Weekly Prospect Report Featuring Lohore, Kabesa, Edwards + More!
ONE Championship, Friday (3/9) – Malaysia
Lightweight, Christian Lee (8-1)
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 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 Kazunori Yokota (26-7) who is coming off a win and will be a big test for the young Lee.
BAMMA 34, Friday (3/9) – UK
Welterweight, Alex Lohore (14-1)
After his only loss is to fellow prospect Carl Booth, Lohore won his next 10 fights including a win over ex-UFC fighter Colin Fletcher and the current BAMMA champion. In the past, Lohore has left himself open in exchanges on the feet and he’s been knocked down and found himself on his back at times. Lohore is a good striker with a good right cross but is better on the mat. Most of his finishes are on the mat with a healthy mix of submissions and ground-and-pound. He fights a tough Terry Brazier (8-1).
Welterweight, Terry Brazier (8-1)
Brazier was the BAMMA Welterweight Champion when he beat top prospect at the time, Walter Gahadza in May, 2017. The title has since become vacant and now Lohore holds the belt. Brazier is primarily a wrestler but on the feet, he has a great chin and a powerful right hand. He is a solid wrestler that does an excellent job at closing the distance and get his hands together to dump his opponent to the mat. Brazier is a finisher and a quick finisher at that with all six finishes in the first round. He finishes fights on the mat utilizing submissions and his best weapon, ground-and-pound. Brazier is constantly staying active and can really affect the fight. He fights Alex Lohore (14-1).
-Lightweight, Tim Barnett(5-0):
Barnett really made a name for himself in February of last year, when he captured the lightweight title by beating rising prospect Rhys McKee finishing him with knees and punches in the clinch. Barnett isn’t the most aggressive or technical fighter but he is tough as nails. As opponents try to move in on him, Barnett has shown solid counter striking, not much power in the hands but never hesitant. Where Barnett shines is in the clinch. He has dirty boxing and elbows, but his knees are his main and most effective weapon. Once Barnett gets the thai clinch, he is very dangerous even on the mat with fight-ending ground-and-pound. He rematches Rhys McKee (6-1) who is coming off a win. McKee caught up with MMA Today’s Vladimir Kramarenko earlier this week.
Middleweight, Fabian Edwards (3-0)
Edwards is only 3-0 as a pro but has a stellar amateur record of 10-0. He is the younger brother of UFC star Leon Edwards. Much like Leon, Fabian has been on a tear outside of the UFC and many think he could succeed in the UFC as well. The only visible weakness seen in his career is that he finds himself on his back at times. However he has gotten a lot better with his takedown defense and scrambles. Edwards is a very scary fighter, especially on the feet. He has the power in his hands to put guys to sleep, which he’s shown throughout his career. He throws everything to end the fight and has also won a couple fights with knees/flying knees and his last two wins came via rear-naked-choke. Edwards is an explosive, athletic beast that is a tremendous prospect. He fights Kent Kauppinen (10-2)
Middleweight, Kent Kauppinen (10-2)
Kauppinen is an impressive fighter that has flown under the radar with a good record and on a six-fight win streak. Kauppinen has a 100% finish rate and with a background in boxing. Kauppinen’s footage shows power in everything he throws. From the outside, he has fight-ending leg kicks and once the distance is closed he has the power to put you out with one punch. He has competed for both at light-heavyweight and heavyweight but now performs at middleweight where he looks so much better and performs to a higher degree. He fights Fabian Edwards (3-0).
Welterweight, Justin Burlinson (2-0)
Burlinson may be only 2-0 as a pro but this 20-year-old has a lot of experience as he went 15-1 as an amateur. Burlinson is well rounded that needs a little sharpening around the edges with takedown defense and at times, his striking. He has knockout power and good striking fundamentals but is better on the ground with effective jiu-jitsu. He’s a big threat with submissions holding 11 career submissions. At 20, he has all the time in the world to grow. He fights Tommy King (1-0).
Featherweight, Diego Barbosa (5-1)
Barbosa is a very quick, explosive fighter with finishing ability. On the outside, he is dynamic with good kickboxing and lunges forward with big strikes. He has finishes with a head kick, flying knee, huge overhand right, and a knee showing incredible finish ability. Barbosa also shows glimpses of takedown ability, especially with the trips. Overall he has little weakness and at 23, the sky is the limit. He fights Jonas Magard (8-3) who is coming off a loss.
ACB 83, Friday (3/9) – Brazil
Flyweight, Thiago Gaia (7-0)
Gaia is known for his jiu-jitsu accomplishments where he was the IBJJF World Champion and the CBJJ Brazilian National No-Gi Champion. With the grappling experience, his submission skills are excellent with all seven of his wins via submission. The stand up needs work but hasn’t had to stay there for long as he does a good job at getting the fights down to the mat. He fights Walter Pereira (13-3) who is on a two-fight win streak and is a big step up in competition for Gaia.
