The Undefeated: Esteban Ribovics, Jean Matsumoto, and Isi Fitikefu

Esteban Ribovics
Esteban Ribovics Credit: FFC

Undefeated fighters are a rarity in MMA, at least past six or seven fights. They almost always stand out as top prospects. This week, we take a look at three more of those in Esteban Ribovics, Jean Matsumoto, and Isi Fitikefu.

Esteban Ribovics

Weighing in at 155 lbs
Standing at 5’10″
Hailing from Salta, Argentina
Training out of Nova União Argentina
A professional record of 8-0 with a 100% finish rate

The five things that stand out the most:

  • Excellent kimura lock
  • Submission threat
  • Covers a lot of distance quickly
  • Takes a lot of risks
  • Utilizes trip takedowns well

Where does Ribovics excel?

Ribovics has finished fights both on the feet and on the mat. Starting off on the feet Ribovics is pretty slick when it comes to his footwork/movement. He does a good job moving laterally coming in with different patterns. Ribovics has a variety of striking techniques sometimes leading combinations with elbows and uppercuts. The way he throws from different angles is nice to see. Also, his right hand is money when he lands it flush.

As good as his striking is, he might be an even better grappler. His takedowns come from the clinch using trips and trapping his knee behind the leg, dumping his opponent down to the mat. Ribovics will then go for broke trying to get the finish or just a better position. No matter if he’s on top or bottom the grip on the kimura is enough for him to finish or get the sweep. Even when he’s about to be taken down he will use the kimura to create a scramble. Cardio wise he’s looked pretty good actively moving around and bouncing in and out.

Where does Ribovics need work?

The willingness of Ribovics to take risks is really a 50/50 position. Sometimes beside naturally fighting underhooks he will accept going down and relying on his kimura sweep. While it has worked out so far he has been succeeding against lower-tier guys. On the feet, he can be a bit too wild and crash in without much thought besides trying to land. Some defensive errors that a young guy can hopefully figure out soon.

Ceiling – High or Low

High. When first watching tape on the beginning of his career I wasn’t sold at all on Ribovics. With that said, in his last three fights, he’s a much-improved fighter. Now the opposition he’s been beating hasn’t been the greatest, but the last guy he defeated has a 21-6-1 record. I like his movement, striking, defensive grappling, jiu-jitsu, and his output — which should be enough to go far in his career.