Prospects the UFC Should Sign by the End of 2020

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Erin Blanchfield
Erin Blanchfield Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

Daniel Vreeland

Heavyweight, Renan Ferriera (6-2): “Problema” has all the makings of a heavyweight prospect the UFC would be salivating over. Each of his last 4 wins has come by stoppage, with 3 of those being in the first round. And it isn’t as if he’s beating slouches either: his last win came over Jared Vanderaa, who was the reigning EFC champion at the time. Plus, walking around at a menacing-looking 6’10”, Ferriera has the look for the big leagues as well. The only thing that may be holding him back is his most recent loss to LFA heavyweight champion Brett Martin. However, it’s worth noting that Ferreira had tagged him and was looking to finish when he landed an illegal blow that stopped the fight. Otherwise, we might be looking at him as the champ and a surefire UFC signing.

Lightweight, Connor Barry (6-3): While the record doesn’t 100% support it, Barry has been on a tear. In his last 4 fights, he is 3-1 – and should really be 4-0. The lone loss in that span was to TUF finalist Joe Gianetti. Clearly up 2 rounds to 0 going into the 3rd round, Barry got caught in a triangle. He found himself with plenty of breathing room and was doing the right things to have it not get finished, but then the referee stopped it due to some very questionable strikes (see it here for yourself). If having such a solid performance doesn’t convince you that Barry is ready for the big time, how about the fact that he holds a first-round stoppage over UFC signee Peter Barrett. At just 25 years old with a hot streak like this, he very well may need a few more fights to get to the UFC, but I would love to see him on Contender Series.

Heavyweight, Mohammed Usman (6-1): Usman is another of those heavyweights that seems to check all of the UFC boxes. Young for the division (only 31), majority of his fights end in the first round (5 of his 6 wins) and brings the violence every time. With his brother currently reigning over the UFC welterweight division, it feels like he should probably have an easier in with the organization as well. Even if that isn’t the case, working with Sayif Saud and the rest of the giants they have at Fortis MMA, Usman should rack up the necessary wins need to move to the big show by year-end.

Flyweight, Erin Blanchfield (5-1): At just 21-years-old, if you had told me Erin Blanchfield was ready for the big show a month ago, I would have been a little tentative. Then I watched the performance Kay Hansen (1 year her junior) put on and it changed my mind quite a bit. Not only did it serve as a friendly reminder just how high the talent-level is in Invicta, but it also reminded me that Blanchfield took a decision over Hansen. Although she has just 6 fights in her short career, 2 of them are against women who moved to the UFC (a split decision loss to Tracy Cortez being the other). Coming off of a highlight reel KO, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was signed before fighting another fight.

Flyweight, Jasmine Jasudavicius (4-0): Canada’s Jasudavicius may only have 4 fights under her belt, but she also has an undefeated pro boxing record to go behind that and an undefeated amateur career as well. With all the in-cage/ring experience, she fights well beyond her record. Her unique length makes her both difficult to hit and also absolutely deadly with knees and kicks. She finished opponents with both of those thus far as well as adding in some decent submission skills as well. With the recent tendency for the UFC to snatch up fighters for the women’s divisions with short records, it wouldn’t shock me to see her on Contender Series this summer or as a late replacement for a card in the fall.

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