Weekly MMA Prospect Report: ONE, LFA 53, ACB 90 Headline
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. Friday. (Singapore)
Lightweight, Garry Tonon (2-0)
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 has looked stellar in his two MMA fights 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 Sung Jung Lee (4-2).
Featherweight, Xie Bin (5-1)
Bin’s only loss came in his first fight be he has rebounded and won his next five becoming a solid prospect out of China. He hasn’t much on the feet but has had glimpses of his nice clinch work but really has good footwork. He has solid wrestling and once on the mat, he’s where he is so good at. Bin has exceptional positional grappling and is a good submission threat especially with the darce choke. He fights Hisyam Samaudin (2-3).
Final Fight Championship 34, Friday. (Nevada)
Featherweight, Brendo Souza (14-4)
On the feet, Souza stays aggressive and is really explosive with his strikes shooting straight punches down the middle with excellent precision. He has a lot of things going for him on the feet with speed, accuracy, power, kicks, and technical ability. Souza is a solid wrestler as well who showed good jiu-jitsu and fight-ending ground and pound. Overall, he’s someone to watch for. He fights former UFC fighter Filip Pejic (13-2-2) who is 3-0 since his release so this is a big fight.
LFA 53, Friday. (Arizona)
Flyweight, Casey Kenney (9-1-1)
He is extremely solid all around with his stand-up, he uses a little bit of everything such as knees, leg kicks, head kicks, and striking. On the mat, Casey is very good but his wrestling and judo are spectacular. He can not only be dangerous with a double leg take-down but just also using his judo for the trip take-downs and hip tosses. While on the mat he is very heavy on top and can transition well. He fights Brandon Royval (8-3).
Flyweight, Brandon Royval (8-3)
Royval started his career mainly as a grappler but a very good grappler at that. The Factory X Muay Thia product has slick jiu-jitus who holds four submissions. Royval is always hunting for submissions and is really confident off his back as his guard is very dangerous. His stand up has improved a lot as he has tightened up his attack and really throws a good flow of kicks and punches. He fights Casey Kenney (9-1-1).
Featherweight, Kamuela Kirk (8-2)
He is as well rounded as it can get. He has done judo, boxing, and now MMA and is still only 24 and he shows excellence in every aspect. His striking is fast with a lot of power, he has good defense all around, good wrestling, and a very dangerous submission game and he is a quick finisher if not in round 1 then in round 2 with 100% finish rate. He fights Kevin Croom (19-10) who is a tough veteran to test Kirk.
ACB 90, Saturday. (Russia)
Featherweight, Yusup Raisov (13-1)
Raisov is a world-class talent who is only 23 and has suffered just one loss to the former ACB featherweight champion Marat Balaev who he rematched latter on and took the title from Balaev. His standup is very technical but still explosive. He uses a lot of spinning kicks and flying knees but he throws them so fast opponents can’t really react quick enough to counter. Raisov is just exceptionally fast and very light on his feet. Raisov moves in and out very well and on the mat, he has six submission wins, so he is more than dangerous there as well, but his wrestling is a big weapon for him as he can get takedown after takedown, beating his opponents physically and mentally. He fights Andre Winner (22-11-2) who Raisov should easily beat.
Bantamweight, Magomed Magomedov (15-2)
Magomedov is a good striker that has improved over the year but owns a better kicking game. He likes to get flashy at times, throwing a lot of spinning kicks which may be his best weapon. He is an excellent wrestler with superb grappling and can wrestle/grapple during the duration of the fight with his tremendous endurance. His only loss in the last six years has been to Petr Yan who is now a UFC fighter but he also has beaten Yan in the past so that says a lot about him. He fights Walter Pereira (14-3) who is on a 3-fight win streak but I’m not sure his takedown defense will hold up.
Middleweight, Gamzat Khiramagomedov (6-0)
It’s hard to keep up with the Russian prospects cause there are so many that are legit but Gamzat is a legit prospect to keep an eye on. Gamzat is a mobile fighter always using excellent footwork and really moves in and out very quickly and can cover a lot of distance with his burst. The Russian does have a ground game but it’s more so his striking that has one him the fights especially with his hand speed and counter striking. Watch out for this guy. He fights Jae Young Kim (23-11) who is a test but the speed should win this for Gamzay.
