Weekly MMA Prospect Report: 10/29/30-11/4/18
Each week MMA prospect expert Shawn Bitter looks at the top up and coming fighters stepping in the cage around the globe. From the tiniest shows to Bellator prelims we give you the cream of the crop.
M-1 Challenge 98, Friday. (Russia)
Middleweight, Artem Frolov (11-0)
Frolov is at his best when utilizing his wrestling due to his strength and power. Once he gets his hands together, he can elevate his opponent and put them down and has had little to no difficulty doing so against any of his previous opponents. On top, Frolov has excellent control and is a big submission threat as illustrated by the two guillotines, one armbar and triangle submission victories. Despite possessing fight-ending power, Frolov does not usually showcase his striking in his fights but has been showing it more and more each fight. He fights Bruno Silva (18-6) who is on a 4-fight win streak but Frolov should win this with his wrestling.
Welterweight, Pablo Ortmann (8-0)
Ortmann is a Switzerland Muay-Thai champion but is just as dangerous on the mat. Ortmann does need to improve his takedown defense but he holds five submissions in his career, even off his back with three triangles. With the accomplished muay thai, Ortmann does a good job with kickboxing with a head kick knockout in his career. Closing the distance working the clinch and utilizing trips is also what Ortmann does so well. Seems like a good prospect but needs to tighten up his TDD. He fights Sergey Romanov (14-3) who is on a 2-fight skid but this will show the potential of Ortmann.
CES 53, Friday. (Rhode Island)
Bantamweight, Tony Gravely (15-5)
If you look at the five losses Gravely has it’s to top prospects in Pat Sabatini, Patrick Mix, Ricky Bandejas and to UFC fighters Merab Dvalishvili and Manny Bermudez. Gravely has a lot of experience and has really been improving over the years and is still only 27-years-old. On the feet, he has excellent clinch work with knees and powerful hands where he’s not afraid to stand and trade in the pocket. He also has good wrestling but better ground game. He still has a lot to work on but he has a good future. He fights Dinis Paiva (11-7) who Tony matches up with perfectly.
Shamrock FC 311, Friday. (Missouri)
Lightweight, Sean Woodson (4-0)
Woodson is a very tall lightweight at 6’2″ with a massive reach of 78 inches and he also fights at featherweight. It takes awhile for Woodson to find his grove but once he does he really lets his hands go throwing ore than one strike. Being the tall fighter he is good at distance with leg kicks and the jab but he’s more effective in the clinch with his knees and is very accurate with his offensive output. He hasn’t gone to the mat much but he has a submission game he’s shown in the past. He fights Rashard Lovelace (4-1) who Woodson already beat.
Full Metal Dojo 16, Saturday. (Thailand)
Atomweight, Loma Lookboonmee (2-0)
Loma may be only 2-0 but she is arguably the most watched talent in WMMA in the next coming years. Loma is well-known for her large background in Muay-Thai where she became a nine-time champion. Her two mma bouts couldn’t have gone any better where she dominated the clinch with nasty elbows and solid control. She also showed solid takedown defense as well but also good wrestling and dominate top control for mainly a striker. She still has a lot to prove but at 21, watch out. She fights Suwanan Boonsorn (1-1) which is an easy fight for Loma.
EFC Worldwide 75, Saturday. (South Africa)
Flyweight, Nkazimulo Zulu (10-2)
Zulu was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter season 25. Unfortunately Zulu couldn’t find his ticket to the UFC but he has went 2-0 and is still the EFC champ since the stint on TUF. His biggest weakness is his takedown defense but he’s been showing a lot of improvement in that area over the last few fights. The longer the fight stays on the feet Zulu has a huge chance in taking control of this fight. Zulu is a quick and explosive fighter with a lot of output and beautiful counter striking. He’s an excellent kickboxer as well and really uses combinations all fight with solid cardio. He is one of the best prospects coming out of South Africa. He fights Gary Joshua (4-0) who Zulu should pick apart.
Eagles Fighting Championship 10, (Moldova)
Heavyweight, Alexander Romanov (9-0)
Romanov has a background in Sumo as he was the 2016 Champion of Romania. Romanov is still improving and has some upside at only 27 years old. On the feet, Romanov is still green as he likes to throw some high kicks and he seems to be improving a little in that area. The wrestling is solid when he gets the distance closed Romanov is super strong and in a few fights has had some pretty awesome WWE-like slams. In top position is where Romanov does the most damage as he is a heavy guy usually weighing in at 257 pounds and when he gets in the mount which he usually does he’s not coming off and the ground and pound he throws is his best weapon. For more on Romanov, check out my prospect of the month piece on him here. He fights Sultan Murtazaliev (6-3) who is on a 3-fight skid.