UFC 291: Gabriel Bonfim is the fighter to watch

Gabriel Bonfim is the fighter to watch as he looks to keep his undefeated record in tact at UFC 291.
Gabriel Bonfim
Gabriel Bonfim / Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the UFC was in Salt Lake City, Leon Edwards shocked the world, and on Saturday, the BMF title is on the line. A BMF in his own right, Brazil's Gabriel "Marretinha" Bonfim is the featured fight on the prelims, taking on 11-fight UFC veteran Trevin Giles. Bonfim is coming off a very successful debut, while Giles is looking for his third straight win for the second time in his UFC career.

The 25-year-old Bonfim fights out of Brasilia, going pro in 2014. With an undefeated 14-0 record including all finishes, Bonfim went 10-0 on the regional scene before joining Legacy Fighting Alliance. Bonfim would go on to win the promotion's welterweight grand prix and become the seventh welterweight champion in LFA history. Bonfim caught the eye of Dana White and was featured on the Contender Series in 2022. Bonfim finished Trey Waters in the first round and was signed, making his debut at UFC 283. Bonfim would finish Mounir Lazzez in under 50 seconds and is now set as the feature fight on the prelims of UFC 291, facing the biggest test of his young career.

Gabriel Bonfim faces the biggest test of his career in veteran Trevin Giles

Giles was also an LFA veteran, going 9-0 with eight finishes before signing with the UFC in 2017. Before moving down to welterweight, Giles fought at middleweight and went 4-3 before the transition, with notable wins over Brendan Allen, Ryan Spann, James Krause and Roman Dolidze. Giles made his welterweight debut last year and is 2-1 since, most recently beating Preston Parsons at UFC San Antonio.

Bonfim is one of the biggest favorites on the card and is expected to beat the veteran, but it won't be easy. Giles holds a modest 16-4 record and is 7-4 in the UFC with plenty of experience. Bonfim should look to use his grappling against the brown belt in Giles, as 11 of his wins have come by way of submission. Bonfim holds the slight height advantage as Giles holds a two-inch reach advantage, but another impressive win for Bonfim could mean a ranked opponent in his next fight.

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