Weekly MMA Prospect Report: Bellator Birmingham and Beyond

Nikolay Aleksakhin
Nikolay Aleksakhin Credit: ONE Championship

We’re back once again with the Weekly MMA Prospect Report – with Bellator in Birmingham, LFA 65 set to unfold, and more great action expected!

Here’s who to watch out for in our latest Weekly MMA Prospect Report. This week, you can find the three prospects with the highest ceiling highlighted with an asterisk. ONE, Bellator, the UFC, and LFA all had events set for the weekend — here’s who to keep an eye on, on the prospect side.

300 Sparta 31 | Tuesday | Peru

Bantamweight, Daniel Marcos (11-0)

Daniel Marcos is one of the best prospects out of Peru, with an impressive record over some decent regional competition. Marcos is an aggressive fighter who will move forward and throw volume. While he doesn’t have power, he will let his hands go and throws a lot of heavy leg kicks. His wrestling is very good as well, and he has good ground-and-pound. He fights Genison Lima (4-7).

LFA 65 | Friday | Colorado

 Featherweight, Jose Mariscal (9-3)

After a loss to current UFC standout Gregor Gillespie, Jose made the move down to featherweight from lightweight. One of his three losses is to another current UFC fighter, Bryce Mitchell, in what was a close decision. Since then, he is 3-0-1, and his competition throughout his career has been high level. He’s very well-rounded with a good kickboxing base and solid BJJ. Learn more about him here. He fights Joanderson Brito (10-2-1)

Featherweight, Joanderson Brito (10-2-1)

The Brazilian has been on a roll since his last loss in 2015, going 9-0-1 in his last ten fights. Brito is a bull walking his foes down and throwing huge looping hooks with big power. He’s a power striker on the feet, but has some good wrestling and better top position to fall back on. He fights Jose Mariscal (9-3)

TGC | Friday | Georgia

Lightweight, Marif Piraev (27-2)

First of all his record won’t go unnoticed with 27 wins and only two losses – and at only 26 years old. Those losses were to the undefeated KSW lightweight champ Mateusz Gamrot and to top prospect Tofik Musaev. Piraev spends a lot of his fight time on the feet where you can see him looking for a big shot while throwing many step in knees, flying knees, and head kicks — which he disguises well with his movement. He moves in and out deftly, exploding with punches and then back out quickly. His record boasts ten submissions, and all that is set up by his well-executed wrestling. Piraev could tighten up his takedown defense which would be his one flaw. He fights Rakhmanbek Abdurakhmanov (0-0).

EFC Worldwide 79 | Saturday | South Africa

*Featherweight, Igeu Kabesa (11-1)

Igeu Kabesa is a very decorated wrestler being a ten-time Wrestling Nationals Champion. He is young (25) 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 crisp too, moving in-and-out with explosive punches quickly. His only loss is to UFC fighter Danny Henry which was a rematch from the pair’s first meeting, which Kabesa won. He defends his EFC title against Karlo Caput (8-0), who lacks footage.

RCC 6 | Saturday | Russia

*Bantamweight, Victor Henry (17-4)

Victor Henry has shown he’s well-rounded, to go along with his successful background in catch wrestling. He thrives in scrambles and hunts for submissions actively, being well-versed on the mat. His striking is getting better with a solid base of kickboxing. Henry has never looked better and has key wins over current UFC fighter Anderson Dos Santos, and good prospects in Kyler Phillips, Denis Lavrentyev, and many more. He fights Nikita Chistyakov (11-4-1) where Henry should prove the better wrestler.

Lightweight, Pavel Gordeev (13-1)

Pavel Gordeev has shown he is a promising prospect, beating four undefeated fighters, former UFC fighter Mickael Lebout, and other solid competition. Gordeev is mainly a striker who loves to use the jab often. The Russian has good long straight punches and his speed can be a real factor. His wrestling is decent enough to be effective with good scrambles and an active ground game. He fights former UFC fighter Shane Campbell (15-7), who he should beat.

Welterweight, Nikolay Aleksakhin (23-5)

Aleksakhin has only lost to high caliber fighters, including to UFC fighter and multi-promotion champ Ben Askren. Now he is on a five fight win streak with victories over Mike Graves, Dominique Steele, and Elias Silverio, who are all former UFC fighters. Aleksakhin is an excellent talent who is solid all around. He has superb timing with big power in everything he throws. The Russian does a great job throwing his strikes and kicks together, and has proven that once he lets go, he’s dangerous in bursts. He fights former UFC fighter Jonavin Webb (12-3), a talented fighter who should be a good test for Nikolay.

Bellator Birmingham | Saturday | UK

Lightweight, Tim Wilde (12-3)

Wilde is an excellent striker on the feet. He switches stances often and cuts angles better than almost anyone. Wilde is quick, his timing is perfect and he shows great in-cage awareness. He has been taken down before but you never see him staying on his back as his scrambling ability is terrific, and his takedown defense isn’t bad at all. Even with all the striking credentials he has, Wilde can use his wrestling skills when needed. He fights Brent Primus (8-1) at Bellator: Birmingham, where Wilde is a big underdog.

*Middleweight, Fabian Edwards (6-0)

Edwards has excellent distance management, using effective footwork and speed to stay on the outside. Edwards throws single strikes at times, but makes up for it with crazy explosiveness and athleticism, as well as his speed. That allows him to fire straight punches quickly and with just so much power. He’s also the younger brother of UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards. He fights Falco Neto Lopes (10-9).

Welterweight, Giorgio Pietrini (16-4-1)

Pietrini is arguably the best fighter out of Italy, with an impressive record and still only 27 years old. On the feet, he has a good jab and straight punches. He has power in his hands but he usually strikes to wrestle so he can get top position. Pietrini is at home on the mat in top position where he holds multiple submissions, but he’s excellent at finishing fights with his ground and pound. He fights former UFC fighter Jim Wallhead (30-11), who Pietrini should beat.