There are a lot of up-and-comers to keep an eye on this week, as frankly a ton of talent is in action. Here’s our weekly MMA Prospect Report to help you keep track of the standouts!
Invicta FC 41 | Thursday | US
Flyweight, Eric Blanchfield (5-1)
Blanchfield is very well-known in the jiu-jitsu world where she won the EBI 12 flyweight championship. Her sole MMA loss is to UFC fighter Tracy Cortez; many thought Blanchfield won that fight. She really impressed me in her last fight when she knocked out Victoria Leonardo who is a good prospect. Still, a lot of work needs to be done on the feet but at only 21-years-old the sky is the limit. She fights Brogan Walker-Sanchez (6-1) who is a good prospect in her own right.
ONE Championship | Friday | Thailand
Strawweight, Nong Stamp (4-0)
Nong Stamp (Stamp Fairtex) is a world kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, with a Muay Thai record of 63-15-5. She hasn’t shown a lot in her MMA career to date. That said, she’s shown her kickboxing and Muay Thai skills of course, and although she could throw more volume, she picks her shots well. Stamp in her second pro fight actually got two takedowns and secured the RNC finish. She fights Sunisa Srisan (3-0) who Stamp should cruise by.
Fight Nation Championship 3 | Friday | Croatia
Light heavyweight, Ivan Erslan (8-0)
Erslan is easily the best Croatian 205 pound fighter outside a big promotion. Lately he has fought decent fighters, at least decent enough to test his skills. On the feet he is dangerous with power in his hands, but he is more of a threat on the mat. His ground and pound is by far his best weapon — it’s a fight changer. He fights Jusuf Hajrović (13-11-1) which is a gimmie fight for Ivan.
UAE Warriors 12 | Friday | Abu Dhabi
Flyweight, Manon Fiorot (2-1)
Fiorot may only have a few MMA fights but before transitioning to MMA she spent time in boxing and karate. In fact, she was a two-time French kickboxing and Karate champion and was the IMMAF 2017 amateur world champion in 2017. Fiorot is the current EFC Worldwide Flyweight champion beating a solid fighter in Amanda Lino. Her karate style is immediately noticable with her sideways stance, throwing with a high velocity of kicks. She puts her strikes and kicks together perfectly and is always throwing first. Foirot has a diverse skillset, in addition to striking she will use wrestling and pound out her foes from there. She fights Corinne Laframboise (5-3) who is a good test.
Lightweight, Usman Nurmagomedov (9-0)
A cousin of UFC champ Khabib and brother of fellow prospect Umar, Usman Nurmagomedov on the feet is a kickboxer at heart. He doesn’t throw with much power but he’s flashy and diverse with his attacks. He will throw spinning kicks, roundhouse kicks, and question mark kicks. Usman stays unpredictable attacking with all limbs and throws combos with just his legs alone. His wrestling is good, as well as timing double legs and on top. Simply put, he is a big threat. He fights Jerry Kvarnstrom (15-14).
LFA 87 | Friday | US
Lightweight, Nick Browne (9-1)
Browne’s sole loss is to John Gunther, and while that looks not so good in hindsight, he does have a few good wins. He’s beat opponents like Sidney Outlaw, Troy Lamson, and Trey Ogden who are all good fighters. Browne doesn’t have much to offer on the feet but strikes well to close the distance to wrestle. He’s a strong grappler being a big submission threat with five submission wins. Especially taking the back and finishing with the RNC is what he’s best at. He fights Ben Egli (12-3) who is a good test.
Featherweight, Michael Stack (4-0)
Michael Stack is pretty well-rounded with an undefeated pro record and amateur career going 4-0. On the feet he does need to move his head more as he gets cracked coming in. Stack does has some good hands though, going high and low ripping the body and coming over the top. He’s a better wrestler having wrestled in high school and on top, he throws active ground and pound. He fights Kai Kamaka (6-2).
Featherweight, Kai Kamaka (6-2)
Speaking of Kamaka, he’s a wrestler first who has all the intentionsto just have a wrestle heavy gameplan. He doesn’t have that finishing instinct on the mat but has heavy top control. Usually when he gets the takedown he’s content to just lay on top. He may have the boring label but it’s what he’s good at. Kamaka doesn’t strike often but has shown glimpses of good hands. He fights Michael Stack (4-0).
EMMA 16 | Friday | Ecuador
Welterweight, Michael Morales (8-0)
I will go on record to state that I’m not sold on Morales due to his poor level of competition. Morales is a tall welterweight at 6’3″ using his length well. He throws good leg kicks and long straight strikes. He does hold his hands low but he’s comfortable with his distance control. Morales doesn’t have the power but does have the output and volume. He fights Daniel Bastidas (2-0).
Brave CF 37 | Saturday | Sweden
Light heavyweight, Anton Turkalj (4-0)
Turkalj is a raw talent fighting out of Sweden. He’s a big guy standing at 6’4″ and is super athletic. On the feet, Turkalj fights long with a jab and kicks. He’s explosive throwing spinning kicks and flying knees as well. He puts together punches and knees well and can finish the fight in any moment. The Swede has an array of submissions dating back to his amateur career. He’s well-rounded and although he’s still raw he’s got the skillset to go far in his division. He fights Riccardo Nosiglia (8-2) who is his biggest challenge to date by far.
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. He fights Louis Glismann (6-1).
Welterweight, Louis Glismann (6-1)
Glismann is a top-notch grappler out of Denmark. From the start of the fight, Glismann is very aggressive getting the fight to the mat right away. With a high work ethic in the jiu-jitsu department Glismann is constantly working to improve position. He’s a high-level grappler easily passing guard and flowing on top. He has good ground and pound and is a really dangerous submission threat. He fights Henri Lintula (5-0).
SFT | Saturday | Brazil
Light heavyweight, Acacio dos Santos (12-3)
Santos is an interesting prospect. A towering 6’4″ he previously fought at middleweight. The Brazilian is limited on the feet, and while he has heavy kicks his brawling style throws technique out the window. Santos does have raw strength and that has earned him these wins. If he gets taken down, he will just stand up and take top position, Derrick Lewis style. If he does get on top, then he’s most likely staying there due to his size and his best weapon, which is his ground-and-pound. He fights Cássio de Oliveira (19-9-1).
Lightweight, Brendo Bispo (17-4)
With already 21-fights at only 26-years-old, Bispo looks to be in his prime since moving up to lightweight. Bispo trains out of Chute Boxe with UFC fighter Charles Oliveira. Bispo is very explosive but needs to throw more leg kicks because his legs are huge. He needs to throw more but he hits hard. He does a good job striking his way into the clinch where he has solid Muay Thai and can prove his strength. Bispo has some good ground-and-pound and is a threat with submissions. He’s really improved and is a good prospect all-around. He fights Renato Gomes (26-12) who is a good test.