Weekly MMA Prospect Report: PFL Steals Show with 4 Fighters to Watch
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.
PFL #3, Thursday. (7/5) – Washington
Welterweight, Abubakar Nurmagomedov (14-1)
Abubakar has a background in combat sambo, where he won the bronze medal in the World Championship. Much like Khabib (cousin), Abubakar is an excellent wrestler with outstanding positional grappling. Abubakar prefers to stay on the mat and close the distance, but at range he’s shown the ability to do well, throwing solid leg kicks and combinations, as well as slinging the uppercut and the overhand. He fights Pavel Kusch (22-5) who despite coming off a loss, is a good opponent.
Middleweight, Shamil Gamzatov (11-0)
Gamzatov is a very well rounded MMA prospect he throws a lot of feints to set up big shots or even shoot in for a takedown when he can slam with ease being so strong. On the feet is where he does his most damage. He throws with power in everything he throws at you but is also precise with his punched and kicks. Gamzatov is very good at picking apart one space of the opponent. Gamzatov needs to tighten up his takedown defense and is coming off nearly a year and a half layoff. He fights former UFC and TUF winner Eddie Gordon (8-4) who is coming off a loss.
Middleweight, Anderson Goncalves (11-1)
Goncalves did fight at welterweight but made the move up in October of 2016 and has been undefeated since going 3-0. Goncalves is a giant in the division standing at 6’5″. He can be a little sloppy at times as he is willing to get hit to give one of his own. Goncalves has shown impressive power in both his kicks and hands through his career and has beat some good competition on the Brazilian scene. He fights Louis Taylor (14-4) who is coming off a win and is the favorite to win this fight.
Middleweight, Abusupiyan Magomedov (19-3)
At only 27 years old he has a lot of experience at 22 fights fighting some good competition as well. Magomedov has lost to 3 solid fighters but he does have a win over current UFC fighter Jessin Ayari. Magomedov is a fantastic prospect that many people probably don’t know much about. He has everything you look for in a fighter moving up in the ranks, he has that tall build fighting long using his jab and kicks perfectly at a distance. Magomedov is a combination striker always going to the body mixing that in with combinations. Impressive footwork exploding forward covering a lot of distance but getting back out when needed. For a plus the TDD is awesome and he has a sick guillotine he has hit many times. He fights Danillo Villefort (15-5) who is coming off a win but Magomedov should get the win.
RFC Way of the Dragon 2, Saturday. (7/7) – Asia
Middleweight, Jun Yong Park (8-3)
Park started off his MMA career with up and down record going 3-3 in his first six fights. Park hit a spark with a win in November of 2016 and then went on to win his next five bringing his total win streak to six with all finishes. Park has fought in Japan, Korea, China, Austrailia, Guam, and Russia so he has good experience. He fights Glenn Sparv (18-4)
Middleweight, Glenn Sparv (18-4)
A product out of Tiger Muay Thai the 22-fight veteran is still only 29 years old and while maybe not a traditional MMA prospect still deserves a spot on this list. Sparv moved up to middleweight in November of 2016 and has won his next six with a light-heavyweight bout in between. Sparv is a bull once the bell rings as he will walk his opponent backward to close the distance. Sparv has good muay-thai but is excellent at getting the fight to the mat. As his grappling and scrambles are good, Sparv is very dominant on top with active ground and pound. He is currently in talks with the UFC so with a win here that could put his name on the UFC contract. He fights Jun Yong Park (8-3).
NP Fight 9, Saturday. (7/7) – Brazil
Welterweight, Edson Marques (6-0)
Marques is solely a striker who has two finishes by one-punch knockout. Marques is very technical as he picks his shots but also very accurate. He will sit on the outside and use effective leg kicks and long punches and does an excellent job circling out with good footwork. Marques is a good MMA prospect to watch out of Brazil. He fights Eduardo Correia (9-0) who has an impressive record but footage lacks.