BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Michel Prazeres was successful in his return to welterweight, but he’s not done with lightweight just yet.
“Trator” was forced to move up a division after failing to make the 155-pound limit in three of his last four lightweight bouts in the UFC, and beat Zak Cummings in a 170-pound clash at UFC Chile in May. Six months later, Prazeres comes back against Bartosz Fabinski at UFC Argentina, scheduled for Saturday night in Buenos Aires, but still aims to convince the promotion to give him another chance in his original weight class.
”It’s never easy to adapt,” Prazeres told MMA Fighting when asked about competing at welterweight. “You know I cut a lot of weight, but I’m here. I wanted to go back to my division, but the UFC asked me to do this fight now. I’m ready, I’m adapted to what I’m going to face there, and I believe in God that everything will work.”
Prazeres is riding a seven-fight winning streak, with six of those victories coming against lightweights, and says his goal is “to go back to lightweight because I can get to the top there.”
”Everyone is too tall in this division and I’m too short, so it’s not a good division for me,” Prazeres said. “We feel the reach difference a little bit because I’m only 5’7”, but I’m always training with bigger sparring partners.”
Fabinski, his opponent at Buenos Aires’ Parque Roca Arena, is much taller (6-foot) and will have an eight-inch advantage over the Brazilian. He’s also a former middleweight who now fights at welterweight, but Prazeres thinks that that’s “an advantage for me because he will feel the weight cut and I won’t.”
”I’m ready for him. I’m going to war, there’s no other way,” Prazeres said. “If size mattered, elephants would be the king of the jungle. I’m fucking happy, brother. I’m ready for a war. I even had to stop training for a week because I was training too hard I almost overtrained. I had a tough six months of training for this war.”
Poland’s “The Butcher” is 3-0 in the UFC, capped off by a decision victory over Emil Meek in July. Prazeres, more experienced inside the eight-sided cage, predicts that his game “will be superior” than Fabinski’s skillset.
”I’m great on the ground, and it will be hard for him to shoot because of my size, because I’m too short,” Prazeres said. “I worked hard on my boxing and muay thai, my conditioning. He will have to work really hard because I want this victory.”