We’re back with another edition of the Weekly MMA Prospect Report, and it’s far more than just the UFC in action this weekend, with Invicta FC, Bellator, ONE Championship, and others all hosting events.
There’s plenty of MMA action going down this weekend. The UFC is in Phoenix. Bellator MMA has back-to-back shows in Uncasville, Connecticut. Invicta FC heads to Kansas, and that’s just scratching the surface. What up-and-comers should you keep an eye on? We’ve got you covered in the latest Weekly MMA Prospect Report!
Invicta FC 34 | Friday | Kansas
Flyweight, Tracy Cortez (4-1)
On the feet, Cortez is good in the clinch but is better once she gets the fight to the mat. She has some solid chain wrestling and her grappling is solid as well. At times, she loses position but has shown that she can scramble well and take the back while doing so. We featured Cortez among the 15 women the UFC should sign this year in this article. She fights Erin Blanchfield (3-0) at Invicta FC 34. Giving Blanchfield her first loss would be a huge step toward the UFC for Cortez.
Flyweight, Vanessa Porto (20-8)
Porto has fought some of the best women in MMA including a loss to Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes but holds wins over Germaine de Randamie, Tonya Evinger, Jennifer Maia, Kalindra Faria, Roxanne Modafferi, and many more. Porto is well rounded but the veteran has eleven submissions so the mat is where she wants the fight. She fights former UFC fighter Pearl Gonzalez (9-3) who is 3-0 since her release. She was another inclusion among the 15 women the UFC should sign this year article.
Bellator 215 | Friday | Connecticut
Welterweight, Logan Storley (9-0)
Storley is a four-time All American wrestler, who has been dominating in his MMA career thus far. Storley makes takedowns look easy, has heavy pressure and lands big ground and pound where he is the most effective, finishing all his fights by TKO. Storley is a great wrestler, though on the feet he hasn’t shown too much. He has a powerful right hand and does a good job throwing straight punches and has shown solid leg kicks, but can wrestle all fight. He fights Ion Pascu (18-9) who is a stiff test. The smart money is on Storley winning, but he’s getting the right build in Bellator.
Welterweight, Austin Vanderford (6-0)
Vanderford fought last Summer on the Contender Series in a comeback of the year performance. In the end, he didn’t get the UFC contract but Bellator made the big move and inked him onto an exclusive deal. Vanderford is a really strong wrestler as he was an amateur wrestling champion. He has excellent chain wrestling and once on top he is very dominant. He doesn’t have much on the feet but he is growing and he does hold a lot power in his hands. He fights Cody Jones (6-2) whose weak TDD should cost him this fight.
Heavyweight, Steve Mowry (5-0)
Mowry is still green but is improving in each fight. Standing a 6’9″, he has all the tools to be a dangerous guy at Heavyweight. Training out of Combat Club the 26-year-old Mowry has plenty of time to develop into a more complete fighter. Though he’s only 5-0 as a pro, Mowry went 7-0 as an amateur with six wins by submission. He has some things to work on including his striking, which is improving, but overall he does a good job and stays long. Still, he is more effective in the clinch with knees. He has solid wrestling, being at his best once on the mat. And once there he has good jiu-jitsu for a big guy. He fights Darion Abbey (0-0) who did have a successful amateur carer, but this is a big step up in competition for him.
ONE Championship | Saturday | Thailand
Bantamweight, Daichi Takenaka (11-0-1)
This Japanese up-and-comer doesn’t offer much on the feet as his main goal is to close the distance and get the takedown. Takenaka does well at shooting for takedowns but if it doesn’t come quickly, he will position to the body-lock and get the takedown there instead. On the mat is where he is at best: he is quick in scrambles and a big threat at taking the back and getting the choke. To that end, Takenaka holds four submissions. He fights Mark Abelardo (17-4) who is on a 4-fight win streak.
Eagles Fighting Championship 11 | Saturday | Moldova
Featherweight, Valeriu Mircea (21-5-1)
With 27 combined fights, Mircea has tons of experience and is still only 25-years-old. Mircea is a fun fighter that is always looking for the finish stopping the fight 17 times. The Moldovian is aggressive, though at times he can be too aggressive and tire himself out. He’s got a big overhand right and slicing elbows. He has decent wrestling and a good ground game but on the feet is where he’s really dangerous. He fights Andrey Barberoshe (6-6) who isn’t too good.
