Weekly Prospect Report: Highlighting the best of PFL #4, LFA 45, Cage Warriors 95 and more
PFL 2018 #4, Thursday. (7/19) – New York
Featherweight, Andre Harrison (17-0):
“The Bull” is a two-time All-American D2 wrestler who lives up to his nickname by pulling his opponents down to the mat and staying on top with heavy pressure. His wrestling is excellent and striking wise he is also dangerous. He has power in his hands, as he has dropped opponents in the past but his wrestling is his bread and butter. He is a grinding type fighter who likes to wear down his opponents and he has used his wrestling to take out some top-notch competition. He fights Nazareno Malegarie (35-4) who is on a six-fight win streak but Andre should easily take this fight.
Bantamweight, Timur Valiev (12-2)
After losing a controversial decision to Chris Gutierrez in February of 2016, Valiev got his rematch in October, this time getting the nod in the decision. Aside from competing in Freestyle Wrestling, BJJ, Grappling, and Kickboxing, Valiev is and a three-time Russian style Unifight champion, as well as a Russian Pankration Champion, European Pankration Champion, and a Dagestan/New Jersey Grappling Champion. His accolades speak for themselves. The Jackson/Wink product is a top prospect to watch for. He fights Darrick Minner (21-8) who is coming off a win.
Heavyweight, Kelvin Tiller (9-1)
Tiller’s sole loss has come to UFC and WSOF veteran, Elvis Mutapcic. Tiller has evolved into a much better fighter since then, with the loss coming three years ago. Tiller has wins over Jake Collier, who is a current UFC fighter, and Daniel Spohn, who has fought in the UFC on one occasion. Tiller is athletic, quick, and explosive and with his takedown defense needing to get better but if it’s on the feet his power is a problem. He fights former UFC fighter Jared Rosholt (16-4) who is on a two-fight skid and is a big test for Tiller.
LFA 45, Friday. (7/20) – California
Middleweight, Taylor Johnson (3-0)
Not much footage is available for Johnson but in only three fights he has made a name for himself. In his debut, he beat a Jamal Pogues who is a top light-heavyweight prospect. In his other two fights which have been with LFA, he’s shown knockout power with an 8-second knockout and another quick finish in 36 seconds via ground and pound in mount. He fights Luc Bondole (5-2-2) who is coming off a loss.
Bantamweight, Vincent Cachero (4-0)
Cachero is undefeated as a pro and also went undefeated as an amateur as well going 3-0. Cachero is a well-conditioned striker that likes to stand and let his hands go. Cachero has power but it’s his aggressive pace along with his constant output which makes him stand out. He is always throwing more than one punch and always throwing from different angles. He fights Carlos Puente (6-1) who is on a four-fight win streak but footage lacks.
Light-Heavyweight, Herdem Alacabek (4-0)
Alacabek is a promising prospect that trains with UFC star Ilir Latifi. Alacabek has dominated in all four of his bouts with his wrestling and superior grappling. He is a strong guy being able to slam his opponents to the mat but in top position is where he does his best work. He has three wins via ground-and-pound while in dominant position to go along with a submission win. His striking still needs some work as he is still green so he could find trouble if he can’t get the fight to the mat. He fights Dejon Daniels (1-2) who he should easily beat.
M-1 Challenge 95, Saturday. (7/21) – Russia
Bantamweight, Movsar Evloev (9-0)
He doesn’t have a ton to offer on the feet, but Evloev is a high-level grappler. He has a good feel for takedowns that mainly capitalize on mistakes, catching kicks, jumping on the back, and jumping on slips. But he has also shown he can get the body lock and work for a takedown that way. On the mat is where he is excellent. He’s great on top and during the little amount of time he has been on his back, has shown great scrambling ability. Evloev is a submission threat but is more prone to positional dominance, as he is an excellent back-taker and sticks like glue to his opponent. While nothing special on the feet, he’s been improving. He fights Rafael Dias (15-5) who is on a three-fight winning streak but Evloev is better everywhere.
