UFC Mexico City: Daniel Zellhuber Paints Masterpiece, Pieces Up Francisco Prado

Daniel Zellhuber and Franciso Prado, UFC Mexico City
Daniel Zellhuber and Franciso Prado, UFC Mexico City Credit: Youtube/UFC

Daniel Zellhuber and Fransisco Prado squared off at UFC Mexico City in a matchup of talented lightweight prospects.

The bout came a little earlier than expected, after promotion officials announced that Raul Rosas Jr. vs Ricky Turcios had dropped off the event at the eleventh hour.

Zellhuber and Prado, twenty-four and twenty-one years old respectively, both lost their undefeated records in their UFC debuts but bounced back afterwards and have bright futures ahead of them. The fans in Mexico got behind their boy Zellhuber, a tall, lanky striker with submissions in his back pocket. Argentina’s Prado, a power hitter who has only ever won by finish, looked to spoil the show for them, but it was not to be, as Zellhuber won comprehensively over fifteen minutes.

Prado pressed forward while Zellhuber tried to stay at a longer range, circling the octagon to avoid being closed down. The pair really got after it, both landing big shots to the head and body, but neither man could gain a big advantage. Zellhuber’s jab and body kicks went up against Prado’s big, looping punches; both found success in a close first round.

The second round started with Zellhuber opening Prado’s nose and then his eye with jabs. Daniel became ascendant as one man got a clear advantage for the first time. However, Francisco was not out of it at all, but he got wilder and sloppier as he ate more damage. Zellhuber ate some return fire, but his mixed arsenal of strikes became telling. His knee to the body when Prado got close was especially effective in the second frame. Prado’s left eye was almost closed entirely by the halfway point.

Though his eye was swollen badly, Prado could just barely see out of it, and the fight continued in round three after the doctor checked on him. He again ate the first big strike of the round, a knee to the collarbone. Franscisco Prado connected with some of his big swings, but for the most part Zellhuber was able to slide just out of range as he popped Prado’s head with the jab in response. Daniel’s head was so elusive that Prado had more success with his body shots when he threw them, but by the third round he was almost exclusively head-hunting. When the ten second clapper sounded Zellhuber pointed at the canvas, indicating a gentleman’s agreement to swing to the bell, and swing they did.

Given the way the last two rounds went, it was no surprise when the judges awarded the victory to the talented young prospect from the very city he was competing in, to the crowd’s evident delight. There is a good chance that MMA fans around the world witnessed the birth of a star that night.

Official Result: Daniel Zellhuber def. Fransisco Prado by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)