UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez Fight Card, Predictions, & Odds

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Anthony Pettis, center left, and Donald Cerrone fight during a UFC 249 mixed martial arts bout, Saturday, May 9, 2020.
(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Apr 23, 2024, 6:56 PM
  • The flyweight match between Matheus Nicolau and Alex Perez headlines the UFC Fight Night this weekend.
  • Nicolau and Perez are coming off losses from their previous fights.
  • Nicolau is the betting favorite at -180, while Perez is the +150 betting underdog.

After a week of hiatus, the UFC is back in action this weekend. Two ranked flyweight contenders will headline the main event inside the APEX Center in Las Vegas. No. 5-ranked Matheus Nicolau will face the No. 8-ranked contender Alex Perez in an all-important fight.

Both Nicolau and Perez are coming off defeats from their previous outings, but the former only lost one in his last five bouts, while the latter is currently on a three-fight losing skid. Due to this, Nicolau is the betting favorite in the UFC odds with -180, while Perez will be the +150 betting underdog heading into the match.

It will be a crucial match for both fighters since it will determine their respective fates in the 125-pound division moving forward.

Matheus Nicolau Recent Fight Results

Nicolau joined the UFC in 2015 via the Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4, where he lost in the semifinal to Dileno Lopes. Despite the defeat, he cracked a roster spot, made his promotional debut against Bruno Korea, and won a third-round submission.

Since then, he won two of his next three fights in the UFC before getting cut in 2018. After three years, he triumphantly returned to the Octagon by beating Manel Kape via split decision in March 2021. He added three more wins to his record before Brandon Royval gave him a first-round knockout defeat in April 2023.

Alex Perez Recent Fight Results

Perez was a former TPF flyweight champion before joining the Dana White Contender Series in 2017. He submitted Kevin Gray in the competition to win a UFC contract. He quickly racked up the wins by securing six of his seven matches under the Las Vegas-based promotion.

This impressive run earned him a crack at the UFC title in November 2020 against Deiveson Figueiredo, but he was submitted in the opening round of their championship match. Since that loss from Figueiredo, Perez hasn’t won a match and suffered two more defeats from Alexandre Pantoja and Muhammad Mokaev.

Matheus Nicolau vs. Alex Perez: Tale of the Tape

Matheus NicolauAlex Perez
Reach66 inches65.5 inches
Leg Reach38 inches38 inches
Fighting StyleBoxingFreestyle
Finishing Rate53%50%

Matheus Nicolau vs. Alex Perez: Fight Analysis

The tale of the tape between Nicolau and Perez is almost identical. Both stand at 5-foot-6 and have 38 inches of leg reach. Nicolau has a slight reach advantage of half an inch at 66 inches against Perez’s 65.5 inches.

Regarding fighting style, both are well-rounded fighters with wins via TKO/KOs and submissions. However, Nicolau has a boxing-heavy fighting style, which contrasts with Perez’s freestyle approach. This accounts for 26% of his career wins.

On the other hand, Perez’s record shows more submission wins, which signals a more grappling fighting method. He has two more submission wins than TKO/KOs, which is 7% higher in percentage.

With the physical attributes and fighting style aside, Nicolau will have an edge in terms of fight activity because he has been a more active fighter than Perez in the past three years. This might be a massive factor heading into the match, especially regarding sharpness and battle form.

Nicolau needs to be in Perez’s face all the time to disrupt his rhythm and fully utilize his crips boxing combinations. However, he must be careful of Perez’s powerful leg kicks and takedown attempts.

Successful takedowns for Perez could lead to submission attempts because he is a very technical and patient grappler who always looks to find the finish when he is in a favorable position on the ground.

Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Matheus Nicolau.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.