Welcome to the UFC: Carlos Mota

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Cody Durden and Carlos Mota, UFC Vegas 63
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 28: (L-R) Opponents Cody Durden and Carlos Mota of Brazil face off during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on October 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Cody Durden was supposed to fight Kleydson Rodrigues at UFC Vegas 63 this Saturday, but Brazil’s Rodrigues withdrew. Now stepping in on short notice is another Brazilian opponent, Carlos Mota. Mota is a winner of his last two and is coming off winning the LFA flyweight vacant title.

Carlos “Tizil” Mota
Standing at 5’6″
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
27-years-old
Fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Training out of Pr1mera Gym
A pro record of 8-1
4 KO/TKOs

How will Mota fare in the UFC:

It’s good to see Mota finally in the UFC. The flyweight division outside the UFC is low-key stacked and Mota was one of the best in the division up until being signed. His only loss was a classic back-and-forth fight with Charles Johnson who is now in the UFC. Last August he won the LFA title knocking out a solid Russian prospect Rizvan Abuev.

Over the last few years it’s been Mota’s striking on display. Earlier in his career and even occasionally still, from time to time he will use his wrestling/grappling. It’s easy to forget that Mota is a BJJ black belt when he’s knocking guys out on the feet. Mota’s striking is a bit wild and he likes to throw looping hooks but he can still be pretty technical.

Mota’s attention to attacking the body is very well done. It’s the jabs to the body, the hooks, and the kicks to the body which he’s stopped two fights with. He’s got a lot of power for a 125’er. Mota’s right hand is his primary weapon but he has power in both hands. His right comes in form of counters, check hooks, or just lead hooks. Mota throws in blitzes of combinations mixing up his attack.

Mota is there to be hit and kind of thrives on getting hit as it makes him return harder. Getting hit is never a good thing as it eventually adds up and a prime example was his loss to Charles Johnson. To be fair, not many people are going to take the shots and pace from Mota that Johnson did that night. Mota defensively has gaps on the feet and with takedown defense. He’s done a good job lulling guys into a fight he’s superior at. Mota may have more holes than he’s shown but I’m confident it’s nothing he can’t fix. Mota is just 27 reaching his prime in a division you could excel pretty quickly in. I look for Mota to crack the top 15 at some point.

How he matches up against Durden:

Durden doesn’t get a lot of credit but is a good fighter. His losses in the UFC are to Muhammad Mokaev and to Jimmy Flick. Wins over Aoriqileng, JP Buys, and John Sweeney are three solid wins. Although Durden likes to strike he’s better on the mat and that should be his plan in this fight. There isn’t a chance Durden can stand and trade with Mota and be able to sustain any damage. Mota hits a lot harder and Durden is coming off a knockout loss. It’s not a for sure thing that Durden can win this fight on the mat however. He might be able to get Mota down but Mota is a good BJJ black belt and the slicker grappler in my opinion. I predict that Mota is better in every area and will eventually catch Durden on the feet.

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