Scouting the Globe: The Five Best Prospects From Finland

Jesse Urholin
Jesse Urholin Credit: Cage/Youtube

During this MMA hiatus, we’ve taken to scouting globe and selecting five top prospects from each major player in the sport, in terms of countries. This time out we’ll be taking a look at Finland. In Finland we find a lot of talent coming up through the ranks. Right now there aren’t too many known fighters out of the country, but the more well-known ones are Makwan Amirkhani, Teemu Packalén, and Anton Kuivanen.

Welterweight, Jesse Urholin (6-0)

No doubt in the grappling realm Jesse Urholin is in his wheelhouse. The Finland native is a BJJ black belt and arguably the best grappler out of the Nordic area. He’s won medals at the IBJJF European Open, ADCC trials, was an ADCC European Champion in 2015 and 2017, and was an ADCC World qualifier those two same years. Urholin is very good in the grappling department, but his ground and pound is also fierce. Which makes Urholin a feared grappler, as if he isn’t putting you out with a submission he will smash you with punches and elbows. To complement his grappling he does have good wrestling usually utilizing takedowns from the clinch. On the feet, he’s still improving but has a good check right hook and heavy leg kicks.

Flyweight, Abdul Hussein (7-1)

Abdul Hussein won the 2016 IMMAF world championship gold medal in the bantamweight division. He is well rounded being dangerous both on the feet and on 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 his work on the mat is better as he has good jiu-jitsu and some brutal elbows in his ground and pound.

Middleweight, Glenn Sparv (22-7)

Glenn Sparv is a bit of a veteran and probably the most well-known fighter out of Finland from the regional scene. He’s just shy of the thirty-fight mark but has still not yet had his break on a big stage. Sparv is a bull once the bell rings as he will walk his opponent backward to close the distance. Sparv has good Muay Thai, but is excellent at getting the fight to the mat. As his grappling and scrambles are good, Sparv is very dominant on top with active ground and pound.

Welterweight, Henri Lintula (5-0)

Henri Lintula hasn’t fought as high a level of competition as some of his fellow prospects, but he has been nothing short of dominant. He has a 100% finish rate with four wins coming by submission. Lintula is primarily a grappler, with a BJJ black belt. His wrestling is getting better but on the other side it seems like he doesn’t mind getting taken down himself. As long as he’s on the mat he’s in his realm. Lintula doesn’t have much on the feet but you can imagine that with his time at Tiger Muay Thai and City Kickboxing, he will get better. Still, his jiu-jitsu is where he is dominant.

Featherweight, Edward Walls (10-5)

Edward Walls may have a .500 record but in his defense, he got back one of his losses and his last two defeats were by split decision. Despite those setbacks, he’s only 25-years-old and very exciting to watch. Walls is electrifying on the feet firing long one-two’s and heavy kicks. He’s very dangerous, explosive, especially with the head kick, which he’s very good at throwing. Walls does have wrestling in his back pocket and is getting better once on the mat. Walls is on a two-fight win streak, looking good in the process.