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Michel Prazeres returns a ‘healthier’ fighter as a welterweight at UFC Chile

Gallery Photo: UFC 165 Weigh-in Photos
Michel Prazeres will return to welterweight at UFC Chile.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After missing weight three times during his six-fight winning streak in the UFC, Michel Prazeres won’t be cutting all the way down to 155 pounds for his next fight.

Prazeres is scheduled to take on Zak Cummings in a welterweight bout at the UFC Chile card in Santiago on Saturday and is feeling better than he was prior to his nine bouts as a lightweight in the Octagon.

”I’ll fight a bit healthier,” Prazeres told MMA Fighting. “I still cut a lot of weight, even for 170, but my power and conditioning will be a lot better. Let’s see how that goes. I expect to fight better at this weight class. I’m going for my seventh straight victory and will put on a show, perform a lot better. I want big challenges, and I will definitely come out victorious.”

Prazeres has only fought once as a welterweight in the UFC, when he made his debut on short notice against Paulo Thiago in 2013. He lost that bout via unanimous decision, and then decided to cut down to lightweight.

”I’ve always trained with bigger and heavier training partners, training with Olympic boxers in Para, so I didn’t change much in the gym,” Prazeres said. “I kept my weight around 190 pounds and started cutting weight earlier this month.”

“Trator” is coming off a decision victory over Desmond Green at UFC Belem in February, and was heavily criticized prior to the bout for not making weight.

Prazeres, who weighed in at 161 pounds the morning before the fight, never used as an excuse the fact that his brother died in an accident and his wife suffered a miscarriage right before the fight.

Prazeres’ wife, Cassia Prazeres is “feeling great now,” he said, and even went to Santiago for the fight, traveling overseas with him for the first time for a competition. Cassia and Michel plan on trying to have a baby again in June or July, although Cassia is currently still under treatment for the miscarriage.

”Everything is fine now, we’re happy and in peace,” Prazeres said. “That made a huge difference in my camp for this fight.”

Beating Cummings in his return to welterweight is not an easy task, but “Trator” is confident that the fight will be over when they hit the ground.

”He’s dangerous everywhere,” Prazeres said of Cummings, who enters the bout coming off submission wins over Alexander Yakovlev and Nathan Coy. “His striking is good, but when we collide he will see that I’m complicated, too, even stronger than him, and I will be able to take him down to use my jiu-jitsu. It will be complicated for him, especially if he’s on his back. I will close the distance, take him down and finish the fight. The fight ends on the ground, no doubt.”

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