was a spirited battle that saw both men hurt, and Robertson came especially close to finishing the fight. Ultimately his under-polished striking and lack of a nuanced submission game resulted in a majority decision loss. Not bad in and of itself, but it dropped him to 1-3 with the promotion overall. This isn't a bad fight for Robertson as he has the potential to control Zeferino in much the same way Natal did, with superior wrestling and positioning. While my first instinct is to say that he needs to shore up his striking to go with his strong wrestling, the reality is that he'd be better served to strengthen his sub game. He had Pierson in a couple of bad positions and couldn't finish the fight, better submissions would make him a rare threat in a field mostly dominated by wrestle-boxers.

For Zeferino, his second UFC fight looks to be a confidence builder. He looked alright, in his fight with Natal. He certainly seems to have a flashy, powerful offensive game, but isn't really dominant in any one area. As a late replacement he hung with Natal for a while UFC on FX 8, but wore down and got controlled in the grappling game for unanimous decision loss. Robertson is a one dimensional fighter, it's a good dimension, but this is a fight Zeferino should win if he has long term potential in the UFC.

As both fighters are coming off a loss, and haven't shown a great deal of potential in the UFC so far, this could very well be a win or get cut fight for the two of them. UFC Fight Night 28: Teixeira vs. Bader takes place on September 4th in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Here's a look at the current card:

Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader
Ronaldo Souza vs. Yushin Okami
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez
Rafael Natal vs. Tor Troeng
Marcos Vinicius vs. Ali Bagautinov
Hugo Viana vs. Johnny Bedford
Felipe Arantes vs. Sam Sicilia
Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Keith Wisniewski
Lucas Martins vs. Ramiro Hernandez Jr.
Yuri Villefort vs. Sean Spencer
Kenny Robertson vs. Joao Zeferino

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