Heavyweight, Adam Bogatirov (6-0)
Bogatirov is an excellent heavyweight prospect who is still only 23 years old. Bogatirov has a background in wrestling and has transitioned it so well into mma as his timing, level changes, and execution is done perfectly. The wrestler actually does a great job on the feet as for a big man he is really light on his feet and quick. Bogatirov has a diverse kicking attack and has relentless knees which has caused a few TKO wins for him. He fights Oleg Popov (2-1) who is coming off a loss.
Cage Warriors 95, Saturday (7/21) – UK
Welterweight, Mehrdad Janzemini (9-2)
Iran native Janzemini is an ADCC Bronze medalist and a combat sambo champion. On the feet, he is a bit green but does show knockout power but again his main focus is to get the fight to the mat. With the grappling background, Janzemini is a huge submission threat with six of his nine wins to his name. Janzemini is not afraid to pull guard and attack the leg as he has five submissions via leglock. He fights Stefano Paterno (11-2-1) who is good but his TDD lacks.
Welterweight, Ross Houston (6-0)
Bantamweight, Mike Ekundayo (6-0)
Also, watch for bantamweight prospect Adam Amarasinghe.
864 Fighting Championship, Saturday. South Carolina
Bantamweight, Dylan Cala (6-1)
The 25-year-old Cala is an awesome prospect to watch for this week. On the feet, he has dangerous striking, and though he doesn’t throw a lot of output, he is very good at picking his spots to attack his way inside. He has solid wrestling and is capable of using either chain wrestling or trip takedowns to get on the mat. Cala is fantastic once the fight hits the floor. His scrambling ability, his sweeps, the control are all beautiful to watch and his submission game is getting stronger. He fights Andrew Whitney (16-5) who is coming off a win and is a good test for Cala.
Valor Fights 51, Saturday. (7/21) – Tennessee
Bantamweight, Cole Ferrell (5-0)
Ferrell hasn’t been touched in his five fights and was rarely ever been in any kind of defense. Ferrell has shown glimpses of power in his hands but also is a good wrestler with a very solid ground game. He has shown that he has a tight grip when he gets the neck, hence why his four submission wins have all come by way of choke. Ferrell, only at 25, has a lot of things going right for him in his career as of now and is slowly making a name for himself. If there is one knock on Cole Ferrell, it would be that he needs a step up in competition. He fights Dillard Pegg (6-5) who is on a three-fight skid.
Invicta FC 30, Saturday. (7/21) – Missouri
Featherweight, Felicia Spencer (4-0)
Spencer has impressed in her four fights showing a well-rounded skillset. Spencer is primary a wrestler who is a good position grappler and really good at getting the back and getting dominant positions. On the feet, she is still improving but foundationally has good movement. Spencer has really good kickboxing as she is flashy but she does a great job throwing behind her punches. She fights Helena Kolesnyk (5-1) who is coming off a loss but this is the biggest test for Spencer.
Strawweight, Miranda Maverick (3-0)
A very promising prospect in WMMA. Maverick is a physical powerhouse being so strong everywhere as in the clinch she is very strong with her wrestling. But she shines brightly on the mat. She has a background in jiu-jitsu she and is so dangerous on top or bottom as her ability to shift her hips and attack is perfect. She is definitely someone to watch for. She fights Brogan Sanchez (5-0) who I’m not to impressed with but is a good test overall.
Flyweight, Erin Blanchfield (1-0)
Blanchfield is very well-known in the jiu-jitsu world where she won the EBI 12 flyweight championship. Blanchfield is only 1-0 as she went 1-0 as an amateur as well but at only 19 years old she has a good future. She has shown good ability to get the fight to the mat where she can show off her legit grappling. Blanchfield is a problem on the mat where her aggressive submission attack but beautifully done transitions along with some nasty ground and pound. She fights Brittney Cloud (0-0).
Three fighters with the highest ceiling (in no order):