Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Danish lightweight Mads Burnell as he makes his UFC debut against veteran Michel Prazeres at UFC Fight Night 115.
Weight Class: Lightweight
Camp: Arte Suave
Career Record: 8-1
Key Wins: None
Key Losses: None
The 23-year-old Danish lightweight enters the UFC on a three-fight winning streak. All eight of his victories have been by stoppage.
- Good work rate
- Uses a lot of lower leg kicks
- When in top position, he does well to control opponents
- Really crafty submission game
- Has fought mainly at featherweight during his career
- Lacks fight ending knockout power
Offensive Striking: D
Striking Defense: D+
Knockout Power: D
Athleticism / Speed: D+
Offensive Wrestling: C-
Takedown Defense: D+
Overall Grade: D+
Matchup with Michel Prazeres
Burnell makes his UFC debut against the Brazilian veteran Prazeres, who is one of the most underrated fighters in the division with a 6-2 mark in the promotion. Burnell has a crafty submission game and a decent enough offensive wrestling game for a UFC newcomer. The problem for him here is that Prazeres is a very strong wrestler. He averages a whopping 4.36 takedowns per 15 minutes in the Octagon. Burnell is good in top control, but I don’t see him winning the wrestling battle against a very physical lightweight like Prazeres. In his bouts prior to his move to the UFC, he won with takedowns and securing submissions. Prazeres has never been finished in his MMA career and is an accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Burnell needs to show real improvements in his striking if he can threaten Prazeres .Without much of a striking game, he’s not going to be able to keep Prazeres honest. Look for Prazeres to get the better of the striking in this bout and control the wrestling aspects to win a clear decision on the scorecards. At -360 at time of publication, Prazeres is right about where I handicap him in this bout. The more likely scenario is fight goes over 2.5 rounds. It’s currently lined at -165. If that line moves to -140 or better, it’s a total I’d recommend considering.
Burnell is a young fighter who has shown an ability to grapple and secure difficult submissions. His grappling ability will make him a dangerous opponent for some lightweights in the UFC. His striking game still leaves a lot to be desired and can be exploited by even the lower rung fighters on the roster. Burnell needs to make some significant improvements if he’s going to be able to stick long-term in the talent-laden lightweight division.
Check out Burnell in some of his most recent fights…
Burnell vs. Fernando Duarte
Burnell vs. Anthony Riggio
Burnell vs. Emerik Youmbi