Weekly MMA Prospect Report: ONE, Bellator Return to Action

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Thanh Le Credit: ONE Championship

Featherweight, Thanh Le (11-2)

Thanh Le is a karate-based fighter and one of the most exciting known prospects out there. He has amazing power, kicks, and punches with “lights out” written on everything he throws. He has struggled with takedown defense in the past but has seemed to improve in that area doing better in his most recent bouts. Being 35-years old, Le is barely clinging to prospect status in terms of age, but he doesn’t have a lot of fight mileage. He tends to sit in the pocket and snipe his way in and right back out looking for the kill. He fights ONE champion Martin Nguyen (13-3) on a card with four title fights.

CFFC 87 | Friday | US

Flyweight, Santos Curatolo (5-0)

Curatolo has looked stellar thus far and has treated his lack of competition the way he should’ve. Curatolo is an excellent wrestler rag-dolling guys around. He’s also got that one-punch knockout power shown in his last fight. Santos is a pure athlete who I think can jump into the UFC and do well. He fights Alberto Trujillo (4-1) for the promotion’s title.

LFA 94 | Friday | US

Strawweight, Lupita Godinez (4-0)

Godinez is a solid prospect out of Canada but was born in Mexico. On the feet, “Loopy” is a good technical striker. She has crisp hands attacking the body-head well and has some pop when she throws. Also, Goninez has solid wrestling and an overall pretty good ground game. She’s only 27-years-old and I like what I’ve seen so far. She fights the LFA strawweight champ Vanessa Demopoulos (5-2).

Bantamweight, Fernie Garcia (7-1)

Garcia is a product out of Fortis MMA who has looked very good lately. Garcia is primarily a wrestler whose stand up has improved. He’s got solid wrestling and heavy top control. Once he gets the takedown with his heavy top control he can also easily takes the back. He holds three rear-naked choke victories in his career. Strong wrestling, good grappling, has a good pace, and improving striking. Garcia is someone to watch out for. He fights Ryan Hayes (9-6).

Eternal MMA 54 | Saturday | Australia

Lightweight, Blake Donnelly (4-0)

Fundamentals are crucial in a fighter and Blake Donnelly displays just that. The Aussie has a good jab, uses a lot of feints, has good cardio, and has already developed good fight IQ. All those qualities are great for such a young fighter to have. He’s already won the Australian FC Vacant Lightweight Championship. There is some uncertainty around him due to the lack of competition he has faced outside of David Martinez. He fights Dimps Gillies (4-2) who is a good test.

EMC 6 | Saturday | Germany

Bantamweight, Stipe Brčić (8-1)

Fighting out of Croatia, Brčić is a tank of a fighter. Last February, Brcic won a one-night tournament to win the GMC title. To capture the belt he beat Luca Iovine who is a good fighter. Brcic is a physical guy bullying his way forward getting takedowns. On the feet, he’s mainly a head hunter with big power. He’s not as technical but his power makes up for it. He fights TUF winner and former UFC athlete Brad Katona (8-2).

We interviewed Katona ahead of this one. Be sure to check that out.

Lightweight, Husein Kadimagomaev (7-0)

Kadimagomaev is a high-level prospect coming out of Switzerland. The young 20-year-old is training out of Allstars Training Center which has been red hot lately. As impressive as 7-0 is, Kadimagomaev went 18-0 as an amateur. He has heavy kicks, good combinations coming in, and has solid wrestling. At such a young age he’s already so well rounded and already so good. He fights Tobias Harila (7-1) who is a good test.

Middleweight, Ivan Čosić (6-0)

Cosic is a bright prospect that has looked very impressive at only 23-years-old. He currently fights for Berkut Young Eagles, though he has been on a bit of a hiatus. Other than one of his fights going the distance he has finished all his bouts. Impressively, all of his finishes have come in the first round. Cosic is very aggressive, he hits hard, has incredible takedown defense, and is really good at grabbing the guillotine out of nowhere. He fights Shota Gvasalia (11-6).

Welterweight, Kerim Engizek (15-4)

Engizek has quietly flown under the radar but arguably has the best resume of all German prospects. He’s the current GMC welterweight champion who has defended his title three times. His last loss was in 2014 as he’s currently on an eight-fight win streak. On the feet, he is a good counter striker slipping and coming over the top with his right hand. Engizek isn’t stingy as he goes to the body quite often mixing it up the way fighters should. He does have a ground game as well and while it is fine, he’s much better striking. He fights former UFC fighter Rostem Akman (6-2).

SFT 22 | Saturday | Brazil

Strawweight, Julia Polastri (7-2)

Polastri made a big statement in her last fight, beating a solid opponent in Jéssica Delboni. In that fight, she won the Shooto Brazil Strawweight Championship. There isn’t a lot of footage of Polastri but of what is available and what we’ve heard, she is a top prospect. The Brazilian has some good hands. She is fast and has shown good power in her hands. She fights Jessica Cunha (8-2).

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