The first lightweight fight on tap for UFC 165 sees Canadian newcomer Jesse Ronson (13-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) face Brazil's Michel Prazeres (16-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Prazeres is dropping to lightweight after a welterweight appearance in his debut, where the size difference between him and Paulo Thiago was fairly noticeable.
Ronson is making his UFC debut a little earlier than planned, as Prazeres' original opponent Mark Bocek was forced off the card with an injury. The UFC 165 prelims on Facebook begin at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT and continue on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET5 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Ronson: 27 years old | 5'10" | Unknown reach
Prazeres: 32 years old | 5'6" | 67" reach
What have these two done recently?
Ronson: W - Shane Campbell (SUB) | W - Ryan Healy (UD) | W - Alex Ricci (UD)
Prazeres: L - Paulo Thiago (UD) | W - Leandro Silva (UD) | W - Sergio Leal (SUB)
How did these two get here?
Ronson's nickname is "The Body Snatcher" for good reason. While he tends to be a little bit wild on the feet, he likes to attack with body shots, and he used that to the fullest extent when defeating Eric St. Pierre (for a 2nd time) in 2012. His last loss was to Mike Ricci back in 2011, and since then he's won 8 in a row. Ronson is considered one of Canada's top lightweight prospects, and it's something to look forward to as he makes his debut tonight.
Prazeres has fought exclusively in his home country of Brazil, where he compiled a record of 16-0, with a majority of those wins coming by submission. When Lance Benoist withdrew from UFC on FX 8, "Tractor" was signed to face former contender Paulo Thiago. Prazeres showcased good grappling (certainly better than his striking at times) against Paulo Thiago and was able to get a couple of takedowns, but as the fight wore on Thiago proved to be the better man and he won a unanimous decision. It was still a better performance than expected, and his size and aggressive search for takedowns is probably the best path to victory for him.
Why should you care?
Prazeres looked good against Thiago and wasn't too far off from an upset win. Ronson looks like a beast with a vicious body attack. This card lacks true star power aside from the title fights, but the prelims have some matchups worth watching.