UFC Fight Night 78 || Michel Prazeres takes controversial split decision from Lázaro

Monterrey, Mexico- Michel Prazeres seemed to have clearly lost the opening contest of the evening, but the judges still awarded him a split decision victory over Valmir “Bidu” Lázaro.

UFC Fight Night 78 was held on November 21, 2015 at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Valmir Lázaro vs. Michel Prazeres took place on the event’s preliminary portion of the card.

It was immediately evident that Lázaro was intent on using his height advantage to keep the stocky, more powerful Prazeres on the outside at the end of his jabs and kicks.  This strategy was largely effective, but Prazeres was still able to storm in at times and land a few hard hooks, especially a right hand with about 1 minute left in the round.  Despite the damage Prazeres was able to cause  with his hooks and a brief takedown, Lázaro seemed to be getting the better of the action and looked to be the fresher fighter as the contest exited the opening round.

“Trator” did his best to follow the advice of his corner and get the fight to the mat, but unfortunately for the muscular lightweight, it was he that found himself on his back for a time after Lázaro countered a takedown attempt. After eating some more strikes while being stuck on the outside, it was clear that Prazeres needed to get into top position, but “Bidu’s” takedown defense remained on point as he thwarted his fellow Brazilian’s attempts to take control of the contest.

The jab started landing harder and more frequently for Lazaro as he grew more comfortable with his ability to time Prazeres.  He wasn’t immune to an occasional hook from Prazeres, but the strikes coming at Lázaro became increasingly desperate and wild.  “Trator” seemed to be aware that only a finish could earn him the victory as the clock kept ticking down in the 3rd Round, but he was powerless to implement his will.  Lázaro put his tired opponent on his back one more time before being ordered back to his feet by the referee in the final minute of the bout.  The contest ended with “Bidu” avoiding danger on the outside as Prazeres failed to find a way to end the fight before the final bell sounded.

Unfortunately, the officials at ringside weren’t convinced that Lázaro had done enough for the victory.  The official decision handed a highly controversial split decision to Michel Prazeres with scores of 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28.

Michel Prazeres improved to 19-3 after being gifted the decision.  Valmir Lázaro looked impressive, but still drops to 13-4 after an apparent robbery.


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