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Warlley Alves: Height difference ‘biggest change’ ahead of short-notice co-main event

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Welterweight Warlley Alves will have to deal with a sudden change against Mounir Lazzez, at UFC Fight Island 8.

UFC 237: Alves v Moraes Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

TUF Brazil 3 champion Warlley Alves will have a challenge other than just fighting ahead of his co-main event bout at UFC Fight Island 8.

Originally paired up against Christian Aguilera for a bout on January 16, Warlley saw that match fall through when the ‘Beast’ needed to pull out in late December. As a result, the Brazilian ended up booked against Mounir Lazzez for an event four days later, a change which interfered a little with Alves’ gameplan.

Now set to face a lean striker, who caused an impression in his UFC debut, Warlley tells Combate the adaption mid-training camp was the biggest surprise to handle for his team. However, despite Lazzez being much taller than Aguilera, 6’1” against 5’9”, Alves believes they are not so different when it comes to style.

“I think that what changed the most was the height thing. Aguilera is 5’9” and Lazzez is 6’1”. I think that was the biggest difference, because they are both strikers, they’re both good boxers. Mounir is a looser kickboxer, but Aguilera has a lot of power and throws a lot of volume. I think the height was what really got me in this opponent change.”

Still confident despite the change, Warlley predicts a thrilling stand-up battle against Lazzez. Given that both men have kickboxing as their original martial art, Alves expects to be able to perform where he feels most comfortable.

“It’s going to be a kickboxing fight. I come from kickboxing and so does he. I think we’ll prioritize a striking fight. That’s what I have pictured.”

In his last outing, Warlley Alves (13-4) was tapped out via triangle choke by Randy Brown, in November 2019. Before that, the 30-year-old scored a knockout win over Sergio Moraes, in May of the same year.

Now, Warlley Alves is expected to take on Mounir Lazzez at UFC Fight Island 8’s co-main event, on January 20, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a welterweight bout between veterans Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny.