Welcome to the UFC: Michal Figlak

Michal Figlak, UFC Paris
Michal Figlak, UFC Paris Official Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

The UFC heads to Paris, France for the first time in the promotion’s history this weekend. The UFC Paris card is headlined by France’s own Ciryl Gane taking on Tai Tuivasa in a pivotal heavyweight fight. There are also altogether five fighters from France on the card and seven fighters making their UFC debut. French fighter Fares Ziam who is 2-2 in the UFC is welcoming Michal Figlak to the octagon on Saturday.

Michal “Mad Dog” Figlak
Standing at 5’10″
Fighting at 155 lbs (lightweight)
Fighting out of Poland/England
Training out of Trojan Free Fighters
A pro record of 8-0

How will Figlak fare in the UFC:

Poland-born and England-raised, Michal Figlak is an undefeated lightweight. Figlak went 10-2 as an amateur as well, with a key loss to UFC bantamweight Jack Shore. He made his first big statement in September 2020 when he made his promotional debut for Cage Warriors. He fought Oban Elliott who was 3-0 at the time riding a lot of hype. In what was a fun fight Figlak looked much better and stopped Elliott in the third round.

Figlak is well-rounded. He’s knocked opponents out, won via ground and pound, went the distance, and won by submission as an amateur. He brings pressure, volume, and composure every time he competes. Figlak is a fierce striker. The power isn’t necessarily the danger rather it’s the volume and combinations he throws. Figlak is frequently attacking and does so from different angles and always throws something different. His bodywork is wonderful and it’s so good in combinations going body-head. Figlak digs the body making the hands drop and then goes to the head.

Figlak does everything right on the feet. He’s technical, throws volume, mixes in kicks and punches, has good footwork, and uses feints. My only knock on his stand-up is he takes damage. I do rate his head movement quite highly but at times it sits a little too long on the centerline. Maybe a good boxer with a good jab will give him trouble but it’s nothing I’d worry about.

Though perhaps not as exciting as his stand-up, his ground game is almost as good. To get it there Figlak’s wrestling is relentless. Figlak can get takedowns in space, in the clinch, and he seems to have good judo. His wrestling is as good as it is because it’s complemented by his striking. Other than wanting Figlak to be more aggressive passing the guard he’s a solid grappler. The capability is there but he has yet to get a submission in his pro career. Figlak does rain down frequent ground and pound and has heavy top control.

Figlak as excellent takedown defense and the times he’s been on his back he has popped right back up. Figlak is well-rounded, smart, and has good endurance — enough to be a real threat in the future. Figlak is without a doubt someone to watch for in the UFC.

How he matches up with Ziam:

Ziam has been underwhelming in the UFC even in the fights he’s won. Ziam has a background in kickboxing as he’s a former K-1 European champion. Honestly, you haven’t really seen that high-level striking from him so far. He’s definitely skilled on the feet but nothing special. Figlak probably has the better striking, especially with his bodywork and clinch work.

Ziam has struggled with takedown defense his entire career and that’s where Figlak could control this fight. There are some questions on the level of Figlak’s wrestling and grappling where he’s fought mainly in Cage Warriors. I think his wrestling/grappling is as good as advertised. I see a lot of people picking Ziam and I can’t understand it. I would be surprised if Figlak lost.