Movsar Evloev is a Russian prospect who needs an opponent on just over a week’s notice at UFC Shenzhen, so we looked at who could step up.
UFC Shenzhen had a featherweight bout that was scheduled for the card as Mike Grundy was set to take on Russian prospect Movsar Evloev. Unfortunately, Grundy pulled out due to an injury. The show must go on and a replacement still might be found. Vladimir Kramarenko and I decided on five prospects we’d like to see step in and fight Movsar Evloev.
Shawn Bitter’s Picks
Leonardo Limberger (13-1)
Fresh off a win just last week, Limberger moved his win streak to 10. Fighting out of Brazil, “Kazuya” is someone I’ve been high on for a while. The Brazilian is the current Shooto Brasil featherweight champion. Fighting so recently, I’m not sure if he would be on weight but he could be and this bout could be fought at a catchweight.
Limberger is well-rounded but he may be better on the feet. He’s shown one-punch knockout power but his high-volume output is where he excels. He is an excellent range fighter with great footwork and perfectly-timed counters. He uses leg kicks as one of his main weapons and does a good job switching to spinning kicks that are neither sloppy nor telegraphed at all. Being just as good on the mat Limberger, has really shown no weakness.
Joanderson Brito (11-2-1)
Another Brazilian making the list is Joanderson “Tubarao” Brito. Fighting at lightweight in the past, it may be tough making 145 on short notice, but it’s possible. Brito made a huge splash in his US debut last fight, knocking out Jose Mariscal in the first round.
The Brazilian has been on a roll since his last loss in 2015, going 10-0-1 in his last 11 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.
Igeu Kabesa 12-1
His only loss is to UFC fighter Danny Henry, which was a rematch of their first meeting, which Kabesa won. Of the two, I believe Kabesa has a much higher ceiling. “Smiley” is one of the two best prospects out of South Africa along with Demarte Pena. He is the current EFC Worldwide featherweight champion and is on a four-fight win streak.
Kabesa is a very decorated wrestler being a 10-time Wrestling Nationals Champion. He is young and 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 reach mount fairly easy. His striking is good too, moving in-and-out with explosive punches quickly and his slips and counters are solid.
Next: Vladimir Kramarenko’s Picks