Scouting the Globe: The Five Best Prospects From Mexico

Combate Americas Super Mely
Melissa "Super Mely" Martinez victorious after winning the inaugural Combate Americas strawweight title. Photo: Scott Hirano/Combate Americas

During this MMA hiatus, we’ve taken to scouting world and selecting five favorite prospects from each country for the most part. In this edition, we take a look at some of the top fighting prospects coming out of Mexico. From the UFC alone, standouts include Mexican stars like Alexa Grasso, Yair Rodriguez, Brandon Moreno, and Irene Aldana. Here’s who to look out for moving forward.

Lightweight, Rafa Garcia (12-0)

Rafa Garcia is currently signed to a top promotion in Combate Americas and is their reigning lightweight champion. Garcia is a top prospect out of Mexico who has beat some credible opponents, including former UFC fighters Estevan Payan and Humberto Bandenay. Garcia is a solid wrestler/grappler with an overhand right. He’s not too technical on the feet but Garcia does hit hard, mainly with leg kicks and his right hand. Garcia is really good at executing the single leg takedown and just using his wrestling in general. He has seven wins by submission which is proof that his jiu-jitsu is very solid.

Strawweight, Melissa Martinez (7-0)

While she is very very early in her career at only 22-years-old, Melissa Martinez is a major prospect in the strawweight division. She is currently signed with Combate Americas and is their current 115-pound champion. Martinez has great cardio with her constant footwork and effective side-to-side movement. “Super 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.

Lightweight, Daniel Zellhuber (8-0)

At only 20-years-old, there will for sure be way more to learn for Daniel Zellhuber, but at this point in his career, Zellhuber has looked darn good. The Mexican has a tall lanky build at 6’1″being a huge lightweight. While he does use his length at times, he’s more of a Muay Thai fighter. Zellhuber has excellent clinch work with knees and elbows. He has had some problems with his takedown defense though. Still, he does have a decent rubber guard, and is a promising young man with lots of time to develop.

Featherweight, Alejandro Flores (17-2)

Alejandro Flores is a prospect with a good amount of experience, stepping into the cage 19-times. In the last four years, Flores has only lost once. That loss was to a top fighter/prospect in Andrés Quintana, where he was caught early in the fight. Following that loss, Flores won his next two fights. The Mexican native is an action fighter always bringing in all to the table. Flores throws really good long punches and mixes in some excellent leg kicks/body kicks. He’s very technical and can go three rounds no problem, doing it many times in his career.

Bantamweight, Luis Rodríguez (11-1)

Luis Rodriguez is on a seven-fight win streak and is starting to get more well-known to a wider audience. “Lazy Boy” is a diverse striker who will throw a lot flying knees and some nasty elbow strikes. Only one of his fights has gone the distance and when you see him fighting you see why. He’s very aggressive on the feet throwing with some power in his hands while mixing in some very heavy leg kicks. His glaring weakness is his takedown defense but off his back he does well enough to get back to his feet or turn towards his opponents. He’s a striker first but does have decent wrestling and even better is a threat at taking the back.