Weekly MMA Prospect Report: 11/19/18-11/25/18
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.
One Championship, Thursday. ( Philippines)
Welterweight, James Nakashima (9-0)
James doesn’t have the most exciting style nor is he more dominant in any position, he is though very well skilled everywhere. James is starting to become more of an aggressive fighter coming forward and creating more action, as he is still more of a counter striker for the most part. Wrestling wise James is good but his position grappling is where I think he is best but does get better as the fight goes. Nakashima trains with MMA Lab that has really developed into an excellent camp and almost every fighter coming out of that camp is a well-conditioned athlete. He fights Raimond Magomedaliev (5-0) who I’m not impressed with.
Eternal MMA 39, Friday. (Australia)
Featherweight, Michael Tobin (15-2)
Tobin is a high-level jiu-jitsu practitioner with 14 of his 15 wins via submission. Tobin has a very strong and active submission attack and is very diverse as he has finished with a crucifixion armbar, bicep slicer, rear-naked choke, armbar, triangle, and a toehold. Tobin is considered one-dimensional as on the feet he does need a lot of work. He does do a good job at closing the distance and his wrestling is improving but once he’s on the mat he is right at home. He fights Sam Hibberd (6-3) who is coming off a loss.
AFL 17, Saturday. (Spain)
Lightweight, Radu Maxim (9-1)
Maxim has a real simple game plan each time he steps into the ring and that’s to get the takedown. Obviously, it worked with an impressive record and on a six-fight win streak. The born Moldova fight wrestled since he was 12 years old and also wrestled once he joined the military. Maxim has a relentless pressure to get inside the distance and get the takedowns. All seven of his finishes are in the first round and that’s because of his pace and his excellent ground and pound. He fights Joel Alvarez (14-1) who looks good but footage lacks.
Golden Boy Promotions, Saturday. (Califonia)
Light-Heavyweight, Kenneth Bergh (6-0)
Bergh still needs to work on his cardio, although for him it usually isn’t needed as he’s finished all his fights, but he does generally slow down after the first. His striking from range still needs work but he is solid in the thai clinch. On the mat is where he wants to be, though. Bergh is very strong on the ground with his takedowns to his grappling to his submissions. He fights Jorge Gonzalez (14-3) who has a good record but is up there in age.
***Featherweight, Ricky Palacios (10-1)
Palacios is a banger who is very fun to watch as he loves to stand and trade and put on a show. Palacios can be wild at times but he is technical with good boxing as he has a solid jab and heavy leg kicks as well. He’s solely a striker who will test the chin of any of his opponents as he has an iron chin. Palacios is a very good fighter who has struggled with takedown defense but he has always had good ability to get back to his feet. With a win here he should get signed to a big promotion. He fights Walel Watson (14-11) who is coming off a loss. Palacios gets the prospect of the week.
Light-heavyweight, Deron Winn (4-0)
The 29-year-old is only 4-0 as a professional but just a little over a year and a half Winn made the transition over to MMA from wrestling. Winn was an Olympic wrestler at the Team USA trials where he came in fourth place. Winn was also a 3X College All-American, a 3x State Champ, and has many international freestyle accomplishments. Winn is a heavy-handed wrestler who has dominated all his foes stopping all in the first round. He fights former UFC fighter Tom Lawlor (10-6) who is a major step up in competition.