During this MMA hiatus, we’ve taken to scouting the globe and selecting five favorite prospects from each country for the most part. In this edition, we examine some of the top fighting prospects coming out of Georgia. The country has never had that one breakout fighter, but in the UFC they have hope with Merab Dvalishvili and Roman Dolidze. Outside of that is former UFC fighter Levan Makashvili and current UFC fighter Liana Jojua.
Featherweight, Ilia Topuria (8-0)
Undefeated Ilia Topuria is a monster grappler and submission ace with all wins coming by submission. To get it to the mat he has solid wrestling, timing his shots perfectly. Glue-like on the mat he is great at sticking to the back and transitioning smoothly. Topuria is a tactical grappler with improving striking. He has good crisp hands but is still a bit green. Still a great prospect.
Lightweight, Guram Kutateladze (11-2)
Guram Kutateladze has been involved in martial arts his entire life. Guram competed in Shinryu, was a nine-time irigumi-go jujutsu Russian champion, and has many accomplishments in Thai boxing. Fighting out of Sweden but born in Georgia, he’s on an eight-fight win streak after losing two consecutive fights, one to former UFC fighter Oliver Enkamp. In his most recent fight, he knocked out former UFC fighter Felipe Silva in under a minute. On the feet, Kutateladze has a large variety of strikes and kicks mixing both together very well. He shows good athleticism, footwork, and excellent head movement to complement his stand up. He’s even better on the mat with ground and pound and solid jiu-jitsu and also has solid cardio on top of everything.
Bantamweight, Zviad Lazishvili (12-0)
Zviad Lazishvili won the Georgian Championship in Grappling 6 times in 3 different weight divisions (61kg, 66kg, and 77kg). He also won the Moscow Open tournament in Grappling (66kg), In 2014 he took second place in the amateur World Championship (WKF) in Czech Republic, and in 2015 he became World Champion by Kombat League version in Italy. Other than his last fight, his competition has been lacking, but still, a 12-0 record is impressive nonetheless. He’s got excellent wrestling and can fight at his wrestling-heavy pace all fight with solid cardio.
Welterweight, Levan Chokheli (10-0)
Levan Chokheli is a little known but exciting prospect, finishing all ten of his fights. There’s not really a ton of footage out there on him, but from what can be seen, he’s one to watch out for. Chokheli is an explosive fighter with a lot of power and speed. He’s got good dangerous kickboxing, good hands, and has shown how explosive he can be holding a flying knee knockout. There still needs to be a lot more shown on Levan but no doubt has the hype behind him.
Middleweight, Amiran Gogoladze (10-1)
While not fully sold on him, Amiran Gogoladze is only 22 and seems to be progressing quite well. On the feet, he’s ended fights with his hands and by kick(s). He utilizes a lot of feints, relying on his speed to hit the target. Gogoladze’s biggest issue is his takedown defense but it is a blessing in disguise. He’s at his best on the mat even off his back. He’s a big submission threat with only three submissions but all three he’s finished with are different subs.