MMA Prospect Watch: The Most Impressive Fighters from December

Tagir Ulanbekov Credit: FNG/Youtube

Flyweight, Tagir Ulanbekov (11-1)

Tagir Ulanbekov got the takedown early in round one and controlled on top for the whole round. He never got close to stopping the fight but held position and stayed active with ground and pound. Round two he landed a right knocking his opponent down. Ulanbekov locked in a guillotine and pulled guard putting his opponent to sleep.
Grade: C 

Featherweight, Armen Gulyan (9-0)

Armen Gulyan still showed to be a bit too wild on the feet in his most recent outing, but his wrestling prevailed. At times he struggled to close the distance but once he did he muscled his opponent to the mat. Once on top, Gulyan dominated. He landed active enough ground and pound even getting the crucifix position. Round three he was taken down but quickly used the butterfly hooks to elevate his opponent and lock in a heel hook for the tap.
Grade: C

Middleweight, Arseniy Smirnov (7-1)

This was a good display in a three-round fight from Russian Arseniy Smirnov. He didn’t fight the best opponent, but he dominated and was on the verge of finishing the fight a few times. He displayed good hands throwing from different angles landing up to 3-4 piece combos. Smirnov attacked the body as well really going after the finish in flurries. He was throwing a lot of output and with multiple weapons including front kicks, body kicks, knees, and elbows. He did get a bit tired but still stayed pretty good defensively. In round three he got the top position and landed a good amount of ground and pound to close out the fight.
Grade: B-

Welterweight, Georgiy Kichigin (23-6)

Georgiy Kichigin fought an experienced guy in Cleber Souza and dominated with ease. He ended the fight in round two but in round one he was very close. Kichigin got the easy takedown to open up the fight. He landed a barrage of ground and pound posturing up in the guard and unloading. The same thing happened in round two with a takedown and excellent ground and pound. He would this take finish the fight with an RNC.
Grade: A
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Welterweight, Martun Mezhlumyan (8-1)

Armenian born Martun Mezhlumyan looked good in December. He had that killer instinct from the bell to the finish. Throwing output from the beginning Mezhlumyan really loved to throw his lead elbow over and over. He also mixed in three takedowns as well and landed even more heavy elbows. With a lot of punishment dealt to his opponent, he found the finish in round one with ground and pound.
Grade: B
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Lightweight, Yusup Raisov (16-1)

This fight largely played part on the mat but Yusup Raisov looked good on the feet landing solid punches and slipping and ripping well. He got top position not long into the fight and it was all him from there. Raisov beat his opponent up with active heavy ground and pound including some smashing elbows. Raisov looked like he was about to finish the fight a few times with ground strikes visibly stunning his opponent. The damage added up and the ref stopped the fight after the first round.
Grade: A+

Bantamweight, Rustam Kerimov (14-0)

Rustam Kerimov took on a crafty BJJ guy in Francisco Maciel. On the feet he was throwing a little bit of flash with spinning attacks, but it was his wrestling that was really on display. In the span of about three minutes, Kerimov landed four takedowns. He disguised his level changes behind strikes getting easy big takedowns. He even had a nice belly-to-back suplex which led to the finish. Standing in the guard Kerimov would land some big shots resulting in some hammer fists for the clean knockout.
Grade: B
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Welterweight, Nassourdine Imavov (8-2)

Nassourdine Imavov moved his win streak to five with a win over former UFC fighter Jonathan Meunier. Meunier had never been stopped in the first round or by TKO and Imavov did just that. The counters were on point early for Imavov and the beginning of end started with a nice check left. With blood in the water he landed a right and another left dropping Meunier. Imavov busted up Meunier causing a bloody mess and the constant output eventually sent the ref in.
Grade: B-

Heavyweight, Oumar Kane (1-0)

Oumar Kane made his MMA debut and looked darn good, although he was too wild on the feet and did a bit too much chasing. Kane is an undefeated Senegalese Wrestling Champion and he displayed that in this fight. Round one he showed his wrestling getting three emphatic takedowns. At one point, his opponent attempted a kimura from bottom and Kane stood up and slammed him to the mat. Round two, Kane took the legs out underneath his opponent with a heavy leg kick. Kane swarmed and eventually got the TKO stoppage.
Grade: B-

 Featherweight, Daniel Argueta (4-0)

It was almost all grappling from Daniel Argueta getting the fight down with two takedowns, though he seemed to score a knockdown with a lead uppercut. He easily would transition to the back and as he locked in the RNC he landed good ground and pound. Argueta still has a 100% finish rate with all stoppages in the first round. He does need a step up in competition though.
Grade: C+


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