Octagon Oracles: LFA Light Heavyweight Champion Fabio Cherant

Fabio Cherant (second from left) celebrates with his team. Credit: Will Paul, CES MMA

Fabio Cherant stepping in on only three days notice will be make his UFC debut at Saturday night’s UFC 260 pay-per-view event. The 7-1 light heavyweight has an impressive record with his sole loss coming to UFC fighter Aleksa Camur during the 2019 season of “Dana White’s Contender Series.” That loss to Camur came in 2019 on the contender series. Since that loss, Cherant has gone on a three-fight run on the regional scene which culminated with him earning the LFA Light Heavyweight Championship.

Cherant will be taking on Alonzo Menifield who is another contender series veteran. Menifield was originally scheeduled to fight William Knight before he was removed from the card. After starting off hot in the UFC, going 2-0 with two finishes, Menifield now on a two-fight skid. Since Cherant is taking this fight on short notice, all the pressure is on Menifield.

Shawn Bitter

Grade: B-
Prior to his fight on the “Contender Series” in 2019, I wasn’t too impressed with Cherant. In that fight with Aleska Camur, I thought he had a decent performance before losing. Cherant went on to win his next three fights and looked much improved. Where he has impressed the most as of late has been his striking. Cherant, in fact, has solid striking. At times he will throw one shot at a time, but when he lets go his combinations are smooth. I wouldn’t say he’s some superb striker but it’s no doubt still improving. Cherant has a bad habit of letting guys press him on his back foot and putting him against the cage. Cherant is only 26-years-old and at this rate, I think he’s gonna get better and better. I do think for 205-pounds he is too small as I think middleweight may be more appropriate.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Joe McDonagh

Grade: B-
I’m biased here. I’m a New Englander and have watched Cherant grow as a fighter for years. His last two appearances have probably been the best Cherant we have seen yet. The weight can be an issue but his mentality seems to be strong. With Cherant, it isn’t a question of being psychically gifted, but more so of his mindset. He has been on a mission as of late, using the recent loss of his mother as motivation to work harder. “This whole year is dedicated to you and making you proud,” said Cherant about to his late mother in a recent Instagram post.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Vince Rodemer

Grade: C
What I remember about Cherant from his “Contender Series” fight in 2019 against Aleksa Camur is that he was pretty raw. He has the body type to be a force at light heavyweight, but he needed to get more time in the octagon to refine his game and gain more experience. Since then, Cherant has done that. He has gone 3-0 since the “Contender Series” setback and has gone the distance twice. I like his forward pressure and I like that he can get a takedown if he needs it. He’s a bit of a fireplug, so his top pressure is great. It’s probably a blessing in disguise that he didn’t get the call when he was 24. I like his chances to make an impact more now than I did two years ago.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Joshua Yule

Grade: C-
Charant has a lot to like for a 205er. Big, strong southpaw, a lot of power, and decent hand-fighting. Decent both on the counter and in moving forward with combinations. Good punching accuracy too. He is very dangerous from the headlock position in terms of submissions, which is his primary takedown defense. Right now, an issue his worst aspect is that he gets backed up quite easily in response to pressure. It’s an extremely noticeable weakness. This footwork problem is his biggest limiter. Also, his head movement is a worry. While he has a good guillotine choke, he doesn’t seem to have particularly great offensive or defensive wrestling. Nonetheless, there is potential there though for a LHW.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Kristen King

Grade: C
Cherant may not have had the best 2019, but he certainly made up for it in 2020. I like what I have seen from Cherant in both the striking and grappling departments, but he does have his flaws. He moves forward often and hits his opponents with either a stinging straight left or a fast combination, but that forward pressure he applies can also lead to his undoing as we saw in the Camur fight. While attempting to throw one of those straight left hands, Cherant leaves himself open, which allowed Camur to land a flying knee flush on his chin and bring about the end of the fight. He cannot do too much of that, especially if he is taking on plenty of those heavy-hitters in the light heavyweight division.

Cherant’s grappling is good, but he definitely needs work on his takedown defense. He may threaten with a guillotine or rear-naked choke, but that may not be enough against a higher-caliber opponent who can outwrestle him.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion