Weekly MMA Prospect Report: Yusup Raisov, Alesha Zappitella and more

Alesha Zappitella
Alesha Zappitella def. Lindsey VanZandt by split decision Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

This week’s MMA Prospect Report touches on events from Invicta FC, Shooto, and more. Watch out for Yusup Raisov, and Alesha Zappitella, in a title fight Thursday. Let’s get right to it.

BFC 61 | Belarus | Thursday

Bantamweight, Aydemir Kazbekov (4-0)

Kazbekov is a small 135er and I believe he could and should be fighting at 125 instead. On the feet, the Russian is a bit wild throwing a lot of looping hooks. He is always coming forward and even if he is throwing wild he hits hard. Kazbekov is a master of sports in Freestyle Wrestling and it shows. He’s got strong wrestling and on top, he’s even better. Kazbekov throws excellent ground and pound and is good at flowing on top into dominant positions. He fights Yury Balka (1-0).

CFFC 84 | Thursday | US

Bantamweight, Jared Scoggins (9-1)

Jared is the younger brother of the well-known former UFC fighter Justin Scoggins. Jared has the same potential, and has a background in karate. He is light on his feet and throws a lot of kicks at rage well. I’m more impressed with Jared’s wrestling, he changes levels well and is near perfect on his takedowns, and on the mat, he moves well on top and throws a lot of ground and pound. So overall a promising fighter. He fights Thomas Vasquez (8-4).

Invicta FC 42 | Thursday | US

Atomweight, Alesha Zappitella (7-2)

Zappitella started in wrestling before transitioning later into MMA. After a 2-2 amateur career, she has an impressive 7-2 record now as a pro. She stands at 4″11″ but has made up for that with her constant pressure getting into the clinch and fighting her fight. On the feet, she has some power in her overhands but she may struggle at range if she can’t close the distance. She is a fantastic wrestler who has been very impressive on top with her active movement and transitions. She fights Ashley Cummins (7-5) for the vacant atomweight title.

CFFC 85 | Friday | Friday

Welterweight, Ramazan Kuramagomedov (7-0)

Kuramagomedov is a fighter with very few flaws. His defense is all around is solid from his head movement to his footwork and good takedown defense. He has good kickboxing and mixes in strikes and kicks together perfectly. The Russian is an unpredictable but technical fighter. He’ll throw a variety of attacks while throwing a lot of feints and fakes. Kuramagomedov throws a lot of lower calf kicks, putting his opponents off-balance then throwing head kicks or the flying knees. He has a natural flow to what he throws going to knees, lead elbows, knees just so effortlessly. Kuramagomedov is very comfortable on the feet but has solid wrestling as well. Ramazan has three submissions all by an armbar, guillotine, and a Von Flue Choke showing his variety. He fights Trevor Ollison (4-2).

LUX 010 | Friday | Mexico

Lightweight, Daniel Zellhuber (8-0)

At only 20-years-old, there will for sure be way more to learn for Daniel Zellhuber, but at this point in his career, Zellhuber has looked darn good. The Mexican has a tall lanky build at 6’1″being a huge lightweight. While he does use his length at times, he’s more of a Muay Thai fighter. Zellhuber has excellent clinch work with knees and elbows. He has had some problems with his takedown defense though. Still, he does have a decent rubber guard, and is a promising young man with lots of time to develop. He fights Miguel Arizmendi (8-4).

Shooto 2020 Vol. 6 | Friday | Japan

Featherweight, Joji Goto (10-3-1)

Goto is a very nice prospect out of Japan who is on a five-fight win streak. The 24-year-old is a power striker who has excellent body-head work. Goto is all about putting punishment on opponents chopping and the legs, going to the body, and cracking the chin he has done so many times. Goto is an impressive striker and a counter striker with an excellent pull-back return. His striking has people forget that he is a threat at grabbing the neck as well with two submissions. He fights Nobuki Fujii (20-11-3).

Fight Nights Global 97 | Saturday | Russia

Heavyweight, Oleg Popov (7-1)

I’m not fully sold on Oleg Popov as it seems he could easily make 205. Popov is a wrestler who looks to have at least some decent power in his hands. He’s an aggressive guy constantly shooting and with his lack of size he makes up with it for his strength. Not entirely someone who will blow you away on the mat but he has some heavy top control. He fights Baga Agaev (28-21).

ACA 111 | Saturday | Russia

Lightweight, Yusup Raisov (16-1)

Yusuf is a very technical striker as he throws a range of combinations from different angles. In combinations, Yusuf is usually throwing up to four strikes at a time which is sensational. He’s a pocket striker unloading tight punches from a short distance. He’s good at mixing in leg kicks in combinations mixing them at the end of punches and sometimes will throw punches after a kick. He usually picks his shots with his kicks but will throw with some flash using spinning kicks. When he spins he does usually connect and he has a finish from a spinning kick to the liver. The wrestling of Raisov is his best weapon by a large margin and that says something. Like a lot of Russian fighters, Raisov has high-level top-notch wrestling. Everything in this department Raisov does perfectly. If he doesn’t secure the initial takedown he’s good at chaining attempts together getting the fight to the mat the second time. Check out my prospect of the month piece on him here. He fights Artem Reznikov (21-6).

Light-heavyweight, Asylzhan Bakhytzhanuly (11-1-1)

Bakhytzhanuly is a finisher, only going to the distance twice. All nine of the fights he’s finished, he’s been able to seal the deal by KO/TKO. On the feet, “Sak” is a very dangerous athlete with a lot of power in his hands and his kicks. He does a fine job at slipping punches and countering with a sick right hand. Good wrestling is also something that Bakhytzhanuly shows. He doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to being a submission threat but on top landing big elbows, he does very well. He fights Alexey Butorin (15-4).

Welterweight, Georgiy Kichigin (23-6)

His wrestling is very good and his grappling is perfect. Michigan has great hips as he can attack off his back all day. He usually doesn’t stay on his back too long and if so he is very dangerous. On top, he is perfect; he knows how to pass guard easily and transition into mount where he’s mainly setting up submissions. He fights Mamurzhon Khamdamov (10-1).

Bantamweight, Tamerlan Kulaev (11-1)

I like Tamerlan Kulaev a lot. He hails from Alania, Russia and is a World Combat Sambo Champion. He has a bob and weave style showing excellent head movement. Kulaev has solid striking output throwing a lot of slick combinations. As good as he is on the feet his wrestling is just as good. Kulaev has shown some pretty good jiu-jitsu as well. He’s got it all and I like his future. He fights Nurbergen Sharipov (9-2).