MMA Prospect Watch: The Most Impressive Fighters from October

Carvalho vs. Nemkov Credit: Bellator MMA

Middleweight, Vadim Nemov (11-2)

Nemkov continues to push his name forward for the Bellator light-heavyweight title shot. This time, beating former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho. Nemkov did show a bit of his striking in this fight stunning Carvalho twice with a straight right and once with a head kick. The story was his control after four takedowns. As soon as the Russian took the back, it was the small shots to open up the RNC finish.
Grade: B-

Strawweight, Alan Gabriel (11-4)

Making what I believe is his strawweight debut, Gabriel looked good. Gabriel came out aggressive throwing looping hooks and heavy kicks. He was taken down early, stopped in his tracks. Gabriel was never in trouble though, instead he was the one throwing up his legs and looking for space. He used a leg lock to get back to his feet and into the clinch landing some good knees. As soon as they broke the clinch, Gabriel went right after his opponent and landed a left hook for the clean knockout. He beat Lucas Rocha who was 11-0 at the time.
Grade: B-

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Featherweight, Evgeniy Ignatiev (13-2-2)

Now on a three-fight win streak, Ignatiev in this fight won the Fight Nights Global title. He showed a well-rounded ability including some fundamentals. He led with a straight left and followed up with his right hand. This was also complemented with some excellent head movement and timing. In round two, Ignatiev stuffed a takedown and took top position and quickly moved onto the back. He kept going back and forth with the ground and pound and the RNC. He had his opponent flattened while on the back and landed huge strikes to the side of the head putting him out cold.
Grade: B-

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Light-heavyweight, Artur Aliskerov (8-0)

Aliskerov did have a good performance but his opponent could have been way better. He attacked with heavy leg kicks quickly and frequently. Mixing it up well he kicked the outside and the inside of the leg. Aliskerov was having his way on the feet but still completed an easy takedown and landed strikes until the ref stepped in.
Grade: C-

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Heavyweight, Mohammed Usman (5-1)

Unlike his last fight, Usman was able to find the finish in this bout. Usman is a guy who you don’t want on top of you. The big man got the power double leg takedown and quickly got into mount. He unloaded big ground and pound taking the back and having his opponent tap due to strikes. Usman has now won his last two after losing to current UFC fighter Dontale Mayes.
Grade: C+

Flyweight, Juan Puerta (18-6)

Puerta is now on a seven-fight win streak and this made it his second Titan FC title defense. Puerta is solely a grappler and in this fight, he showed that. Not much on the feet, Puerta did get the takedown for each of the four rounds. His grappling was solid and always looked for the finish. In round 2, he did almost finish with the armbar but did find it in round 4 getting the tap. One-dimensional but a big threat on the mat.
Grade: C

Light-heavyweight, Dalton Rosta (2-0)

Rosta is a prospect with some hype behind him in the Bellator cage. This was a one-sided fight but Rosta did show he is a bit rough around the edges. His cardio did slow in the second. On the feet, he did a fine job as he hits hard but isn’t too technical. His wrestling though is solid getting three big takedowns. Pretty solid in top position, Rosta landed big ground and pound which got his the stoppage in round 2.
Grade: C-

Lightweight, Jai Herbert (10-1)

Making his first title defense, Herbert took out a former UFC fighter in Cain Carrizosa. In the opening seconds of the fight, Herbert dropped Carrizosawith a straight right. At the range, Herbert was picking Carrizosa apart with his right and long punches. In the clinch, he was landing huge elbows and knees and it was a knee that put Carrizosa out cold. Brutal finish from a guy who should be in the UFC next.
Grade: A+

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Welterweight, Madars Fleminas (7-0)

Compared to his last Cage Warriors performance, Fleminas looked pretty good here. Usually a grappler he showed more of his striking than before. He had a really good flow with his output not packing a lot of power but with some solid volume. He kept his hands low which did cause him to get hit. Fleminas was just too active on the feet and won the few grappling exchanges they had.
Grade: C

Flyweight, Zarrukh Adashev (3-1)

After losing his first fight, Adashev has won his last three all inside the Bellator cage. The kickboxer in round one showed solid takedown defense and was the one landing the few takedowns. Adashev was going for submissions including a guillotine and a deep armbar in round one. Round two, Adashev came out guns blazing landing the left and rights putting his opponent on skates. With constant output and combos the ref stepped in for the standing TKO.
Grade: B+

Bantamweight, Jornel Lugo (3-0)

Lugo is only 3-0 but he had a good performance against a dangerous fighter in John Douma. Douma is a threat on the mat and Lugo survived the few exchanges and his takedown defense was solid. Lugo switching stances stayed at range picking his shots. He fought very smartly keeping Lugo at the end of his punches. Lugo fought with his hands low but threw from a lot of angles mixing in good combos for the three rounds.
Grade: C+

Bantamweight, Patrick Mix (12-0)

Another dominant win for Mix making it 2-0 for him in the Bellator cage. Mix in the opening seconds landed a big body lock takedown.  From there Mix showed how methodical he is on the mat. Taking the back instantly, Mix was glue-like up to the finish. Landing ground and pound it was a rare Suloev Stretch he ended the fight with.
Grade: A


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