Out with the old, in with the new. As the release of two fighters came over the wire yesterday, another four have been brought in to the fold. Wyman already gave a great introduction to Bektic and Skelly, here, so I won't be covering that, but there are two new signings to cover. First and foremost, The UFC has signed Legacy FC vet and excellent BJJ grappler Carlos Diego Ferreira. The UFC announced his signing on Friday, along with the news that he'll be making his debut against Colton Smith at UFC Fight Night San Antonio on June 28.
Interestingly, Ferreira and Smith have already faced off once before. It wasn't in the cage, but instead on the grappling circuit at the AGF Southern Regionals in 2013. Check out the match below.
Beyond his grappling credentials, Ferreira trains out of the Silverback Fight Club alongside UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis, down in Texas. The 29 year old will enter the UFC with a 9-0 unbeaten record with solid wins over Jorge Patino, Carlo Prater, and Chris Feist. As his level of competition has increased he's had more trouble getting submission finishes, but has five of his 9 wins by tapout.
I haven't seen a lot of footage on Ferreira, but what I can find suggests that he's a fairly dynamic brawler. He likes to wade in with his hands down and chin up, but he throws a wide variety of strikes and solid arsenal of head kicks, which he uses well in combination with his punches. He isn't the most polished striker, but throws well with speed and power and seems to have a fairly dynamic shooting game as well. He will probably have a decent advantage over Colton Smith in standing exchanges. He certainly has defensive holes that more polished fighters could exploit, but he has the time to shore those up, given his short MMA career, thus far.
The second fight announced this week includes the signing of a new fighter to the women's bantamweight division. Alexis Dufrense has been signed to take on Amanda Nunes at UFC on Fox 11, featuring Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum on April 19. Combate first reported the matchup.
Dufrense is a BJJ world champion, and ADCC champion grappler sporting a 5-0 unbeaten record. She trains out of American Top Team in Temecula, California under Fabiano Silva and has finished every one of her opponents in the first round. Kim Couture is the biggest name on that list, but it's an impressive feat nonetheless.
Watching Dufresne fight... I've only seen her bout against Kim Couture, who's a bit of a punching bag, but Dufresne looks like a monster. She has a brutal kicking game and uses it to control distance nicely and set up her power double. Once on top she transitions immediately into submissions and from submissions to powerful ground and pound. Unlike many fighters in her division she looks technically rock solid and ready to compete against the top ten in her division. Honestly, she looks like a premiere talent in WMMA and the kind of fighter that the UFC could build into a real star. Amanda Nunes is probably the better pure striker, but I'd say pick Dufresne as the more well rounded, physically dominant fighter.
To get us better acquainted, here's her bout against Couture: