In a battle of contrasting styles, Canadian lightweight Jesse Ronson, known for his KO power and body attacks, faced Brazilian Michel Prazeres, who's keen to use his wrestling and submission game. In the opening round Prazeres overmatched Ronson on the ground, constantly threatened with submissions, and just generally dominated Ronson with superior grappling and strength. Ronson survived the rear-naked choke attempts, but could not shake off Prazeres. The 2nd round saw a slight improvement for Ronson, who was able to fire off some hard body and leg kicks as well as fending off a few takedown attempts, but Prazeres still managed to implement his game and work from top position.
Ronson turned it on in the final round as Prazeres looked to be fading, but Prazeres secured a crucial final minute takedown to prevent a potential onslaught on the feet. The Canadian was more than willing to finish with a flurry, as he was able to get his own takedown into mount, throwing some sloppy ground-and-pound in desperation as he tried to rally for the win. Official Result: Michel Prazeres def. Jesse Ronson by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).
What was the high point of the fight?
Prazeres had just about wrapped up a win in the 3rd with a last minute takedown, but Ronson getting back up and slamming Prazeres down made for a fun final seconds.
Where do they go from here?
Prazeres (17-1) clearly looks better suited for lightweight, but has to fix those cardio problems which cost him against Thiago and nearly cost him against Ronson. He's not really a "prospect" as he's fought 18 times and is in his 30s, but he's serviceable and could hang around against the lower top 25 of the UFC's roster.
Ronson (13-3) obviously didn't have the wrestling advantage, but he did put in some good kickboxing and weathered the early storm of a potential finish to nearly steal a win. He's a good prospect and deserves another shot to get his first win.
Watch now, later, or never?
Later. Good, but not great fight where both men showed they're definitely capable of staying around in the UFC for the long-term.