When Ben Saunders pulled out of his bout against Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night Rio de Janeiro, the UFC had to do some searching for a late notice welterweight to fill in. They settled on Josh Koscheck, for the last bout on his contract. But, just in case it didn't go through, MMAFighting reports that the UFC has signed Elizeu Zaleski. Since it looks like his services won't be needed for the Rio card, no debut date has been set or potential opponents announced. So...
Who is Elizeu Zaleski?
Elizeu "Capoeira," as he is also known, is yet another among the many Jungle Fight champions to make his way to the UFC. The 28-year old Brazilian trains out of Cristiano Marcello System MMA, alongside longtime regional vet Delson Heleno and (obviously) recent UFC retiree Cristiano Marcello. Zaleski brings a 14-4 MMA record with him into the Octagon, with big wins over Itamar Rosa & Eduardo Ramon, among less notable regional vets, rising prospects, and cans. Of his 4 losses, two are to UFC vets in Viscardi Andrade and Guilherme Vasconcelos. He's currently on a 4 fight win streak, with three of his four wins by KO.
What you should expect:
Zaleski likes to stay at range, picking single shots and counter shots against opponents. Most naturally he seems to prefer the role of the counter fighter, but isn't terrible at initiating offense and coming forward. He has a solid jab and lead hook and feints a lot to try and bait his opponent into coming forward. When they won't Zaleski throws hard body and leg kicks to punish them. The most notable thing about Zaleski's style is that he's a great finisher when he has an opponent hurt. When he can land that big single shot and stun his opponent he unloads with a powerful, accurate striking barrage. He's got a decent trip/drag clinch game inside, but it's not dominating. He does have a bad habit of, when countering, swinging wild hooks with his head on line, and can get hit hard there. But, he has enough speed and power to make it a dicey proposition. When he can get the fight to the ground Zaleski has shown some really nice ground and pound and top control, but he can't seem to get there very consistently.
To get us better acquainted, here's his recent bout against Edurado Camelo at Jungle Fight 75: