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Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos Eyes Main Card Breakthrough at UFC 302 Against Randy Brown

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Black Belt Plus

As he marks his tenth year with the UFC, welterweight contender Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos prepares for a pivotal bout against Randy Brown in the UFC 302 main card opener this Saturday in Newark, New Jersey. Throughout his UFC tenure, dos Santos has compiled an impressive 10-3-1 record, but has primarily fought in preliminary bouts. This main card appearance represents a significant step forward, aiming to capture wider attention and propel his career further.

Dos Santos, often known for his dynamic finishes and tenacious performances, has participated in three previous pay-per-view events, albeit on the prelims. He sees the upcoming fight as a critical opportunity to shine under a larger spotlight. “Being on a pay-per-view event, a numbered event, fighting on the main card, those are all things that are gonna bring in eyeballs," dos Santos noted, speaking through an interpreter. He has previously excelled in preliminary main events but recognizes the enhanced exposure this main card slot offers.

Both dos Santos and Brown share a similar trajectory and ranking within the welterweight division, making this bout a potential turning point for each fighter. Despite boasting a strong track record, including seven consecutive victories and a knockout over Sean Strickland, dos Santos has often been on the fringe of the division's top rankings. The upcoming fight against Brown, who has an 11-5 UFC record and two recent losses, is viewed as crucial for climbing the divisional ladder.

Addressing Brown’s half-joking remark that this fight is a "rankings eliminator," dos Santos disagreed, highlighting the competitive nature of the welterweight division. "Honestly, I think the rankings are kind of irrelevant, especially in our division. We’re in the most difficult division, deepest division, so it’s always going to be a stacked division, always going to be difficult to get to the top," he explained.

For dos Santos, the fight against Brown is just another step in his career. Despite not feeling added pressure, he recognizes the importance of every bout in his journey toward the top of the division. “Any fight is gonna put you closer, any fight is gonna put you further, so I’m not thinking about pressure for this one,” he stated. Confident in his abilities, dos Santos is focused on delivering a memorable performance that could finally earn him the recognition and advancement he seeks in the welterweight ranks.

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