In a battle of UFC veteran vs. UFC newcomer, Warley Alves welcomes Mounir Lazzez into octagon for the second fight of Lazzez’s UFC career. Lazzez is 10-1 as a professional with eight victories by knockout.
Alves made his entry to the UFC in 2014, after going 3-0 on TUF Brazil 3 and being declared the Middleweight winner. He is 13-4 as a professional with eight finishes, five of them submissions. He’s 3-4 over his last seven, dating back to his decision loss to Bryan Barberena in 2016, but that loss was preceded by guillotine victories over Nordine Taleb and Colby Covington.
Alves is a heavy-hitting and well-credentialed kickboxer. He was a consistent national champion in Brazil, and he shows that keen striking acumen every time he steps into the octagon. He has the ability to counter strike or lead the action, but he does prefer to be moving forward when he throws his power hooks.
He whips in low kicks and kicks to the body, has a mean uppercut and rips the body with his hooks. He is a very intelligent striker who can establish patterns with his striking to set up bombs. He loves his lead round kick, sometimes to a fault.
Alves is very strong in the clinch and can land beautiful knees up the middle there. He has strong throws and hip tosses, and can change levels into single and double leg takedowns. He’s a solid wrestler with good ground and pound, as well as a jiu jitsu black belt with a nasty guillotine.
Mounir Lazzez is a massive body for the welterweight division and uses his range very effectively. He’s an advanced Muay Thai striker with excellent technique. Most of his career victories have come by knockout but, in his UFC debut against Abdul Razak Alhassan, he showed poise over the course of a three-round unanimous decision victory.
He attacks all three levels of the body equally. He has a strong jab, fights with all eight limbs, has great head movement and footwork and is an overall impressive striker. He has powerful knees up the middle, both from range and in the clinch, probably his most effective strike. He lands beautiful lead up-elbows and step-in crossing elbows
Lazzez is also a very strong wrestler. He doesn’t have very advanced jiu jitsu but he does have strong top control skills and works to land nasty elbows from side control and top mount. His takedown defense is solid but mostly relies on his body strength.
Warley Alves has shown a concerning vulnerability to knees up the middle, and that’s one of Lazzez’s best strikes. Personally, I think that’s the strike that might lead to the end of this fight. I don’t see Alves as a very live underdog here. Though he has more experience in the octagon, Lazzez is a smarter fighter and I don’t think Alves has the power to hurt him.
Takedowns and a grappling-heavy gameplay may be Alves’ best hope to win the fight, but I’m not sold he would even have the advantage on the ground. Alves likely won’t be able to get inside on Lazzez’s four-inch reach advantage.
Lazzez is a safe parlay piece on the Moneyline, but I like a 2:1 wager on the knockout vs. the decision here. Lazzez by KO/TKO is +125 while Lazzez by decision is +220. A 2u wager on KO/TKO along with a 1u wager on the decision guarantees profit as long as Lazzez wins, which he should, though the payout will be better by KO/TKO, which is the more likely result, but Alves is tough to get out of there . There’s almost no chance Lazzez submits Alves.