Weekly MMA Prospect Report: Bellator Takes Center Stage

Adam Borics and Aaron Pico
Aaron Pico vs. Adam Borics Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator 226 might just steal the show when it comes to prospects this week, with some promising names like Tywan Claxton and Adam Borics getting big steps up in competition.

We’re back once again with the Weekly MMA Prospect Report, and in this edition, Bellator MMA figures large. Bellator 226 goes down Saturday in San Jose, and a trio of top prospects are on the card. The up-and-comers aren’t relegated to one card along, however, as Cage Warriors, CES and others are worth keeping an eye on!

Final Fight Championship 40 | Thursday | Nevada

Light Heavyweight: Alex Polizzi (4-0)

Undefeated as a pro and as an amateur going 6-0, Polizzi has the recipe to be a big prospect in the 205lb weight class. Polizzi is a D1 wrestler at Northwestern University from 2010-2015 and was a state champion. He needs work on his feet but his wrestling and athleticism will take him far. His ground and pound has been his best weapon to date. He fights former UFC fighter Daniel Jolly (6-4) in a fight he should win.

Lightweight, Max Rohskopf (3-0)

Rohskopf grew up wrestling and would become quite good at it winning the 2016 ACC Championship at NC State. There isn’t much MMA footage on him, but he has shown some good power in his hands and obviously good wrestling. His top game is slick with dominant transitions especially at taking the back. He fights DWCS veteran Zach Zane (13-8).

Cage Warriors | Friday | UK

Lightweight, Mehdi Ben Lakhdhar (4-0)

A product out of the MMA Factory, Lakhdhar is another fighter that could represent France at a higher level. The competition he’s fought isn’t great, so it does take away from his stock. He’s still looked solid though, mainly with his stand up. Lakhdhar has good side-to-side footwork cutting off his opponents and letting go with output. He hits really hard and is pretty darn quick as well. In the clinch, the Frenchman has also shown some solid Muay Thai with knees and elbows. He still needs to prove a lot more but is someone to watch for. He fights Joe McColgan (5-2) who is his toughest fight to date.

Bantamweight, Jack Cartwright (5-0)

Jack Cartwright has been wrestling since the age of five and has a background as a former ABA boxer. Undefeated as a pro and amateur, Cartwright is 9-0 combined in his MMA career. Cartwright thus far hasn’t shown much of his boxing, having four of his five pro wins by submission. The Brit is a good wrestler and more of an exceptional grappler. He’s got a very dangerous guillotine and d’arce he’s finished with a few times. If we’re not fully sold on him it’s because we haven’t seen enough. He fights Scott Malone (6-2) in a fight that will show how good Cartwright is.

CES 58 | Saturday | Connecticut

Flyweight, Carlos Candelario (7-0)

Candelario was last seen on the very first season of the contender series two years ago. He won that fight and didn’t get a contract and would later retire. Now, he’s back and still one of the better flyweight prospects out there. With a background in golden gloves, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, and MMA, Calos is undefeated in everything. Thus far in his MMA career, he has been dominant. His striking is good but it was his grappling that stood out. He fights Darren Mima (18-6).

Bellator 226 | Saturday | California

Featherweight, Adam Borics (13-0)

The 26-year-old from Hungary has a background in Thai boxing and karate but is more effective on the mat. On the feet, Borics is explosive and has a good extension on his strikes. His takedown defense isn’t where it needs to be, but he is excellent at locking up the triangle with three of his five submission wins by a triangle. His last fight, he made waves in knocking out top prospect Aaron Pico with a flying knee. He will fight the well-known ex-champ Pat Curran (23-8).

Featherweight, Tywan Claxton (5-0)

Undefeated as a pro, Claxton also never lost in his amateur career as well going 7-0. Claxton is primarily a wrestler with a background in wrestling as a Divison II All-American. He has excellent level changes and the speed behind his shots are perfect and is the reason his nickname is “Speedy.” On top is where he does his best work as his posture control is solid but it’s the constant and huge ground-and-pound he throws with elbows as well that makes him special. Claxton doesn’t play too much on the feet, but he does a great job faking the level changes and using his explosiveness and athleticism to get on the inside of his opponents. He fights Emmanuel Sanchez (18-4) which is his toughest fight by far.

Featherweight, Gaston Bolanos (5-1)

There aren’t gonna be many fighters that will want to stand with Bolanos if they watched his fights or simply know of him. He is a two-time South American Muay Thai Champion, U.S. Muay Thai Champion, and a two-time USA representative at the IFMA World Championships. He started in combat sports at the age of 10 and now at 26, he could very well have a bright future. He’s super technical but more so explosive with his offense including straight punches, damaging leg kicks, and his signature spinning elbow. He fights Daniel Carey (6-3) who is a step-down.

Rebel FC 9 | Saturday | China

Featherweight, Ali Magomedkhanov (6-0)

Fighting out of Russia, Magomedkhanov has looked solid thus far, although the footage on him isn’t spectacular. Mainly a wrestler based on what is available, Magomedkhanov does a great job shooting low and completing big takedowns. He’s proved once on top he’s a problem who effortlessly passes into the mount. And once he gets the mount he likely finishes it with his ground and pound. He fights Yibugele (8-4-1).