Weekly MMA Prospect Report: Garry Tonon, Kyle Stewart, and who to watch at RIZIN
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, Friday. (7/27) – Philippines
Lightweight, Aziz Pakhrudinov (20-0)
You take a first glace at the record of Aziz and you will notice his very undefeated professional record. Mainly Aziz has fought awful competition he has finished 19 of his 20 fights so that is impressive either way. The Russian is a bit one dimensional as on the feet he will spam an overhand right and as he still needs a lot of work striking he does do a good job closing the distance and getting the takedown. On the mat, Aziz is at home where he has heavy top control with active ground and pound and a good submission base. He fights Eduard Folayang (19-6) who is coming off a win and is the biggest test for Aziz.
Lightweight, Garry Tonon (1-0)
Tonon is well-known in the world of BJJ as he holds accomplishment such as IBJJF Pan American No-Gi Champion, IBJJF World No-Gi Champion, EBI LW Champion, and much more here. Tonon looked stellar in his MMA debut where the grappler looked great on his feet using nice footwork landing one-twos and landing with a lot of output while showing power getting a knockdown. He showed good wrestling getting the double leg and a trip takedown. On the mat is his world as he finds dominate positions easy and his ground and pound is very good but is a big submission threat. He fights Rahul Raju (5-2) who is coming off a loss but anyone at this point is a good test for Tonon.
Strawweight – Pongsiri Mitsatit (9-0)
Pongsiri has a background in muay thai being a former champion and since transitioning to MMA he has looked solid. Pongsiri is a quick finisher he has finished 8 of his 9 fights in the 1st round. Pongsiri has shown solid TDD good top position with good ground and pound and of course his stand up is good he has good muay thai and quick. He fights Joshua Pacio (14-2) who is on a two-fight winning streak and is a good test for Mitsatit.
LFA 46, Friday. (7/27) – Virginia
Welterweight, Kyle Stewart (10-0)
Stewart is an accomplished guy on the regional scene winning titles in the amateur scene and winning 2 titles in his pro career. He also picked up a win in season 1 of the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series, but didn’t earn a contract for his efforts. Stewart is solid as expected given his grappling experience. He has slick jiu-jitsu, he goes for submissions frequently but his passes and transitions are what’s best. Also on the mat, Stewart has shown huge ground-and-pound that has fight ending potential. Striking-wise, he favors his right hand. He has the one-punch power and stays active. He fights James Nakashima (8-0).
Welterweight, James Nakashima (8-0)
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 Kyle Stewart (10-0).
Oktagon 7, Saturday. (7/28) – Czech Republic
Heavyweight, Michal Martinek (6-0)
Martinek is a nice prospect out of Czech Republic who is still very young at 26 but is still very green. Martinek doesn’t throw a lot of output nor is he too aggressive. He’s not much on the feet as he has a knockout victory but he throws a lot of single strikes and holds his hands low. “Blackbeard” is a good wrestler who is physically strong who is at home on the mat. He’s really heavy on top and moves well as he finds dominant positions pretty easily to unleash ground and pound. He fights Daniel Dittrick (4-3) who is the champ so this is a good test for Michael.
Pure FC 9, Saturday. (7/28) – Wisconsin
Heavyweight, Calyn Hull (4-0)
Hull is undefeated as a pro but as an amateur, he went 5-0 as well. On the feet, he does lack overall as he stands too tall and just doesn’t throw enough. Hull is a guy who relies on his physical strength as he does have good wrestling. On the mat is where he wants to be as he works submissions very well with three to his name. He’s still very Green but he’s getting better. He fights Jordan Seufzer (2-2) who is coming off a loss.
Ring of Combat 64, Saturday. (7/28) – Pennsylvania
Welterweight, Sean Brady (8-0)
Brady does a bit of Muay-Thai under the well-known Rami Ibrahim, and some boxing under Derek Ennis to sharpen up his stand-up. He’s been training muay thai since 15 which compliments his ground game well. With a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, Brady is fluid on the mat with control, and even though he only has two submissions, Brady is a major threat on the floor. Training out of Renzo Gracie Philly, Brady has put himself around some good training partners such as UFC fighters Paul Felder and Eddie Alvarez. Brady has beaten decent competition like TUF winner Colton Smith. He fights two-time TUF competitor Julian Lane (12-9) where Brady should easily win.
RIZIN 11, Sunday. (7/29) – Japan
Light Heavyweight, Jiri Prochazka (20-3)
At 6’4″ he is a massive fighter and he uses it to his advantage using leg kicks and knees at various ranges. Prochazka is a very dangerous fighter, finishing 18 of his 20 wins with only one going out of the first. He is really good at putting pressure on his opponents with a lot of volume, and really putting his kicks and punches together fluidly. Being such a dangerous striker, Prochazka is extremely athletic as he loves to launch himself in the air with flying knees. He fights Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (10-4) who is on a three-fight win streak but Jiri is on another level.