Not many fighters get another chance in the UFC after a 0-4 start, but Daniel Lacerda is a rare case.
Lacerda, a flyweight from Chute Boxe, believes his exciting style is the reason behind his fifth octagon opportunity, and he might change things up for what he hopes is a job-saving victory.
Lacerda draws Edgar Chairez on Saturday night at Noche UFC after suffering four stoppage defeats in a span of 15 months. On this week’s episode of MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast, he emphasized that winning matters, but ultimately it’s his instinct to deliver exciting matches to MMA fans.
“The intention is to win,” Lacerda said. “We always go to a fight with a strategy, but everything can change over the course of the fight. I will go there to put on a safe fight, but I will also deliver, you know? That’s what I do. Something might go out of control, and we might need to recalculate the route and go back, of course, but I want to go for the knockout or the submission.”
“I don’t talk too much outside the octagon, I’m no controversial guy, but my work speaks for itself when I’m in there,” he added. “I don’t disappoint. Even before I joined the UFC, no one would sit down and be sleepy watching my fights, because I keep people on their feet. I’ll go forward if the crowd is too quiet, you know? I do that in training, too. I like to attack and put on beautiful fights.”
Lacerda jokes that his coaches might get mad at him for his style, because he can’t sit back and watch an opening pass by without exploring it to its fullest.
“I always add things halfway through,” he said. “If I land a jab or a kick, and the guy gives me a look like he’s in pain, I’ll go for it. I won’t think twice. I know he might throw something back, but a punch from a semi-knocked out guy won’t drop me.”
Lacerda feels Chute Boxe talents have now become a “target” in the organization after so many impressive performances, especially ones by former lightweight champion and team’s biggest star, Charles Oliveira.
Chairez, who’s 0-1 in the UFC after losing a decision to Tatsuro Taira this past July, was originally slated to face Lacerda’s teammate, Felipe dos Santos, at Dana White’s Contender Series. Instead, both athletes were signed to the UFC. Dos Santos lost a “Fight of the Night” decision to Manel Kape this past weekend at UFC 293.
“I’m training all aspects of the fight, so I go in there and have no surprises,” Lacerda said. “But the path to victory on this fight is to find the distance and put my hands on him, my kicks. If he tries to grapple with me, it could be bad for him, but we’ll eventually grapple, and I think my jiu-jitsu is superior to his and many other fighters in this division. I haven’t had the opportunity to showcase my jiu-jitsu yet, but when I do, you’ll see what I’m talking about.”