It’s rare to find a fighter you might consider a prospect fighting for a major title, but that’s where things stand with Patrick “Patchy” Mix this weekend. Mix, 13-0, has been paired up with the vastly more experienced Juan Archuleta at Bellator 246, with the promotion’s bantamweight title on the line.
Due to some foolishness and bias, Mix doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry. But never, ever let that cloud your judgement on the quality of a fighter. Mix has done nothing but impress in his career thus far, and he’ll look to graduate to star status should he claim the title so early on in his career (if we’re being honest, people tend to overlook his amateur experience).
At 8-0 and fighting Derek Campos, Keoni Diggs has the chance to make a name for himself on the very same card. There’s that, and a lot more action this week, so here’s our Weekly MMA Prospect Report.
Fight Nights Global/GFC | Wednesday | Russia
Middleweight, Vladimir Mineev (14-1-1)
Mineev has several good wins, the most notable being against former UFC fighter Maiquel Falcão, who actually beat Mineev in an awful decision victory in the fight prior. There have been doubts in the past about his cardio, takedown defense, and head movement, but he has grown into a well-rounded martial artist. The Russian has a dynamic offensive striking attack with excellent output with his hands and kicks, and his wrestling is underrated as well. He fights Dauren Ermekov (15-4).
Lightweight, Usman Nurmagomedov (10-0)
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 Svyatoslav Shabanov (18-9-1).
LFA 91 | Friday | US
Bantamweight, Hailey Cowan (5-1)
Cowan has an extensive background in gymnastics and was very accomplished at Baylor University. She won a few tumbling national titles and is a two-time All-American. After coming up short in her pro-MMA debut, she then went on to win her next four fights looking impressive in the process. She’s a big and strong 125er who is moving up to 135 for this fight. Cowan is well-rounded, holding a rear-naked choke and a highlight-reel head kick knockout. She fights Kelly Clayton (1-2).
Light-heavyweight, Nick Maximov (4-0)
Maximov outside of MMA has put in some time in wrestling and jiu-jitsu. He won the American Nationals for Gi/No-Gi at purple belt, was a National Junior College All American (3rd) at Clackamas community college, and has won multiple regional/state titles for jiu-jitsu as well. Currently 4-0 as a pro, Maximov went 6-0 as an amateur. There isn’t much recent footage but he has the hype behind his name. He fights Johnny James (1-1).
Bellator 245 | Friday | US
Light-heavyweight, Alex Polizzi (6-0)
Polizzi has the recipe to be a big prospect in the 205lb weight class. Polizzi was a D1 wrestler at Northwestern University from 2010-2015 and was a state champion. Polizzi needs work on his stand-up but his wrestling and athleticism will take him far. His ground and pound have been his best weapon to date. He’s never gone the distance but his pressure and relentless style (a.k.a. his cardio) have held up just fine and that’s into championship rounds shown in his last fight. He fights Rafael Carvalho (16-4).
Bantamweight, Keith Lee (6-3)
Don’t be deceived by Lee’s record at only being .500. His losses are all to good fighters. Keith is the younger brother of UFC star and top contender, Kevin Lee. Keith is very excited and is extremely well-rounded with excellent cardio. On the feet, Lee has a nice jab and throws a lot of kicks. He’s an even better wrestler who actually out-wrestled an excellent wrestler in Shawn Bunch. He fights Vinicius Zani (11-6).