Flyweight, Donna Cheli (3-0)
Moldova’s own Donna Cheli is only 19-years-old, and while she’s only 3-0 in MMA she’s also undefeated in kickboxing. She’s a straight forward fighter with every intention to finish the fight and get in her groove early. Despite her kickboxing background, Cheli has all three of her finishes from the mat with two submissions and a ground and pound TKO. There’s lots to like with Cheli — her speed, IQ on the mat, and how she looks so confident at a young age. She fights Anna Rudenko (3-2), who she should be able to overcome.
Cage Warriors 101 | Saturday | UK
Welterweight, Madars Fleminas (3-0)
He’s only 3-0 as a pro but went 9-1 as an amateur and won three titles. Fleminas on the feet is really good in the clinch with his knees. Still, you might expect him to be better since he has a long range at 6’2″. He’s superb on the mat in top position with active ground and pound. Fleminas has solid cardio as well, and shows improvement each fight. He could have a bright future, especially with his reach. He fights Matthew Bonner (4-4-1) who Madars should beat.
ACA 92 | Saturday | Poland
Light-Heavyweight, Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (16-5-1)
Yagshimuradov is a solid yet underrated light heavyweight prospect, holding key wins over veterans Jared Torgeson and ex-UFC fighter Joachim Christensen. Yagshimuradov is well rounded and is dangerous on the mat and on the feet. He shows a lot of athleticism on the feet with the ability to throw nice spinning heel kicks, but he also hits like a truck, picking up a few one-punch knockouts. Yet believe it or not, Yagshimuradov is even better on the mat. He has good power wrestling, has solid jiu-jitsu and his ground and pound is a fight changer. He fights Karol Celinski (16-6-1) who is on a 4-fight win streak.
CFFC 72 | Saturday | New Jersey
Welterweight, Sean Brady (9-0)
Brady does a bit of Muay-Thai under the well-known Rami Ibrahim, and some boxing under Derek Ennis to sharpen up his stand-up. He’s been training muay thai since 15 which compliments his ground game well. With a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, Brady is fluid on the mat with control, and even though he only has two submissions, Brady is a major threat on the floor. Training out of Renzo Gracie Philly, Brady has put himself around some good training partners such as UFC fighters Paul Felder and Eddie Alvarez. Brady has beaten decent competition like TUF winner Colton Smith. He fights Taj Abdul-Hakim (8-1), who he should just out-wrestle. We featured Brady in our 10 welterweights the UFC should sign this year article here.
Bellator 216 | Saturday | Connecticut
Welterweight, Michael Page (13-0)
Page is fairly known for his tactics in the cage, being a very cocky but comfortable fighter that plays mind games with his opponents. Page is a dynamic kickboxer who is accurate and as athletic as you get when you look for a top prospect. He’s excellent on the feet as he is a threat at all times but many think once he fights a good wrestler he may have trouble. No matter what anyone says about the guy he is an top shelf prospect. He fights the well-known Paul Daley (40-16-2), making this the biggest fight in the career of Michael Page.
Welterweight, Yaroslav Amosov (20-0)
Amosov is a very excellent fighter all around. His stand-up he combines his kicks and punches extremely well, he moves in and out fluidly with his punches, and uses his reach well too. Yaroslav doesn’t have a lot of knockout power but he is a finisher, finishing all but three of his wins. Amosov also has very good submission skills with nine submission wins, using his long arms for mostly chokes. As well he has excellent takedown defense. He fights former UFC fighter, Erick Silva (20-9). Amosov should take control everywhere.
Heavyweight, Tyrell Fortune (5-0)
Fortune has an accomplished background in wrestling, a division two champion, and a multi-time high school state champion. His stand-up isn’t bad as he has some power and is pretty good in the clinch, but he is clearly still pretty green. When Fortune does get the takedown he’s shown he’s knowledgeable in top position, and possesses some very effective ground and pound, which is one of his best assets. Overall he still needs some work, but he could have a good future if Bellator continues to build him up slowly. He fights Ryan Pokryfky (6-5) which is a gimmie fight for Tyrell.
Battle of Volga 9 | Sunday | Russia
Flyweight, Mariya Agapova (6-0)
Mariya Agapova is a nice prospect training out of Akhmat Fight Club, which is an excellent camp. She’s still very young at only 21-years-old and has a lot of upside going forward. On the feet, she throws at range well and while she could improve her footwork, she does have sharp hands. She thrives on the mat more as her ground-and-pound is her best weapon, and can threaten with submissions everywhere. Agapova has also shown solid grappling and overall is someone worth watching out for. We featured Agapova on our 15 women the UFC should sign this year article.