MMA Prospect Watch: The Most Impressive Fighters from December

A.J. McKee Bellator MMA
McKee vs Campos Credit: Bellator MMA

Now that 2020 has arrived, we have a chance to take one last look at the previous year, or at least previous month. Plenty of intriguing MMA prospects were in action last month — here’s a collection of the most impressive.

Lightweight, Maciej Kazieczko (6-1)

Maciej Kazieczko fought a veteran of seventeen fights in Michael Dubois. The technical kickboxer in Kazieczko got it done quickly with his hands in under a minute. He landed a counter overhand right knocking Dubois out cold. Kazieczko moves to 5-1 in the KSW cage and is now on a three-fight win streak.
Grade: C+

Bantamweight, Bartosz Wojcikiewicz (6-0)

Bartosz Wojcikiewicz looked good here, with this being the first time I’ve sat down and watched him fight. Wojcikiewicz was a bit dynamic on the feet but it was the takedowns he was precise on. On the mat is where he did all the damage, eventually getting the stoppage. Wojcikiewicz was really dominant on top and landed some big cutting elbows. The elbows caused a cut in round two and at the end, in between rounds the doctor called the fight off.
Grade: B-

Lightweight, Shamil Musaev (14-0)

Russian Shamil Musaev took out a tough opponent in Grzegorz Szulakowski, a former KSW title challenger, and made it look easy. Musaev started off early with his kicks taking out the legs and going to the body. Later, it looked like Musaev was throwing a spinning kick but came with a back fist instead, and it landed flush. That stunned Szulakowski and the extra punches sent the ref in. Flawless performance and now 2-0 for KSW.
Grade: A

Featherweight, Salahdine Parnasse (14-0-1)

Salahdine Parnasse took on his biggest challenge in the well-known veteran Ivan Buchinger. Parnasse passed the test with flying colors and kept the interim KSW title. For five rounds he battered Buchinger putting him in danger many times, having him on skates for a majority of this fight. Parnasse showed excellent defense stuffing all takedown attempts. His head movement was slick slipping punches and finding home with his left hand many times. His speed was just too much of a difference and he used his speed to pick Ivan apart.
Grade: A+

Lightweight, Blake Donnelly (4-0)

Fundamentals are important in a fighter and Blake Donnelly displayed nothing but that in this fight. His jab was crisp and on point landing countless times. Donnelly doubled up on the jab and really made a mess of his opponent’s face swelling up his eye. Donnelly used plenty of feints and landed a lot of lead leg kicks. As the fight went on he got better and better and always had control with his striking. In round three the doctor called a stop to the fight. This is also his first title win beating a tough guy in David Martinez winning the Australian FC title.
Grade: B-

Bantamweight, Daniel Marcos (12-0)

Arguably the best prospect out of Peru, Daniel Marcos continued his undefeated run in December. He did a fine job cutting off the cage and landing significant shots against Gaston Gomez Manzur. Marcos put together leg kicks and strikes up until the finish. While mixing it up he landed a big knee in the clinch stunning his opponent. Off the clinch, Marcos landed a textbook uppercut scoring the knockdown. The extra strikes being hammer fists put the man out cold. It would be nice to see him be a bit more technical as he gets a bit wild at times.
Grade: C

Strawweight, Denice Zamboanga (6-0)

This was a very good fight between Denice Zamboanga and Jihin Radzuan. This was also the first time Zamboanga fought someone with a win, and she looked just as good. The fight spent a large amount of time on the mat. With some brief exchanges on the feet, Zamboanga was really getting the best of Jihin busting her nose up. She probably could have found the finish if it stayed standing as she was landing her left hand with ease. It was Jihin getting the takedowns but Zamboanga quickly hitting nice sweeps. Lots of back and forth on the mat with position and submissions but Zamboanga had more control. Very good fight and two good prospects.
Grade: B-

Lightweight, Chang Min Yoon (4-0)

At the begging of the fight, it was back and forth with some leg kicks. While his opponent landed more, Chang Min Yoon was landing heavier kicks. The second half of the first round, Yoon got the fight down and controlled with position and ground and pound.  Second round Yoon was very much in his groove landing heavy leg kicks. He landed a jumping knee into a tight ninja choke for the submission win.
Grade: B-

Bantamweight, Matheus Mendonça (5-0)

This was a scrap all the way up until the finish. Matheus Mendonca fought through some adversity getting tagged on the feet. He recovered very quickly and took the fight right back to the mat. Mendonca secured three solid takedowns and displayed some good BJJ. In the brief exchanges on the feet he was a bit behind but very much held his own. On the mat, he looked good in scrambles and mainly dominated there. Mendonca finished the fight getting into the mount and transitioning into an armbar. He switched to a triangle and finished with the straight armbar.
Grade: B+

Featherweight, TJ Laramie (11-3)

Going the full five rounds TJ Laramie dominated his entire fight against Andrew Cruz winning the vacant PFC Featherweight Championship. This time Laramie only used his wrestling lightly and instead got some work on the feet. He fought behind his left jab which was his most active and proficient weapon. Laramie coming off the jab found a home with his right-cross multiple times. He also chewed up the body with the lead left leg to the liver and digging the left hook in there as well. He looked good the entire fight always throwing while showing solid takedown defense. Laramie went for the guillotine many times which allowed him to win every scramble.
Grade: A-


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