Prospects the UFC Should Sign by the End of 2020

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Carlos Prates
Carlos Prates (left) Credit: ONE Championship

The Hardcore Fans

Oliver Green

Middleweight, Carlos Prates (10-5): This Brazilian prospect trains out of Phucket Fight Club. Prates has a muay thai and kickboxing record of 70-10, has an MMA record of 10-5, but his IG page lists 15-5. Carlos has great striking and BJJ, he excels at using hand traps, attacking the body with front kicks, and punches. He has amassed a record of 2-1 in ONE Warrior Series. His wrestling could use more work but is good at pummeling to get his under hooks in the clinch and attacking with knees. On the feet, Prates is a difficult fight for any fighter in his division. Carlos uses his reach very well and is good at dictating the range. He attacks with good knees to the body, and is good off of his back. Carlos is good at controlling the wrists and attacking with submissions off of his back.

Bantamweight, Ary Farias (9-2): I remember watching this BJJ phenom in ACB. I was impressed seeing him take his opponent’s back so easily and locking in the rear-naked choke. Ary performed a duck under, sunk the hooks in and locked up the RNC so easily. After that fight, he went the distance in his second outing at ACB. He showed that he can go three rounds without fatiguing. I was most blown away by his performance at LFA where he not only finished with one of the most devastating RNC’s I have ever seen but showing improved striking. Farias does a good job attacking the body with jabs and setting up his strikes. In his most recent bout, he hit an Imanari roll and attacked the leg with a kneebar. He ended up finishing the fight by RNC. This Jacare-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu phenom, coupled with his athleticism and strength is going to be a handful for any bantamweight in this sport.

Bantamweight, Jose Johnson (11-5): This long lanky bantamweight phenom’s record may not look like much but his striking is some of the most devastating striking I have seen in this weight class. Knocking out his last opponent in his LFA debut with a downward elbow that sent his opponent convulsing to the mat was super impressive. Jose uses his reach very well; he is dangerous within the clinch with elbows and knees. He is very quick and good at countering his opponents. When taken down he scrambles up to his feet immediately. With that being said there are some questions about his game. Jose is good at feinting and setting up strikes. His footwork is good too, he circles away from his opponent very well. In terms of striking Johnson uses kicks, knees, punches and elbows. Attacks the body and all levels. Unknown variables include his submission defense. He has been submitted before, one of those losses came to another good prospect in Levi Mowles, who is a very good grappler. Jose did a good job fighting off submissions in his LFA debut. Jose struggles at defending the single-leg takedown, but he is good at scrambling and hitting sweeps, as I mentioned earlier. Despite the questions, I may have, I strongly believe Jose Johnson will be a difficult fight for anybody in his weight class.

Middleweight, Sergey Romanov (19-3): This Russian welterweight is a good well-rounded fighter. He is dynamic and explosive on the feet mixing up his strikes with his grappling. Romanov throws good punches with kicks and spinning attacks. He is very explosive and has good throws in the clinch, as well as good trips even breaking an opponent’s arm in the clinch via a throw. He has bounced back his last two defeats by defeating Pablo Ortmann an undefeated prospect and UFC/Bellator vet Maquiel Falcao. Romanov attacks the body with kicks, and throws a jab, straight, hook combos as well. He uses good knees in the clinch. His takedown defense might be suspect, but Romanov is good at scrambling, sweeping, and has vicious GNP. Romanov at times doesn’t move his head off the centerline but throws crisp combos, and a crisp jab.

Featherweight, Felipe Froes (19-4-1): This Brazilian featherweight reminds me of Jose Aldo. He also trains at the same gym as that Aldo trains at, Nova Uniao. Froes is good at attacking the body and legs with kicks, while also feinting to set up strikes. Froes uses sweeps off of his back and threatens with submissions both from the top position and off of his back. Froes does an excellent job at varying his attacks while cutting off his opponent with low kicks, body kicks, and feints. Froes uses good hand combos, left hook, right hand combo to hurt his opponents. Froes is good at taking his opponent’s back and defending takedowns. The Brazilian angles his punches to get through his opponent’s guard. He will also sit back and slip strikes to counter with hooks, uppercuts, or knees. He can strike from both stances and has pretty good boxing. Overall a good fighter everywhere. He has been outwrestled before and isn’t comparable to Aldo yet in terms of grappling. But in terms of striking, I believe he is just as talented. Froes has a bad habit of looking at the ref to get him and his opponent to separate if he is pinned up against the fence. Which is surprising, because he has shown good ability to get off from the fence when he wants too.

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