Photo Credit: Hard Knocks Fighting Championship

Weekly MMA Prospect Report: 12/3/17-12/10/17

This week sees a stacked calendar full of events. Check out MMA Wizzard’s prospect report on who to look out for this week.

Havoc FC 12, Fri (12/8) – Canada

-Heavyweight, Dustin Joynson (3-0):
Joynson has a background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu having participated in many gi and no-gi competitions. Being decorated on the mat, Joynson holds some skills on the feet mainly highlighted by his flashy kicks. Joyson holds a crazy head-kick knockout over Christiano Catala that face-planted Catala. He fights Grayson Wells (3-1) who is on a three-fight win-streak. This fight will help prove where Joynson is at in his career.

-Bantamweight, Justin Barsa (3-0):
Barsa is mainly a wrestler with excellent top control and good ground-and-pound. Barsa is growing as a striker, he does a nice job at faking the level-changes and landing effective strikes as displayed in his win over John Nguyen. Barse went 4-0 as an amateur and captured the Hard Knocks Amateur Featherweight Championship. He fights Randy Turner (8-6) who is on a three-fight losing skid.

 

TKO 41, Fri. (12/8) – Canada

-Featherweight, TJ Laramie (6-2):
Laramie has had a couple unfortunate outcomes in his young career but is still promising and only 2o-years-old. Laramie is a former Kickboxing and BJJ champion and utilizes a wide skillset together making his an all-around solid fighter. Laramie owns solid wrestling, a smooth good ground game and one-punch knockout power on the feet. He fights another promising young fighter in Charles Jourdain (5-0).

-Featherweight, Charles Jourdain (5-0):
Jourdain has it all having shown very few weaknesses and like is opponent Laramie, he is quite young (22). Jourdain is excellent on the feet, leveraging athleticism in the form of flying knees. He is also a skilled kickboxer, and very good in the clinch. Jourdain does an awesome job landing big shots on the break, an undervalued tool in MMA. Jourdain gets the takedown mainly from the clinch where he utilizes primarily trip takedowns. Lastly, his ground-and-pound and conditioning have proven solid thus far.

-Heavyweight, Adam Dyczka (5-0):
“Kung Fu Panda” is a striker with solid boxing skills. He favors his jab and follows up with hooks while adding in some hard leg kicks as well. Dyczka doesn’t look like an athlete, but he can keep a solid pace for three rounds and has the ability to end it in the first. He hasn’t really been on the mat through his first five pro bouts. Standing at 6’3, the big man knows how to use his size to stop regional-level fighters from taking him down. He fights Bakary Sakho (1-0) who has potential of his own making this a big test for both guys.

-Featherweight, Jesse Arnett (13-4):
Arnett is an extremely talented fighter who might be the best Canadian outside the UFC and Bellator.  His striking is crisp, as he has good power and is terrific at finding openings from tricky angles. He lands the uppercut regularly, and his head movement really compliments his striking. He can stand in the pocket and outstrike his opponents with straight punches, uppercuts, and plenty of knees. Arnett’s takedown defense is good enough for the top-level of the regional scene having decent overall wrestling and scrambling ability.  When he does get on top, he moves well and immediately hunts for (and usual finds) the submission. He fights Dimitri Waardenburg (13-7) who is on a two-fight winning streak. While anything can happen, Arnett is at a much higher-level.

 

Invicta FC 26, Fri. (12/8) – Nevada

Flyweight, Jennifer Maia (14-4-1):
Maia is coming off a little more than a year layoff but is currently the Invicta FC Flyweight Champion. Maia has a well-known background in Muay-Thai and a 3-0 boxing record. Maia is always in the face of her opponents, throwing more than one strike at a time and getting the clinch to leverage her muay-thai background. Main is a decent grappler who can hold her own against many women in the division. She fights top contender Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (10-0).

-Flyweight, Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (10-0):
Niedzwiedz is very tough, she can take a shot and is constantly moving forward throwing punches in bunches. In addition to her volume, she moves in-and-out of the pocket well, creating openings for her good wrestling. Niedzwiedz has good timing on her takedowns and is solid on the mat, with a slick jiu-jitsu pedigree, especially off her back.

