The UFC's Fight Night Krakow is a card in turmoil. Four bouts have seen fighters fall out due to injury, some multiple times. Lebout is the latest entrant on the Krakow card, replacing Gasan Umalaton, himself replacing Peter Sobotta, against Sergio Moraes. We're still waiting on official word as to just who will be filling for Jason Saggo and his ruptured achilles tendon against Marcin Bandel. Still, France Fight reports that Lebout is set for his debut on April 11th, so...
Who is Mickael Lebout?
Another entrant on the 2015 Bloody Elbow Scouting Report, Crossfight's Mickeal Lebout is on his way to the UFC. The 27-year old French fighter comes to the promotion with a 13-3-1 (1 NC) record compiled entirely on the European regional scene. Most recently he caputred a Polish MMA title fighting for Professional League of MMA. He trains alongside fellow UFC prospect Taylor Lapilus and former Bellator fighters Christian M'Pumbu and Karl Amoussou, along with a wealth of other regional prospects (including super talent Tom Duquesnoy). Over the course of his record, Lebout has wins over promising prospects Davy Gallon, Pawel Zelazowski, Albert Odzimkowski, and Damien Lapilus. Despite several losses, (and a no-contest to Nikolas Musoke) Lebout has an exceptionally strong regional MMA record, and is unusually well tested against good competition.
What you should expect:
As part of a cadre of European welterweights (including fighters like Glenn Sparv, Davy Gallon, and Johan Vanttinen), Lebout probably has the most UFC ready game, and highest chances of success on the international MMA scene. As an MMA native, Lebout has a strong everywhere, well-rounded game. He's not an exceptional athlete, or an amazing wrestler, grappler, or striker, but he's made a career out of being tough as hell and better than average in every aspect of the fight. He's tough to submit and a great scrambler on the ground, has a surprisingly strong offensive wrestling game, and an aggressive stay busy striking style. Lebout is definitely at his best in the clinch and working from top position. He's a good dirty boxer and has strong knees and a solid submission game. He's not the best defensive wrestler out there, and his striking his more volume than technique, but he seems tough enough to make it work. He's talked about moving down to lightweight, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him drop after this bout, win or lose.
What this means for his debut:
This is a tough fight for Lebout. He can probably beat Moraes standing, but his willingness to go to the ground and his generally mediocre takedown defense mean that it's probably pretty likely that he'll end up grappling with Sergio Moraes sooner or later. That's almost certainly not a fight he's going to win, even if he can compete and keep from getting submitted. Lebout can be a fun and tough fighter for the UFC, potentially even in something of a Mike Pyle sort of action fighter role. But, I'm not sure that starts out on a win here.
To get us better acquainted, here's Lebout's most bout against Davy Gallon from 2014: