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UFC 302 Sleeper Match Brown vs Zaleski: Prime vs Past It?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to Newark, New Jersey, is upon us, and a plethora of high-profile names will invade the east side on Saturday. One fight is, however, flying under the radar, and it holds the potential to blossom into an absolute brawl in the Garden State this weekend.

Finding and maintaining a top-15 welterweight ranking has eluded Randy Brown and Elizeu Zaleski thus far, but as the two meet on the UFC 302 main card, put the grappling aside because these two are expected to throw kicks and punches until their heart’s content.

UFC 302 Sleeper Match Brown vs Zaleski: Prime vs Past It?
Randy Brown of Jamaica/Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

The MMA odds are tightly matched; we have a skilled boxer versus a credentialed Muay Thai specialist, so join us today as we unpack Brown and Zaleski from all angles.


Brown vs Zaleski Fight Information

  • Date & Time: Saturday, June. 1, 2024 – 06:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: The Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
  • How to Watch:UFC Fight Pass
  • Main Event Bout: Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier
  • Co-Main Event Bout: Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa




Brown vs Zaleski Betting Odds


“Rude Boy” – Randy Brown At His Peak

Between 2016 and 2020, when a twenty-something Randy Brown was navigating the waters of a talent-stacked welterweight division, he undoubtedly faced several setbacks. However, his evolution has been real of late, and aged 33, “Rude Boy” has seemingly reached his peak after winning six of his previous seven UFC bouts overall.

The straight right, which flatlined Muslim Salikho in February, was something of beauty. With a monstrous 6-foot-3-inch frame in the 170lb weight class, he has the potential to be a serious problem for those discrediting his octagon skills.


Elizeu Zaleski: Past His Prime

In contrast, where the heck has Elizeu Zaleski been? Since the end of 2020, we’ve seen him compete on just three occasions, which is less than 50% of the cage appearances compared to his weekend opponent, Brown.

During his early UFC tenure, many had tipped Zaleski as a future title contender as he bounced Sean Strickland’s skull off the canvas and ran through the opposition effortlessly. Unfortunately, the past three years have displayed too much inactivity. While his power will always be a problem for his foes, he’s now 37 and potentially competing far beyond his prime.


Zaleski dos Santos Embracing the Spotlight

With an English interpreter at hand, Brazil’s Zaleski dos Santos explained to UFC.com what it means to be on the UFC 302 main card lineup:

“Being on a PPV event, a numbered event, fighting on the main card, all things bring eyeballs. People will be watching. I’ve done a lot of fights, closing out the prelims and being in other positions throughout the card, but I think this fight is definitely putting me in the spotlight.”


Brown vs Zaleski: The Tale of The Tape

Pro Record (Win/Loss)
7 KOs, 5 Submissions
14 KOs, 3 Submissions
Avg Fight Time
Knockdown Avg (15 min)
Avg Strikes Landed Per Min
Takedown Avg (15 min)
Win/Loss (Last 5)


Brown and Zaleski: A Striking Battle or Nah?

A 6-foot-3-inch height and 78-inch reach is a huge advantage as a welterweight fighter who enjoys striking. More to the point, Brown doesn’t play games with his size; the man utilizes the jab, works his feet in and out of range, and has pinpoint accuracy to deliver straights from his orthodox stance that quickly lets the opposition know he also has power.

Brown doesn’t kick as much as he probably should, but his boxing approach has worked wonders thus far, and if all else fails, he’ll likely hold a grappling advantage this weekend.

Opposed Brown will be the Muay Thai approach of Zaleski dos Santos, who prefers to strike but from a tight, close-quarters stance, delivering blistering kicks to match powerful offensive punches.

The problem for Zaleski this weekend might be the inability to get on the inside of Brown. This might force a kicking game, and if he isn’t savvy to the counters, Brown’s length could be a serious problem for the Brazilian.


  • Zaleski dos Santos has gone the distance in four consecutive UFC bouts
  • Zaleski dos Santos has lost just one of his 14 UFC bouts inside the distance
  • Brown has won six of his previous seven UFC bouts


Brown and Zaleski dos Santos At BetUS Sportsbook

Despite the disparity in activeness, the UFC odds aren’t disrespecting Zaleski, as believers of the underdog can find a conservative +150 price. However, while his ability to finish fights has been on display for the last decade, he hasn’t managed to finish a fight since 2019, and Brown will arguably be the most experienced striker he’s faced in years.

I love the respect oddsmakers give Zaleski because this opens up a playable moneyline on Brown. Durability concerns around Brown are a farce, and without the need to worry about a grappling offense this weekend, he’ll be the more complete fighter, and we might see the best version of “Rude Boy” yet.


My Best Bet: 



Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Questions Of The Day

Who’s the biggest underdog at UFC 302?

From a betting perspective, the biggest underdog at UFC 302 is Dustin Poirier at +400. It just goes to show how much respect people have for Islam Makhachev’s skills, who’ll enter New Jersey with a -600 outright price tag.

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