The UFC makes its second trip to Brazil in 2023 with UFC Sao Paulo arriving on Saturday. Among a handful of debuting fighters, Kauê Fernandes steps into the octagon for the first time against the formidable Marc Diakiese. He gets to do so at home in front of a crowd in an era where many fellow newcomers get an empty Apex.
Standing at five-foot-nine
Fighting at 155 lbs (lightweight)
Fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Training out of Nova Uniao
A pro record of 8-1
4 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions
How Fernandes will fare in the UFC:
Brazil is loaded with talent and as much as I’d like to see more signed for this card Fernandes is a good signing. After a disappointing loss to Luann Sardinha, Fernandes has won his last two. He’s also coming off a highlight-reel head kick knockout that helped his case of getting signed.
Fernandes is an awkward fighter but is super dangerous. On the feet, Fernandes throws wide with his hands to his waist so he’s hard to read. He’s so long he would benefit from throwing more straight punches. Fernandes is sneaky with head kicks that he throws over the shoulder and his bodywork is an asset he often likes to go to. Fernandes is even better on the mat even if he’s on his back. Most of the time it is off his back because his wrestling isn’t all that good. Fernandes has fluid hips and is always working to find submissions or create scrambles.
His fight with Luann Sardinha exposed a lot of Fernandes’ holes. He had a good round one but fell apart after five minutes. The main reason was because of his cardio. It was so poor Fernandes was breathing heavily out of his mouth. His striking defense is a major concern. His hands are low, he throws too wide, and his chin is up in the air. A jab would give him a lot of problems and he’s just asking to get knocked out in an exchange with how his hand placement is and where his chin is. Also, his takedown defense isn’t too good and even though he’s good off his back that’s somewhere you don’t want to fight off of if you can avoid it.
Overall, I think Kauê Fernandes has potential. He has to tighten up his technique. More importantly, his cardio has to be better. His technique looks even worse when he’s as gassed as he was before. Fernandes is a fun fighter but I see him struggling to get wins in the UFC. He could improve but he has to prove that he can adapt in future fights.
How he matches up with Diakiese:
Not sure why Fernandes is getting an established guy like Diakiese in his UFC debut but it would be a big win. Diakiese is a talented fighter but he’s just inconsistent. His fight IQ has continued to be a big problem for him in his career.
Diakiese is an explosive guy on the feet but lately, it’s been his wrestling he’s been using more than anything. I’m sure Diakiese can take Fernandes down but he’s got to be careful of getting caught in a submission. On the feet, Diakiese beats him with speed, explosiveness, and athleticism. Fernandes is fully capable of catching Diakiese anywhere the fight goes. With that said I think it’s a bad match-up for him and Diakiese wins a decision.