-Flyweight, Mackenzie Dern (4-0)
Dern is a highly-decorated jiu-jitsu black belt well-known for her impressive grappling competition notoriety. Dern obviously has excellent grappling, her wrestling is a work in progress but it is still effective enough to work at the level she’s currently at. Dern’s striking is improving as she’s now started to cut angles and throw kicks at the end of combinations and even showed developing power in her last bout. At 24, the sky is the limit for Dern. She fights Kaline Medeiros (8-5) who is coming off a loss.


-Strawweight, Virna Jandiroba (11-0):
Jandiroba is a high-level jiu-jitsu black belt with 9 submission-finishes in 11 wins. Jandiroba has wins over two former UFC fighters in Lisa Ellis and Ericka Almeida. With a good submission base, Jandiroba has very solid wrestling to compliment her style. She is gets inside in the clinch well moving towards getting her hands together and dumping her opponents to the mat. She hasn’t had a problem getting the fight to the mat yet, and she’s been nothing short of dominant once the fight hits the ground. Jandiroba has beaten quality opposition in Brazil but this marks her debut fight on US-soil. She fights Amy Montenegro (8-2), a TUF veteran and well-rounded fighter.


-Flyweight, Karina Rodriguez (5-2):
Rodriguez impressed in her last bout against an undefeated Barbara Acioly putting her down with an impressive striking combination of the left-right, left-right capping off with ground-and-pound. Her only career losses are to Alexa Grasso and Poliana Botelho, both currently in the UFC. She fights Christine Ferea (1-1) who is coming off a loss.

For more on these terrific matchups, check out this piece on WMMA fights to keep an eye on this weekend from MMA Today’s Drake Riggs.

LFA 28, Fri. (12/8) – Texas

-Light-Heavyweight, Alonzo Menifield (4-0):
Menifield had a massive opportunity this past July when he fought on the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Menifield would defeat former UFC fighter Daniel Jolly but it was the end of the fight that was disappointing as Jolly was unable to answer the bell at the start of the second round. Menifield though is still an athletic fighter with huge power in his hands and a win here can maybe earn him another shot on the Contender Series or even the UFC. He is heavily-favored against his opponent Otavio Lacerda (9-4) who is coming off a win.

-Bantamweight, Miles Johns (4-0):
Johns has been impressive in his last two bouts showcasing solid defenseive footwork and perfect takedown defense. Johns has very sound striking, his main weapon being a high-quality jab that he loves to double up and follow with an overhand. Johns may be only 4-0, but I’m gonna make a statement and say he’s a future LFA champion. He has all the tools: power, speed, athleticism, cardio, and wrestling. He fights Caio Machado (11-3), a Titan FC veteran who will be a stern test for Johns.

TCF 16, Sat. (12/9) – Korea

-Featherweight, Sung Bin Jo (8-0):
Jo has a 100% finishing rate having earned finishes on both the feet and mat. He has good footwork and he likes to stay on the outside landing combinations. Jo mixes in body shots and kicks very effectively and has a big overhand right in his toolkit. On the mat, he is good at hunting for the neck or even the arm h0olding submission wins. He fights Temryuk Berkhamov (5-0) who hasn’t fought in two years but was a solid prospect in 2015.

ACB 76, Sat. (12/9) – Australia

-Featherweight, Mehdi Baidulaev (5-0):
Baidulaev is a product out of the Fight Club Berkut team that is filled with many top Russian prospects. He’s been impressive with his wrestling specifically with throws and his well-timed trip takedowns. On top, he has good positional grappling transitioning well. On the feet, Baidulaev is quite diverse with his attack. He loves to throw many kicks and can be a bit flashy with his offense . He fights Rodolfo Marques (24-9-1) who is on a two-fight win streak but expect Baidulaev to be better everywhere.

-Bantamweight, Trent Girdham(6-0):
Girdham is someone to watch for in the future being only 20 and endless upsides. His striking is good, he likes to throw straight-crosses feature traditional kickboxing technique. Girdham attacks all the limbs of his opponent while not telegraphing anything at all. His muay-thai may be where he excels most with knees and elbows. I haven’t got to see much of his ground game but I believe he has competed in some grappling competitions in the past. He fights Tim Moore (12-6) who is on a two-fight win-streak and the biggest test to date for Girdham.  For more on Girdham, have a listen to this interview he conducted with MMA Today’s John Hyon Ko.

