Prospect in the Spotlight (July 9-10): Brena Cardozo


Saturday, July 10th, Brazillian bantamweight prospect Brena Cardozo will be in action for Imperio Fight, where she will be looking to continue her undefeated streak against veteran Ediana Silva. She will be looking for another win, as Cardozo looks to score another victory and impress the brass of the UFC. She represents MSP, an underrated camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”


Kickboxing: Cardozo has a background in kickboxing, so it’s no surprise that she prefers to fight on the feet in the cage. She has a pro kickboxing record that looks good on paper, including a win over Invicta title challenger Daiana Torquato. In the cage, she comes out of the box swinging and throws in combinations. She is good with both her strong kicking ability and her quick hands. She has some ability striking in the clinch, as she strikes well in close. Three of her four wins come by way of stoppage, showing that her striking takes a toll. She’s an average-sized bantamweight, so she’s not going to out-reach her opponents, but she’s also not gonna be stuck sitting at the end of strikes of her opponents.

Pressure Fighting: Cardozo likes to step on the gas and keep up the pressure, which is what helps her opponents feel uncomfortable from the opening bell. She hunts down her opponent and keeps them on their back foot as she throws her striking combinations. She cuts off the cage well and lays it on heavy. She does not allow her opponent to breathe. Her pace and pressure could affect her own cardio if she fights for an extended period of time, so we will have to see what adjustments she makes to her pace if she gets in to deeper water.

Needs Improvement

Defensive Grappling: Cardozo is a very good striker, but her grappling is the obvious area of need in her game. Upon investigation, she looks to possibly be a white belt in BJJ and has no known credentials as an amateur wrestler. With that in mind, we can conclude that she’s a pure striker who is working to get her ground game up to standards. She does not have any wins by way of submission. That said, she has not been defeated by submission either, meaning that she’s competent enough to stay away from that realm. As she moves up in competition level (as we’ll talk about), she will be tested more with wrestling/jiu-jitsu, so this will need to be addressed as she continues to compete.

Strength of Schedule: Thus far as a pro, as many young Brazilian fighters see, Cardozo has fought low-level, inexperienced talents. Her four pro opponents have a combined 2-5 record, which is hardly impressive. That said, Cardozo is building up experience in the cage with as much cage time as she can afford, so that’s not a huge black mark against her. However, her upcoming opponent Ediana Silva has a record of 5-2, which represents the most experienced and talented fighter Cardozo will have faced. This will show us Cardozo’s readiness level.


UFC Prelim Fighter: Cardozo is still young in this sport and has some time to develop, so her ceiling may be higher than I am giving her credit for right now. However, if she continues on her path, she could be a person we see on the UFC roster. Cardozo has the striking style that a boss like Dana White likes and has the skill to move past the regional scene. To me, she will have the career of a person like Priscila Cachoeira, one who ranks toward the bottom half of the division, but scores a couple wins and creates some fun, interesting fights. That’s not a knock either. It’s a tough road getting to the UFC and if Cardozo can do so successfully, she will have her share of fights on the roster.

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