Weekly Prospect Report: 11/27/17-12/3/17
MMA Today’s Shawn Bitter (@mmawizzard) brings you the best and brightest prospects in action every week in the weekly prospect report.
Bellator 189, Friday (12/1). (Oklahoma)
-Lightweight, Mandel Nallo (5-0):
This will be Nallo’s first fight in about a year and a half so it will be interesting to see how he does after a long lay-off. Nallo is very solid though. On the mat, he is very slick with his grappling allowing to snatch up chokes easily as all four of his submission wins have come by a choke. Nallo’s standup isn’t bad, his striking isn’t great but his kicks are sound, he throws very hard and dangerously up through the middle or above the shoulder. I would like to see more of him as I’m not too sold on him just yet. He fights Alec Williams (6-1) who at this points is a good fighter to show what exactly the Tristar prospect Nallo has to offer.
-Bantamweight, Jordan Howard (10-3):
Howard’s stand-up is sound as he uses his jab often and utilizes effective knees in the clinch. He owns very hard head kicks that he lands frequently and showcased some heavy hands in his last bout. Howard has a very crafty stand-up game, where I haven’t seen anybody being able to beat him there. His ground game, I haven’t seen as much but he has displayed technical takedown defense. He fights Brandon Phillips (6-3) who is on a two-fight skid.
*Also watch for undefeated (5-0) Flyweight, Juliana Velasquez. The Team Nogueira product seems to be a pretty good prospect but footage lacks on her.
MFP-214, Saturday (12/2). (Russia)
Lightweight, Arman Tsarukyan (9-1)
The Armenian-native, Tsarukyan, has a background in freestyle wrestling which has really converted over to his MMA career nicely. Tsarukyan may be a bit one-dimensional but no one has been able to stop his takedowns yet, as they are set up well and executed perfectly. On top, Tsarukyan is excellent at taking the back and sinking in the rear-naked-choke. He also has fight-changing ground-and-pound. There isn’t much footage out there on his standup, but at only 21, he still has time to develop. He fights Takenori Sato (19-11-7, 0-2 UFC) who is an ex UFC fighter so this would be a big win for Tsarukyan.
KC Fighting Alliance 26, Saturday (12/2). (Kansas)
Lightweight, Trey Odgen (9-1):
Ogden impressed many in his last bout showing a well-rounded game. Odgen showed a solid chin and good composure getting rocked early. Odgen showed a good relentless attack on leg-kicks and a nice solid jab that dropped his opponent. Eventually Ogden would swarm with ground-and-pound before taking the back and getting the rear-naked-choke. Odgen has seven submission wins so the mat is where he tends to go. The Glory MMA and Fitness competitor fights Thomas Gifford (12-7), a Legacy FC vet who is on a two-fight winning streak but expect Ogden to be heavily favored.