After a good stint in Las Vegas, the UFC is going back to Fight Island in Abu Dubai starting with UFC 253 this weekend. It will be the second run there, after a successful first run in July. The first outing witnessed the rise of Khamzat Chimaev, plus Deiveson Figueiredo winning the flyweight title. As well as the massive UFC 251 card with three huge title fights.
The first card back in Abu Dubai it will be another big PPV in UFC 253. It’s headlined by middleweight champ Israel Adesanya defending his title against Paulo Costa. In the co-main, it’s Jan Blachowicz vs Dominick Reyes for the vacant light heavyweight title. Also on the card, there are a number of debuts including Danilo Marques who will take on Khadis Ibragimov (8-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC).
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Vila da Luta
How will Marques fare in the UFC:
I don’t think the UFC had any tape whatsoever on Marques when they signed him. He hasn’t fought in almost three years. He has beaten questionable competition and has some bad looking losses. Actually, the best record he’s beat was 5-4-1, and the win before that, he defeated an 0-16 opponent. Marques is also already 34. He’s mainly a grappler, although on the feet he throws a good jab — but that’s about all. He’s pretty sloppy striking wise and will blindly shoot for takedowns. While he doesn’t have high-level wrestling capabilities, if he does get the fight to the mat he’s in his wheelhouse. Still, despite being comfortable on the mat I don’t think it’s UFC level and hardly regional level. The cardio isn’t there either, slowing down quickly as the fight goes on. This isn’t a great signing by the UFC, and Marques is someone that would have been better off coming in via the Contender Series.
How he matches up with Khadis Ibragimov:
If there is anyone Marques could beat in his debut, it is Khadis Ibragimov. Khadis looked good prior to the UFC but since signing to the promotion he’s gone 0-3 with all being rough losses. On the feet, Khadis has power but has been extremely sloppy and wild, throwing looping punches with a wide base. Of course while he isn’t technical, he has the power to catch his opponents. As wild as he is I think he can catch Marques. Marques will need to take the fight down but Khadis is better on the mat. Khadis is more well-rounded period; I think he catches Marques.