UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez- Tim Elliot vs Matheus Nicolau: Prediction and Analysis

Published 10/09/2021, 12:54 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (L-R) Tim Elliott punches Jordan Espinosa in their flyweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC flyweights Tim Elliot and Matheus Nicolau will meet in the middle at UFC Vegas 39 going down on Saturday night. Both men are ranked inside the top 15 and are keen to make their way upwards toward contention. The fight is placed right in the middle of the main card proving the kind of fireworks UFC matchmakers expect from the contest.

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The undisputed champion Brandon Moreno is occupied with an upcoming title fight rematch in a rather top-heavy division. ‘The Assassin Baby’ is keen to become a legacy champion within the division, and he’s ready to face all comers. The winner of Elliot vs Nicolau will take on a crucial step forward towards title contention.

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UFC Vegas 39: Elliot vs Nicolau

Tim Elliot has been with the UFC since 2012, barring a few fights in Titan FC back in 2015. He’s a veteran fighter in every sense of the word and he’s faced top-tier competition right from his UFC debut. Moreover, the 17-11 divisional staple has managed to remain a major player in the division despite going through two different generations of flyweights.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 30: (R-L) Brandon Royval punches Tim Elliott in their flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Elliot is currently on a two-fight win streak and he’s ranked number 9 in the flyweight division. He’s comfortable in all aspects of the fight game, but he’s especially adept at keeping the fight at his pace. Few fighters have the ability to slow down the opponent’s forward momentum and start landing counters on the fly.

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Matheus Nicolau is not short on MMA experience in his own right and he comes in with an impressive 16-2 record. The 28-year-old Brazilian fighter is on a three-fight win streak and he’s fresh off a split decision win over Manel Kape. It’s clear that Nicolau has what it takes to give any top flyweight fighter more than what they bargained for.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 30: (L-R) Louis Smolka kicks Matheus Nicolau of Brazil in their flyweight bout during the UFC 219 event inside T-Mobile Arena on December 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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The number 11 ranked flyweight will have to be wary of incoming traffic as Elliot is crafty with cutting off the cage. Additionally, Tim Elliot poses a grappling threat when the fight tapers off towards the cage, thus leading to Nicolau searching for the center of the mat.

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Prediction: Tim Elliot to claim a second round submission

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Darryl Pinto

1930 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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