Prospect in the Spotlight (Oct 23-24): Luan Lacerda

Introduction

Sunday, October 25th, Brazilian bantamweight prospect Luan Lacerda will be in action for Shooto Brasil, where he will be looking to continue his winning streak against Wellington Lopes. He will be looking for another win, as Lacerda looks to impress the UFC brass and potentially earn a contract with the company. He represents Nova Uniao, a top camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Submission Grappling: In unsurprising news, a Nova Uniao fighter is an outstanding grappler. Lacerda is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and is obviously very good. His takedowns are solid, though he’s no Division I wrestler. Not only does he score submission wins in most of his fights (7 of his 9 wins), he has great variety. Of his seven submission wins, they have come in five different ways: rear-naked choke, guillotine choke, anaconda choke, armbar and triangle choke. Most of his wins come as the fight goes on, showing he has good stamina as well. Six of his seven submissions have come in the second or third round. He’s solid on top or on bottom, which makes him an overall threat on the mat.

Experienced Opposition: There are a good number of Brazilian prospects who build their resume on destroying cans in the Brazilian regional scene. For Lacerda, he has actually fought guys with experience, which, for better or worse, gives his resume a little more credibility. Since his only career loss to Ary Farias in his third fight, Lacerda has not fought a fighter with less than six fights. His biggest win has come over now-UFC roster member Raulian Paiva. He’s also scored a win over 30+ fight veteran Edilson Texieira, which may not seem like much, he Lacerda did it as a 6-fight pro.

Needs Improvement

Limited Tape: While my assumption would be that Lacerda’s striking is not on par with his grappling, it’s hard to really grasp what Lacerda is lacking in his game. The reason for that? There is very limited footage on Lacerda to be seen. The fights/highlights I have seen have been short, because he has finished those fights with submissions. So, one would have to assume that he’s either lacking in striking or just simply chooses to stick to the biggest strength in his game and get things done early on the mat. Plus, he has not fought since 2018, so he has a decent layoff. We will have to see more, once we get a chance to see Lacerda fight more consistently.

Outlook

UFC Prelim Fighter: Lacerda is just 27 years old, so he clearly has a good amount of time left in this sport. With Nova Uniao in his corner and the level of grappling Lacerda has, there are clearly fights to be won on the UFC roster should he end up there. Of course, he first must beat Lopes in convincing fashion to convince the UFC to ink him. Once Lacerda takes that step up in competition to the UFC, there are certainly areas of that game he will have to address. However, he has the time and team to help him address those needs and make a run on the UFC. The lack of tape on Lacerda does make it more difficult to pinpoint the exact amount of talent he has, though he has solid wins on his record. How high his ceiling is, though, will be scene once he takes on a UFC-level opponent.

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