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The native Brazilian athletes of the UFC 301 event in Rio
Athletes

BRAZILIAN BREAKDOWN | UFC 301

There's A Chance For A Brazilian Fighter To Win Every Bout Of Our Return To Rio. Here's A Preview Of Each One.

As we count down to the UFC’s return to Rio de Janeiro, it’s worth noting that just as with our last visit to Brazil in 2023, the matchmakers wanted to make Saturday’s UFC 301 event a special one for fans in attendance at Farmasi Arena. Each and every bout on the card has a chance for a native Brazilian to win and give fans in Cidade Maravilhosa (“The Marvellous City”) 14 different chances to celebrate. Here’s how that breaks down.

Alexandre Pantoja

Alexandre Pantoja com o cinturão peso-mosca do UFC após a vitória no UFC 290. (Foto por Steve Marcus/ Getty Images)
Alexandre Pantoja celebrates after defeating UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno during UFC 290 at T-Mobile Arena on July 08, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pantoja won the title by split decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Division: Flyweight

Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Professional Record: 27-5

Streak: Won his last five.

The Scoop: What a sweet, sweet homecoming it will be when the flyweight champion headlines his first UFC pay-per-view in his first UFC bout in Brazil. Since making his promotional debut back in 2017, “The Cannibal” has fought a who’s who of 125-pound talents, defeating Brandon Moreno (twice), Brandon Royval (twice), Alex Perez, Wilson Reis and Manel Kape, to name just a few, and racked up a stack of performance bonuses along the way. The humble and unassuming Rio native will look to add to those accolades by turning back surging contender Steve Erceg and enshrining himself among the great champions of Brazilian MMA.

José Aldo

José Aldo | Top Finishes
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José Aldo | Top Finishes
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Division: Bantamweight

Birthplace: Manaus, Brazil

Professional Record: 31-8

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Streak: Lost his last bout. 3-1 in his last 4.

The Scoop: It simply didn’t feel right when José Aldo, one of the greatest to ever do it, decided to retire following a loss to Merab Dvalishvili. The former featherweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer had a good run going at bantamweight, and an errant outing against the man who will soon compete for the title just wasn’t the sort of closure designed to satisfy fight fans. Mercifully, “The King Of Rio” has un-retired to put the universe back in alignment, taking on the streaking Jonathan Martinez in Saturday’s co-main event. A win in front of his adoring legions would not only rocket him right back into the rankings, but continue the story that we still aren’t ready to end.

Vitor Petrino

Vitor Petrino of Brazil reacts after his victory against Tyson Pedro of Australia in a light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 02, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Vitor Petrino of Brazil reacts after his victory against Tyson Pedro of Australia in a light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 02, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Division: Light Heavyweight

Birthplace: Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Professional Record: 11-0

Streak: Undefeated.

The Scoop: On a pay-per-view card stacked with rising talents to watch, Vitor Petrino is one you should absolutely be in your seat for. After breaking into the rankings on the strength of impressive wins over Tyson Pedro, Modestas Bukauskas and Marcin Prachnio, Petrino wasted no time in calling out former title challenger Anthony Smith, who accepted and will test the striking of Brazil’s top light heavyweight prospect in this main card banger.

Michel Pereira

Michel Pereira | Best Moments
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Michel Pereira | Best Moments
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Division: Middleweight

Birthplace: Maraba, Para, Brazil

Professional Record: 30-11, 2 NC

Streak: Won his last seven.

The Scoop: Hands-down one of the most entertaining middleweights to ever strap on the four-ounce gloves, “Demolidor” will make his case for the rankings at UFC 301 when he meets the dangerous Ihor Potieria. A win Saturday would make it eight in a row for the man whose style boasts elements of karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling, all wrapped in a thrillingly unpredictable package.

Caio Borralho

Caio Borralho of Brazil knees Michal Oleksiejczuk of Poland in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Caio Borralho of Brazil knees Michal Oleksiejczuk of Poland in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Division: Middleweight

Birthplace: São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil

Professional Record: 15-1, 1 NC

Watch Caio's UFC 301 Interview

Streak: Won his last 12 bouts.

The Scoop: In 2015, “The Natural” suffered his only career loss and has never looked back. Since back-to-back appearances on the 2021 season of Dana White’s Contender Series, the charismatic Borralho has made it look easy in his five UFC bouts and now finds himself comfortably in the Top 15. A judo brown belt, jiu-jitsu black belt, and Muay Thai black belt, he’ll look to start cementing contender status with a win over another grappling ace, Scotland’s Paul Craig.

Joanderson Brito

Joanderson Brito Sinks In A Standing Ninja Choke | UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Craig
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Joanderson Brito Sinks In A Standing Ninja Choke | UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Craig
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Division: Featherweight

Birthplace: Santa Helena, Maranhao, Brazil

Professional Record: 16-3-1

Streak: Won his last four.

The Scoop: After dropping his UFC debut back in 2022, “Tubarao” responded with three consecutive first round finishes and, most recently, a second-round ninja choke finish of Jonathan Pearce last November. With pro wins over Diego Lopes and Chepe Mariscal, don’t be shocked if we see Brito with a number next to his name before the year is over if he can get past Wales’ Jack Shore at UFC 301.

Iasmin Lucindo

Iasmin Lucindo of Brazil reacts after her victory over Polyana Viana of Brazil in a strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Iasmin Lucindo of Brazil reacts after her victory over Polyana Viana of Brazil in a strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC)

Division: Strawweight

Birthplace: Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Preview The Entire Rio Card Here

Professional Record: 15-5

Streak: Won her last two.

