This week, we feature two up-and-coming fighters both inside and outside the UFC. One is an unranked fighter competing on this week’s UFC 246 card, Sodiq Yusuff. The focus here is on a fighter who has never been ranked, but who could be one day. The other, Christien Savoie, is a prospect outside the UFC who has a very high ceiling.
Featherweight, Sodiq Yusuff (10-1)
UFC 246 is the first UFC event of 2020. The first of not just the year but the decade. On the top of the card is Donald Cerrone going against the returning “Notorious” Conor McGregor. Not a lot of star power on the card, but Vegas will host many top up-and-comers. With a slew of unranked but possibly future stars we put the spotlight on “Super” Sodiq Yusuff.
Maycee Barber is a Contender Series alum that potentially one day could be a real contender. Sodiq is another DWCS fighter that has tons of potential, but who is currently outside the rankings. Yusuff is 3-0 in the UFC with key wins over Sheymon Moraes and Gabriel Benitez. If you date back to his Contender Series bout he had a stellar performance against a very good competitor in Mike Davis. Yusuff at 10-1 overall in MMA is an explosive striker with six finishes all via strikes. Primarily a striker, Yusuff has a lot of power in both hands. He has a hard chin, and is comfortable sitting in the pocket to take one to give one. People also forget that Sodiq is good wrestler and a solid grappler.
Yusuff is set to take on Andre Fili at UFC 246, a veteran of 26 fights. Fili has been in the UFC since 2013 and has an 8-5 octagon record. He’s had his bumps in his career but lately he’s really come into his own. Fili is a technician with sharper and quicker hands than Yusuff. Yusuff though has the power to put down Fili. This looks to be a very good fight and if Yusuff gets it done he will no doubt make the top 15.
Welterweight, Christien Savoie (7-0)
Savoie has competed at both middleweight and welterweight. Elite 1 MMA is a promotion out of Canada and Savoie has won two titles for them at welterweight and middleweight. Savoie was contacted last summer to be on the Contender Series, but it just didn’t pan out.
Savoie is mainly a grinder who will push the pace in close quarters. He wants to take the fight to the mat where his ground and pound is excellent landing at a solid rate, with good shots from a short amount of distance. Savoie is defending his Elite 1 MMA welterweight title against Pat Carroll this Saturday. Pat is 4-1 as a pro and is on a 4-fight win streak