Gabriel Bonfim is a remarkable name in the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight division. Every time he steps into the cage, his impeccable reputation is at stake, a common scenario for the rapidly rising star. Bonfim is expected to put his flawless 15-0 record at risk when he squares off against former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder, Nicolas Dalby. The much-anticipated co-main event of UFC Fight Night 231, scheduled for Nov. 4 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Marretinha,” as he is fondly called for his record of 15 knockouts, is well aware of the high-stake scenario he is walking into.
Despite the pressure, Bonfim seems unfazed as he told an interviewer, “I don’t feel any pressure to stay undefeated. Setbacks are a part of life and of our sport, but we’re working to keep losses from happening and to retire undefeated.” Bonfim is set to face arguably the toughest challenge to-date in Dalby, a 38-year-old fighter who boasts of a 29-fight career and has been on a winning streak with three consecutive victories. Dalby, who last appeared at UFC on ESPN 47 where he unanimously outpointed Muslim Salikhov on June 17, has suffered just one defeat since 2021 at the hands of Tim Means, the former King of the Cage champion. Regardless of Dalby’s extensive experience and accomplishments, Bonfim remains respectful and confident stating, “He has a lot of fights on his record, and he’s been in the UFC for a long time. But now it’s my turn to ascend in the organization.”
Bonfim trains with the Daniel Evangelista-led Cerrado MMA in Brasilia, Brazil. His training partners include Erivan Pereira Silva and Andre Fischer, whom he believes will join him one day in UFC. About his training regimen, Bonfim revealed, “It was a great training camp.” He further added, “We put together the right strategy for the fight against Dalby. Hopefully, everything will work out.” This match marks Bonfim’s second fight in his home country since joining UFC, something he greatly appreciates. Speaking of his homeland fans, he said, “I love the energy of the fans. It helps me a lot. It makes it all more exciting.”
Looking at the future with unwavering determination, Bonfim is certain about his long-term plan. He hopes a convincing victory over Dalby could potentially push him up the competitive ladder. When questioned about his ambitions, Bonfim didn’t hesitate to reveal his larger goal. He said, “My goal stays the same: to be the champ. I know there’s a road ahead for me. I’d like to get into the Top 15 next, so I can fight guys in the Top 15 as I chase after the belt.”