The Scoop: UFC CEO Dana White met Iasmin Lucindo as she exited the Octagon following her debut—a loss to Yazmin Juaregui—to tell her how much he appreciated her effort and her heart. She’d follow that loss with two dramatic wins, most recently an armbar submission of Polyana Viana. She’ll face her toughest test to date in former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Another dramatic victory and the sky is truly the limit for this shining 22-year-old talent.

Elves Brener

Elves Brener Pulls Off The Knockout Upset | UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Elves Brener Pulls Off The Knockout Upset | UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov
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Division: Lightweight

Birthplace: Maues, Amazonas, Brazil

Professional Record: 16-3

Streak: Won five in a row.

The Scoop: A rising lightweight to keep your eye on, Brener had a great night at the office when he KOd Kaynan Kruschewsky at last year’s UFC São Paulo. It was his fifth straight win and his ninth first round finish. Equally adept at jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, he rarely needs the scorecards, and he’ll aim to avoid them once again versus Kyrgyzstan's Myktybek Orolbai.

Jean Silva

Jean Silva Delivers TKO In His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Ankalaev vs Walker 2
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Jean Silva Delivers TKO In His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Ankalaev vs Walker 2
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Division: Featherweight

Birthplace: Foz do Iguaçu, Parana, Brazil

Professional Record: 12-2

Streak: Won nine in a row.

The Scoop: Unofficially the owner of the longest walkout in UFC history when he made his debut last January, Jean Silva is better known for his absolute fury when he finally does enter the Octagon. With 11 finishes across 12 pro wins “Lord” is, without hyperbole, already among the most “must see” athletes currently competing at 145 pounds.

Joaquim Silva

Joaquim Silva Finishes Ronson With Ground And Pound In Round 2 | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Yan
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Joaquim Silva Finishes Ronson With Ground And Pound In Round 2 | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Yan
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Division: Lightweight

Birthplace: Anapolis, Goias, Brazil

Professional Record: 13-5

Streak: Won his last bout.

The Scoop: A veteran of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, Silva has been wowing UFC audiences since way back in 2015. His take-one-to-give-one punching style can occasionally land him on the wrong side of the ledger, but it invariably results in some of the most fan-friendly fisticuffs you could ask for. He meets Drakkar Klose in the featured early prelim Saturday.

Dione Barbosa

Dione Barbosa of Brazil reacts after her submission victory over Rainn Guerrero in a flyweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season seven, week five at UFC APEX on September 05, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Dione Barbosa of Brazil reacts after her submission victory over Rainn Guerrero in a flyweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season seven, week five at UFC APEX on September 05, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

Division: Women’s Flyweight

Birthplace: Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Professional Record: 6-2

Streak: Won last three fights.

The Scoop: More impressive than her contract-winning first round armbar on the last season of Dana White’s Contender Series was the fact that Dione Barbosa stepped in on just one week’s notice to do so. A black belt in both jiu-jitsu and judo, “The Witch” had an impressive run in LFA before her DWCS victory and is a also a mentee of former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. She’ll face another UFC debutant on the UFC 301 prelims: Lithuania’s Ernesta Kareckaite.

Mauricio Ruffy

Mauricio Ruffy of Brazil punches Raimond Magomedaliev of Kazakstan in a welterweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season seven, week nine at UFC APEX on October 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Mauricio Ruffy of Brazil punches Raimond Magomedaliev of Kazakstan in a welterweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season seven, week nine at UFC APEX on October 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Division: Lightweight

Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil

Professional Record: 9-1

Streak: Won four in a row.

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The Scoop: Another fighter making his UFC debut on the strength of a Dana White’s Contender Series win, Mauricio Ruffy brings some undeniable punching power to the 155-pound ranks. All of his wins as a pro have come by KO, and he’ll test his heavy hands against Aussie Jamie Mullarkey’s similar ethos. Interesting side note: Ruffy feels a deep connection to the anime classic One Piece and its main character.

Ismael Bonfim

Ismael Bonfim of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Terrance McKinney in a lightweight fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
Ismael Bonfim of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Terrance McKinney in a lightweight fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Division: Lightweight

Birthplace: Brasília, Brazil

Professional Record: 19-4

Streak: Lost his last fight. 6-1 in his last seven.

The Scoop: Along with his brother Gabriel, Bonfim is one half of the most exciting siblings currently in the UFC. On the heels of his 2022 win on Dana White’s Contender Series, he notched a Performance of the Night bonus the last time we were in Rio for UFC 283 thanks to his stunning flying knee KO of Terrance McKinney.  “Marreta” ran into a buzz saw last time out when he faced a surging Benoît Saint Denis, but his body of work suggests he won’t be long in the loss column. To that end, he’ll try to defeat veteran Vinc Pichel in the UFC 301 early prelims.

Alessandro Costa

Alessandro Costa of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Jimmy Flick in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Alessandro Costa of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Jimmy Flick in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Division: Flyweight

Birthplace: Manaus, Brazil

Professional Record: 13-4

Streak: Lost his last bout. 8-2 in his last 10.

The Scoop: Although he’s had an uneven start to his UFC tenure, his two losses came at the hands of the man fighting for the title on this very card (Steve Erceg) and the hands of another man frequently in the title conversation (Amir Albazi). His TKO victory over Jimmy Flick last June is a testament to his dangerous style, as is his undefeated six-fight run in the LUX promotion. He’ll look to get back in the win column vs Peru’s Kevin Borjas to kick off the festivities Saturday night.

Order UFC 301: Pantoja vs Erceg

UFC 301: Pantoja vs Erceg took place live from Farmasi Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 4, 2024. See the Final Prelim and Main Card Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!