-Lightweight, Shannon Wiratchai (8-1):
Wiratchai is a really dangerous guy and one of Thailand’s top fighters. On the feet, he is an unorthodox striker that is a heavy-handed with good explosion. He is very athletic and creative throwing techniques like flying knees and spinning elbows with lethal intentions. He has been dropped in previous fights, so his chin may be something to keep an eye on.. He fights Rasul Yakhyaev (10-6) who is on a three-fight skid. Before catching the action this weekend, check out “One Shin” when he talked to MMA Today about his upcoming opponent, girlfriend and fellow ONE Championship fighter Rika Ishige as well as a possible title shot against Martin Nguyen.

-Lightweight, Christian Lee (7-1):
The younger brother of WMMA star Angela Lee, it could be argued that Christian is just as much of a prospect as his champion sibling. Lee has had a hiccup already in his career, getting caught in a submission to two-division ONE FC Champion Martin Nguyen, but it was his fifth fight in 2016 so the workload could’ve played a factor. He got right back on track winning his last two bouts. Lee is excellent on the feet being quick and dynamic. His mat abilities are there when needed, holding three submission wins to date. At only 19, Lee could be a future star but just needs to keep on progressing at the rate he currently is. He fights Kotetsu Boku (26-11-2) who is on a two-fight win-streak and will serve as another stiff test for the youngster.

 

Bellator 190, Sat. (12/9) – Italy

-Lightweight, Luka Jelčić (10-2):
Jelčić is a promising fighter out of the famous Straight Blast Gym with Conor McGregor and under head coach, John Kavanagh. Jelčić wants to get his opponent to the mat where  he holds true to his nickname, “the Hitman.” On the feet, he’s no slouch. Jelčić does a good job at setting up strikes to open up opportunities to get the fight to the mat. He’s truly at home on the mat, as displayed with his nasty elbows and five submission wins. He fights Brandon Girtz (14-7), an 11-fight Bellator vet currently on a three-fight skid.

 

Primus FC, Sat. (12/9) – Oklahoma

-Lightweight, Jason Soares (10-0):
Soares was a competitor on season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter where he lost his entry fight to Julian Erosa. Soares is a really talented fighter with stellar skills on the mat. He has solid chokes, winning five by rear-naked-choke. He dominates on the mat, maintaining control when his opponent tries to scramble and generally living up to his status as a jiu-jitsu black belt. He fights former ONE FC competitor Herbert Burns (6-2). Burns is the brother of UFC lightweight Gilbert Burns and is on a two-fight skid despite being a very accomplished grappler as well.

-Middleweight, Christiano Frohlich (8-3):
Frohlich is on a four-fight win streak and has finished all four of his opponents including one over former UFC fighter Leonardo Guimaraes. Frohlich still has some holes,  he is sloppy at times and if the finish doesn’t come early, he slows a lot. His athleticism is evident by his tendency to throw kicks and flying-knees. Frohlich has two submission wins so he isn’t lost on the mat, but at a higher-level, he needs to be on the feet. He fights TUF 16’s Cortez Coleman (13-8) who is on a two-fight skid.

 

Tech-Krep FC, Sun. (12/10) – Russia

-Bantamweight, Goga Shamatava (11-5):
Shamatava is a striker at heart. He has good kickboxing and mixes his attacks with body strikes and spinning techniques. He has good, long strikes from a distance, often picking his opponent apart. But in the clinch is where he thrives with excellent Muay Thai. Very dangerous and relentless knees being his best weapon by far. He does need to work on his takedown defense, but he is very sound off his back and has shown good control of his opponent. Offensively he has good jiu-jitsu and holds five submission wins. Riding a nine-fight streak, he comes in favored against Diego Silva (7-2) who is on a four-fight streak of his own.

 

Shooto Brasil 79, Sun. (12/10) – Brazil

-Strawweight, Marina Rodriguez(7-0):
A muay thai fighter, Rodriguez is excellent in the clinch her knees are lethal. She throws rapid attack and is very strong, she is able to sling her opponent around she is still green I’m not sure on her TDD I’ve seen her get taken down before but is good off her back and has some solid wrestling of her own. She fights Amanda Torres (7-4) who is coming off a win and should be a good test.

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