Welcome to the UFC: Gabriella Fernandes

Gabriella Fernandes, LFA 143
Gabriella Fernandes, LFA 143 Credit: Legacy Fighting Alliance

The UFC is back at the UFC Apex for the last time for the foreseeable future, with UFC Vegas 70 headlined by two light heavyweight contenders. The spotlight is on the newcomers, and we have a total of seven on this card. Or had, with a handful of fighters falling through. At the time of this writing, thirteen of the fighters on this card are Contender Series alum. A few of them are from this past season making their UFC debut. One of those who skipped DWCS is Brazil’s Gabriella Fernandes. Jasmine Jasudavicius was supposed to take on Cortney Casey but Casey is out and “Gabi” is in.

Gabriella “Gabi” Fernandes
Standing at five-foot-six
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
Fighting out of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Training out of Kimura Team Jorjao
A pro record of 8-1
2 KO/TKOs, 3 Submissions

How Fernandes will fare in the UFC:

After Fernandes won the LFA flyweight title last year it was evident she was going to sign with the UFC. You don’t see the UFC make a lot of straight-out signings outside of Contender Series contracts and signing fighters on short notice. Fernandes is taking this fight on short notice but was signed to the UFC prior.

Fernandes has won by decision, KO/TKO, and submission but is a striker first. Back in Brazil where she trains, she’s a boxing coach in the gym she trains out of. On the feet, Fernandes is very basic but effective. She throws straight punches, jabs including to the body, and a nice one-two. Gabi has clean hands; she is accurate and has some hidden power as well. It’s not just her hands that play into her success, as a lot of it has to do with her kickboxing. Fernandes can get a little loose at times and throw some wheel kicks. For the most part, Fernandes’s kicks are extremely effective. Over and over she will kick the body digging in and switches it up going to the legs and up high. Both her striking and kickboxing complement each other so well.

Her ground game as a whole is a conundrum. She has three submissions but footage of her ground game lacks. At least in her last two submission wins she dropped one and then got the guillotine and in the other, the girl tapped to strikes. It’s safe to say her ground game and wrestling aren’t something we’ll see much of, at least if the fight is on her terms.

In some ways, I have some concerns with Fernandes. Her ground game is a mystery. While her striking is good she can be a little stiff and leaves her head on the centerline. As shown in her fight with Edna Oliveira, when Fernandes gets tired she tends to drop her hands. Overall, I really like Fernandes and think she will crack the top 15 at some point.

How Fernandes and Jasudavicius match up:

In most of her fights, Jasudavicius has a significant size advantage. Although she is bigger than Fernandes it’s not by much. Jasudavicius has decent striking with good fundamentals but defensively there are a lot of issues. She doesn’t take damage well and it gets even worse as the fight goes on.

To win this fight Jasudavicius is going to have to win with takedowns and control against the cage. Skill for skill Fernandes is better and I believe is strong enough to not be muscled around. I expect Fernandes to piece up Jasudavicius on the feet probably getting close to finishing in moments. Jasudavicius may get a few takedowns but I don’t see her being able to hold down Fernandes.