We’ve got your weekly MMA prospect fix, and this week, ONE, KSW, and a number of other events are set to unfold.
Rough couple of weeks, right MMA fans? No UFC, a barely any major promotions in action at the end of November. A new month, and that all changes. The UFC is back, as is ONE Championship, Combate Americas, KSW, and more!
One Championship | Friday | Malaysia
Bantamweight: Gary Mangat (15-2)
A very solid all-around fighter, on the feet, Mangat is mainly a kickboxer. He chops at the legs, goes to the body, and connects to the head and at times it’s all set up at the end of combinations. Mangat is an excellent wrestler with nice timing on his level changes and on his double leg takedowns. The way Mangat is able to catch his opponent’s kick and take the fight down shows great awareness with wrestling ability. In top position, Mangat has very sound ground-and-pound, he is always landing no matter what position he is in. Mangat has shown he is a threat to take the back but his ground-and-pound may be his best weapon. He fights Reece McLaren (12-7) who is a good fighter in his own right.
Flyweight: Bokang Masunyane (6-0)
A former Commonwealth Games wrestler, the South African is a ball of energy standing at only 5’1″. On the feet, he has some power and is very explosive. Wanting to always close the distance he’s creative in the ways he does it throwing some “Showtime” type stuff. It’s easy for Masunyane to get low and when he does he will take you for a ride. Extremely strong, he shows that as soon as he gets his hands together. On the mat, he’s fluid in his movement and dominant with control. He fights Ryuto Sawada (12-4-1).
After a 6-1 amateur career, Schiro has grown into a very improved fighter. His stand-up still needs some work but he at least has heavy leg kicks. He also strikes well to close the distance in order to work his takedowns. Schiro has solid wrestling, but his jiu-jitsu is his strong suit. He is very slick with his transitions and while his ground-and-pound is good, he is excellent at hunting for submissions and closing the fight. He fights Agilan Thani who is a stiff test.
GFC 21 | Friday | Russia
Light-heavyweight: Vladimir Seliverstov (11-0)
Seliverstov is an underrated prospect who has some good wins over Charles Andrade and Dirlei Broenstrup. At times he can be a bit too patient but is well rounded and has good cardio. The Russian has some wrestling but is better on the feet. He’s a good kickboxer with good placement and timing. Seliverstov picks his shots well and can do it with his hands and kicks. He fights Oleg Olenichev (13-6) who should serve as a good test of where Seliverstov is at.
PFC 12 | Friday | Canada
Featherweight: TJ Laramie (10-3)
Laramie is a former Kickboxing and jiu-jitsu champion and utilizes a wide skillset making him an all-around solid fighter. Laramie owns excellent wrestling, a smooth ground game, and one-punch knockout power on the feet. He also has some good wins including one against current UFC fighter Charles Jourdain. He’s not the most exciting fighter but is dominant. He fights Andrew Cruz (7-3).
Brave CF 31 | Saturday | South Africa
Middleweight: Chad Hanekom (6-1)
Hanekom is a product out of Fight Fit Militia and Team Alpha Male and is a native out of South Africa. Hanekom is a pure athlete who comes from a background in rugby. He is well-rounded, but is a better wrestler. On top, he has some slick jiu-jitsu and is a submission threat with four of his six wins by submission. Hanekom hasn’t shown much on the feet yet but is athletic and has shown power with a knockout in his career. He fights Daniel Pereira (8-2).
Bantamweight: Abdul Hussein (6-1)
Hussein won the 2016 IMMAF world championship gold medal in the bantamweight division. He is well rounded being both dangerous on the feet and off the mat. On the feet he will need to tuck his chin better and keep his hands up higher, mind you. He really picks his shots on the feet being very conservative with his energy but has good accuracy with everything he throws, mixing it up well. Hussein is a decent wrestler but the work on the mat is better where he has good jiu-jitsu and some brutal elbows in his ground and pound. He fights Martin DeBeer (7-5).
Combate 51: Hidalgo | Friday | US
Strawweight: Melissa Martinez (6-0)
While she is very very early in her career and only 22-years-old, Martinez is a major prospect in the strawweight division. Martinez has not shown much on the mat because she wants to be on the feet the entire time. Martinez has great cardio with her constant footwork and effective side-to-side movement. Melly has the ability to break an opponent down with her chopping leg kicks. She also displays a quick release with her dangerous head kick that she has won a couple of times with. Martinez puts combinations together with her hands very well and her explosiveness and hand speed are solid. She really looks promising at such a young age. She fights Desiree Yanez (5-1) who is a good test. Don’t miss our interview with her.
Bantamweight, Daniel Barez (11-4)
The native of Spain is an underrated fighter with a solid resume. He’s both lost to and beat some good competition and is the former BAMMA flyweight champion. Barez is well-rounded but his power in his hands stands out the most. He’s a really good striker who will attack the body-head well and is a good counter striker. Barez has some good underrated wrestling and some good grappling as well. He’s a scrappy guy who’s super fun to watch. He fights Joao Camilo (6-3).
KSW 52 | Saturday | Poland
Featherweight, Salahdine Parnasse (13-0-1)
Parnasse is a solid talent with 13 total fights at only 21-years-old. Parnasse would prefer to keep the fight on the feet where he can use his effective movement and a good kickboxing base. On the feet, he does a good job of moving in and out and really loves to attack with leg kicks, which set up his strikes better. One of his best attributes is his cardio as he can fight at the same pace for three rounds, which often puts him above his opponents. He’s the real deal — check out our more in-depth feature on him here. He fights veteran Ivan Buchinger (37-6) who is an excellent test for Parnasse.
Lightweight, Shamil Musaev (13-0)
Russia’s Musaev is a good prospect and despite lacking enough footage, I liked what I saw. He’s a good wrestler with very sound ground and pound. His last two bouts he’s ended the fight in the crucifix position with elbows. He has a background in Sanshou which explains why he likes to use that spinning kick to the midsection. A lot is unknown about Musaev but keep your eyes on him. He fights Grzegorz Szulakowski (9-3).