Heavyweight, Tanner Boser (15-4)
Boser has had a few tough losses but at only 27-years-old he’s just now reaching his prime as he’s riding a three-fight win streak. Boser has tightened up his takedown defense and his cardio is also very good. He’s not the quickest but he does do good mixing in his strikes with his kickboxing. The Canadian is also good in the clinch with his control and knees. Overall he’s not a top prospect but he has potential. He fights Salimgerey Rasulov (16-7) who is decent but Boser should win.
Heavyweight, Cory Hendricks (5-1)
Hendricks is known for his time on The Ultimate Fighter in season 23 where he did beat Marcel Fortuna and Khalil Rountree but would lose in the finale to Josh Stansbury and wasn’t given another chance in the promotion. Training out of a solid camp in Syndicate MMA, Hendricks is a good kickboxer, that being his main weapon, as he has had two highlight-reel head kick knockouts. Hendricks is a sniper who has looked unstoppable lately. He fights Alexey Butorin (12-3) who is on a two-fight skid.
XFN 13, Saturday. (Czech Republic)
Bantamweight, David Dvorak (13-3)
With Czech Republic not really having too many good prospects, Dvorak really stands out among the few as a legit talent. Dvorak has been dominating the last couple year as he is currently on a nine-fight win streak. On the feet, he’s dangerous at the range with the angles he cuts is always using a large arsenal offense attack with the teep kick being highlighted. He does a great job keeping range with his kicks and footwork but he also cuts his opponents off and explodes in when need be. In the clinch, he is lethal with his knees and elbows. He hasn’t shown much wrestling but has shown solid takedown defense and is a threat if he ends up on top where he has fight stopping ground and pound. He fights Salambek Damaev (9-4) who is no match for Dvorak.
KOTC, Saturday. (New York)
Bantamweight, Patrick Mix (8-0)
Undefeated as a pro and also as an amateur going 11-0. With one fight left on his KOTC contract and with a win, look for Mix to sign with the UFC as he will have a UFC-out clause. Mix is all about pressure and he is always moving forward walking his opponent down. Mix has eleven career submissions showing he is more comfortable on the mat but now training out of Jackson Wink MMA he’s been improving every step of the way. He fights Keith Richardson (18-10) who has a lot of good experience and is a good test for Mix.
864 Fighting Championship, Saturday. (South Carolina)
Light-heavyweight, Karl Reed (5-1)
Reed has a karate base and trains out of Upstate Karate in South Carolina with Stephen Thompson and his dad Ray Thompson. Before finding karate, Reed wrestled in college. Reed has a karate stance and you can really see the influence of training with Stephen Thompson. The question mark kicks and the way he throws over the shoulder is beautifully done, and he has shown the ability to end a fight with his kicking skills. Reed may surprise people with his wrestling, which is fundamentally good and well-timed. Reed isn’t the strongest guy on top but he uses relentless chain wrestling. He fights Adrian Miles (16-11) who is on a 2-fight skid.
UCMMA 57, Saturday. (UK)
Bantamweight, Javid Basharat (5-0)
Javid is an excellent prospect to keep an eye on but the competition he has beat has been lackluster. Javid is well-rounded as he has finished from both on the feet and off the mat. His footwork is really good with the way he cuts angles and moves side to side is perfectly done and if I’m not mistaking he has a background in taekwondo. Javid isn’t just the flashy striker he is also an excellent wrestler that has a strong submission game and does a great job at creating space and landing big ground and pound. He fights Ricardo Morais (4-4).
MMA Total Combat 78, Saturday. (UK)
Heavyweight, Paul Elliott (2-0)
Elliott may only be 2-0 and he went only 2-0 as an amateur but the dude a frightening heavyweight to keep an eye on for sure. He has a 100% finish rate and all finishes are in the first round. I’m pretty sure he has kickboxing background and that shows in his MMA career. Elliott has crazy speed for how big he is where his wheel kicks looks like Edson Barboza. The 26-year-old is quick, explosive, athletic, diverse, and very powerful. He hasn’t fought good competition yet but this dude looks like the real deal. He fights Lukasz Parobiec (13-8-1) who isn’t good but he has a lot of experience so this will test Elliott.