***As not many fighters at all listed, this ACB card is stacked! Keep in eye on Ary Farias, Herdeson Batista, Otavio dos Santos, Rodolfo Vieira and Matheus Mattos who all need to either get another win or show a bit more.
LFA 35, Friday (3/9) – Texas
Lightweight, Nick Newell (13-1)
Newell was very well known through 2013-2015 fighting for the WSOF promotion but mostly known for only having one hand. Newell is proof that despite the disability, you can do anything. Newell more than holds his own on the feet, wrestles very well, hunts the submission. The jiu-jitsu is strong from Newell with eight submission wins. His only loss is to UFC fighter and former WSOF champion Justin Gaethje. Newell retired in October, 2015. He fights Sonny Luque (10-6) who is coming off a win but a favorable matchup for Newel.
EFC Worldwide 67, Saturday (3/10) – South Africa
Featherweight, Igeu Kabesa (9-1)
Kabesa is a very decorated wrestler being a ten-time Wrestling Nationals Champion. He is young (22) and is solid everywhere making him one of the top prospects out of South Africa. Kabesa has amazing wrestling and grappling, he can move well on the mat and can get into mount fairly easy. His striking is good too moving in-and-out with explosive punches quickly. His only loss is to UFC fighter Danny Henry which was a rematch from the first meeting where he won. He fights Boyd Allen (15-3-1)
Featherweight – Boyd Allen (15-3-1)
Allen’s ground game is stellar. His trip takedowns open up his slick submission game from both top and bottom. Allen uses his height well managing distance. He keeps his hands up and uses leg kicks and an accurate jab. He fights Igeu Kabesa (9-1).
Middleweight, Reiner de Ridder (8-0)
He is 100% a grappler but his ability to get the fight to the mat is most impressive. He can hit the single-leg, double-leg, and trip takedowns but his hip tosses are his best tool and he’s gotten them in most of his previous fights. On top, he has very good submissions with the ability to chain submission attempts together. de Ridder hunts to take the back and secure the rear-naked-choke. In addition, he has effective ground-and-pound and top control on the mat. He isn’t great on the feet but he has a lot of weapons. He fights Warren Allison (7-4) who is on a two-fight winning streak but isn’t much of a threat.
*Also watch for an undefeated Flyweight Bokang Masunyane (4-0). The Fight Fit Militia product has some hype behind him.
BIG GAME 2, Friday. (3/10) – Germany
Featherweight, Saba Bolaghi (7-1-1)
Bolaghi is adecorated wrestler listing achievements such as the youth German Freestyle Wrestling Championship, Junior World Championships, and the Bronze medal at the Adults European Championships. He is very physically strong and executed his level-changes well. When he gets the fight to the mat, he is dangerous with his chokes having won four that way. His striking isn’t much but makes up with for it with speed and once he is in the distance, the takedowns come naturally. He fights Nicolae Dragos (0-0).
M-1 Challenge 89, Friday (3/10) – Russia
-Heavyweight, Zaur Gadzhibabayev (6-1):
Gadzhibabayev is a very calm but active striker. He is always picking his shots as he is poised in his attacks, he lunges forward with a strike or two at a time. He’s shown power behind his punches but more so hitting his opponents to make them feel it. Gadzhibabayev has solid footwork and feints to help him get inside on his opponent moving in-and-out with strikes. He also has decent kicks. While he doesn’t throw them actively, he does throw them with a lot of power. Gadzhibabayev has punishing ground-and-pound and has shown that he can pass guard and take the back, a rarity among heavyweights. As an added bonus, he owns solid cardio hardly slowing down the pace of the whole fight along with some solid takedown defense. He fights Anton Vyazigin (8-2) who is coming off a loss but is a good test.
Pancrase 294, Saturday (3/10) – Japan
-Featherweight, Yoshinori Horie (6-0):
Horie may be the best Japanese prospect right now as he’s young (22) and unbeaten. Horie is so dangerous on the feet, he has the ability to put guys out with just one shot. Horie has scary power, everything he throws it’s with fight-ending intentions and when he stuns his opponents, he is perfect at closing the fight and putting his opponents away. The speed, power, accuracy, and versatility make him someone to watch. He fights Issei Tamura (11-8) who is a former UFC fighter and coming off a win.
ECF 20, Sunday (3/11) – New York
Middleweight, Sidney Outlaw (9-3)
Outlaw was last seen last summer on the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series where Outlaw dominated Michael Cora for a unanimous-decision win but wasn’t awarded a contract. He is always pressing forward and once he gets his hands together, he is most likely getting the fight down. He is a powerful guy and he also has very high grappling IQ as he knows when to level-change to complete the takedown. Once on the mat, he is good as he is a veteran of regional jiu-jitsu contests. This is his first fight at middleweight and his opponent is Matteo Martinez (0-0).