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Brunno Ferreira of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Gregory Rodrigues of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
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Expect A Fearless Brunno Ferreira

Powerful Brunno Ferreira Plans To Put The Middleweight Division On Notice, Starting With An Eye-Opening Performance Against Phil Hawes

If you put on thirty seconds of Brunno Ferreira highlights, it’s easy to see why “The Hulk” has never seen a third round as a professional fighter. The 31-year-old is an all-action fighter, and he possesses incredible power.

For Ferreira’s first ten fights, the brute force approach worked to perfection, but following a stunning debut knockout win over Gregory Rodrigues, Ferreira ran into a buzzsaw in Nursulton Ruziboev.

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The veteran of almost 50 fights caught one of Ferreira’s kicks and delivered a straight right down the pipe that sent the Brazilian middleweight flying onto his back. Ruziboev finished Ferreira off with ground-and-pound strikes and, just like that, the Brazilian had been ousted from the ranks of the unbeaten.

While it’s always disappointing to lose, Ferreira believes the fight was exactly the type of wakeup call he needed.

Brunno Ferreira of Brazil poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
Brunno Ferreira of Brazil poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

“It’s about taking two steps back to take one forward,” Ferreira told UFC.com. “Every athlete needs to find a balance in everything. Too much of anything is bad and that fight was something I had to go through. That knockout showed me that I’m not invincible. Nobody likes to lose but I’ve applied that in my life.”

Ferreira used to have some mental blocks he’d face when he was in the Octagon. Struggling with anxiety and relying too much on his power was going to catch up with him at some point – and it did – and with his mind right, he’s coming back in 2024 to climb the middleweight rankings.

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One of the ways he intends on doing that is by showcasing his well-rounded skills. Sure, he has power in his hands, but he was originally a judo and jiu jitsu fighter. After the loss to Ruziboev, he worked heavily on footwork and how to stay lighter on his feet.

His first chance to use those improvements will come this weekend, when Ferreira faces Phil Hawes on the main card of UFC Fight Night: Ankalaev vs Walker 2.

Brunno Ferreira of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Gregory Rodrigues of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
Brunno Ferreira of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Gregory Rodrigues of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Ferreira sees the fight with Hawes as a perfect stylistic matchup to execute everything he’s been working on.

“I see a lot of holes. I think this is a very good fight for me because I can show all my power, all my tools, striking, takedowns, and lead this fight the best way possible while always looking for the knockout.” Ferreira said. “We’re both knockout artists, but I’m coming off one loss and I watched his last three fights. I think I only need one shot to end this fight, but I’ll use all my weapons. I will be constantly looking to do my best and I don’t think he’ll be able to handle it.”

What Ferreira saw in three of Hawes’ last four fights is Hawes losing by knockout, and as a knockout artist, it has him licking his chops to step in there and exchange on Saturday.

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“I don’t see this fight going past the second round,” Ferreira predicted. “It might go past the first, but I’m not sure. I’ve already shown my knockout power, but I have added a lot of things to my game. I want to show how good my judo and jiu jitsu skills are. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of takedowns and you’ll be really impressed, but I’ll only use it if I see an opportunity.

“Otherwise, I’ll keep looking for a quick knockout win.”

Brunno Ferreira of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Gregory Rodrigues of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
Brunno Ferreira of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Gregory Rodrigues of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Although he’s confident, Ferreira isn’t overlooking what Hawes brings to the Octagon. He is aware of Hawes’ striking ability and how until things went a little sideways many thought “No Hype” was a guaranteed contender at 185 pounds in 2024. In this fight, he expects Hawes to fight with some desperation, and he’ll try to impose his will. 

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And that’s just fine with Ferreira. He wants to beat the best Phil Hawes possible, and he wants to start his year off with a performance that gets everyone talking.

“It’s a fight where both athletes will give it their all. That’s what I came here for,” Ferreira said. “I’m coming fearless for this fight. I want to show my game and I feel calm. I feel calm and that will help me do my best, feel happy in there, enjoy this energy, and start the year on a good note.”

UFC Fight Night: Ankalaev vs Walker 2 took placelive from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on January 13, 2024. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!