Matheus Nicolau


Gets benefit of doubt in Vegas
March 13, 2021
Nicolau defeated Manel Kape via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Nicolau was fortunate to emerge victorious after Kape righted the ship after a poor first round, but it's better to be lucky than good in this sport sometimes. The Brazilian's strong start was on the strength of a pair of successful takedowns. Kape was also plagued by a bout of inactivity in the early going. Nicolau is probably a bit better on the mat than the feet, but he does have four career knockout wins and is still just 28 years old. There is theoretical upside here given Nicolau's youth and all-around skill set, but Nicolau needs a dominant victory over a highly-ranked opponent in order to make a name for himself in a thin division.
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Set to face Kape on March 13
March 3, 2021
Nicolau will face Manel Kape at the UFC Event on March 13, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
Nicolau's previously scheduled matchup against Tagir Ulanbekov was called off earlier Wednesday, so that left the flyweight without an opponent at the UFC Event on March 13. Enter Kape, who is currently battling a thumb injury but should be medically cleared and ready to go when the two face off. Kape most recently lost to Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision back in February while Nicolau will be making his UFC return after a near three-year hiatus.
Upcoming fight cancelled
March 3, 2021
Nicolau's flyweight matchup against Tagir Ulanbekov has been removed from the UFC Fight Night event on March 13's card, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
The reason for Nicolau and Ulanbekov's current cancellation remains undisclosed. The two flyweights were previously scheduled to face off at UFC Fight Night in January, but Ulanbekov had to withdraw from that match due to undisclosed purposes, leading to a March rescheduling.
UFC return rescheduled
February 15, 2021
Nicolau's flyweight matchup against Tagir Ulanbekov has been rescheduled for a UFC Fight Night event on March 13, Raphael Marinho of Combate reports.
Nicolau started his UFC career off on a 3-0 run but suffered a setback against Dustin Ortiz in the summer of 2018 and hasn't made the walk to the Octagon since. He had his contract with the UFC terminated at that time, but since went on to pick up victories over Alan Gabriel dos Santos and Felipe Efrain under the banners of Future FC and Brave CF, respectively. The 28-year-old was scheduled to make his return Jan. 23, but the fight was called off after Ulanbeckov withdrew due to unspecified reasons. Nicolau enters as approximatlely a (+155) betting underdog for the rescheduled matchup.
Needs new opponent
December 19, 2020
Nicolau needs a new opponent for his scheduled fight at UFC 257 on Jan. 23 after Tagir Ulanbekov withdrew for undisclosed reasons Saturday, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
The withdrawal comes just one day after the fight was announced. Thankfully for Nicolau, it also comes more than a month before the date of the event, so there's seemingly more than enough time for him to remain on the card against a different opponent.
Returning to UFC in January
December 18, 2020
Nicolau will face Tagir Ulanbekov in a flyweight bout at UFC 257 on Jan. 23 in Abu Dhabi, Farah Hannoun reports.
Nicolau had his contract terminated by UFC in late 2018, but he's poised to make a return run in 2021. The 25-year-old picked up a win in each of the Brave CF and Future FC last year but hasn't officially fought during 2020. Ulanbekov made his UFC debut in October with a victory over Bruno Silva (unanimous decision).