Weekly MMA Prospect Report: A Forgotten Promotion Returns

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Aaron Pico Bellator MMA
Aaron Pico Credit: Bellator MMA

A near-forgotten promotion returns, while Bellator’s featherweight grand prix finally gets rolling again, and brings a bunch of prospects with it on the Bellator 252 undercard. Don’t sleep on KSW 56 either. Read on for the latest installment of our Weekly MMA Prospect Report.

XFC 43 | Wednesday | US

Lightweight, Kenneth Cross (11-3)

Fighting out of Michigan Top Team with the likes of Daron Cruickshank and Cody Stamann, Kenny Cross is a good prospect. Cross is a fast starter who is very explosive. He’s got good movement with a dangerous left hand and is super athletic. With all that, he can wrestle well and grind as he has a physical advantage over most guys. His cardio is still a work in progress but overall a fun guy. He fights (11-6).

Brave CF 45 | Thursday | Bahrain

Lightweight, Akhmed Magomedov (6-0)

Magomedov has a background in freestyle wrestling and was the Russian National Jiu-Jitsu champion in 2017. The Russian only has six fights, but three finishes, getting it done on the mat with submissions and ground and pound. He’s a smart fighter and could be someone to watch for in the future. He fights Abdul Azim Badakhshi (10-2).

Bellator 252 | Thursday | US

Welterweight, Yaroslav Amosov (24-0)

In Yaroslav Amosov’s stand-up, he combines his kicks and punches extremely well. He moves in and out fluidly with his punches and uses his reach well too. Yaroslav doesn’t have a lot of knockout power, but he is a finisher, finishing all but four of his wins. Amosov also has very good submission skills with nine submission wins, using his long arms mostly for chokes. He also has excellent takedown defense. He fights Logan Storley (11-0).

Welterweight, Logan Storley (11-0)

Storley is a 4X All-American wrestler out of the University of Minnesota. Storley, who is currently 11-0, has been dominating in his MMA career thus far. He makes takedowns look easy, has heavy pressure and lands big ground and pound where he is the most effective. Storley is a great wrestler, though on the feet he hasn’t shown too much. He does have a powerful right hand and does a good job throwing straight punches and has shown solid leg kicks, but can wrestle all fight long. He fights Yaroslav Amosov (24-0).

Featherweight, Aaron Pico (6-3)

Pico has competed in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling, winning a championship in all three. He has competed in multiple wrestling-based matches and has become very successful. Pico also has a background in boxing, winning many belts and also being named Junior Golden Gloves champion in 2009. Pico has had a few setbacks already but is back on a two-fight win streak. He has excellent boxing technique with power and precision. Also, he has high-level wrestling. At only 24, he has the overall skill set to be champion one day. He fights John de Jesus (13-8).

Bantamweight, Jornel Lugo (4-0)

Lugo is only 4-0 as a pro but he’s been very impressive including a win over John Douma and Cortavious Romious who are both good fighters. Lugo does have a grappling game but on the feet is where he excels. He’s a tricky fighter who utilizes his striking from the end of his punches. He holds his hands low to his waist in what could be a problem but it allows the angles he uses to stay hidden. Lugo frequently switches stances giving different looks. Overall a young and talented fighter. He fights Schyler Sootho (4-0).

ONE Championship | Friday | Singapore

Flyweight, Lito Adiwang (11-2)

Fighting out of the Philippines, Lito Adiwang is on a roll winning his last seven fights. On the feet, Adiwang is very explosive and has a lot of power in his hands. On the mat, he is good on top and has solid ground and pound. He can be a bit flat-footed but makes up for it with his blitzes and power. Adiwang has that one-punch stopping power. He fights Hiroshi Minowa (11-2).

UWC 24 | Friday | Mexico

Strawweight, Yasmine Jauregui (4-0)

Still very green, Yasmine Jauregui has really impressed in her career thus far. Her style is reminiscent of UFC fighter Maycee Barber in a few ways. Jauregui has shown solid ground and pound, though she looks to be more skilled on the feet. She will throw a lot of volume with her kicks and punches putting it all together well. Yasmine is always throwing and looking to end the fight. She does need to work on some things like her movement and striking defense. With that said, she can be very good. She fights Annely Jimenez Garcia (10-5).

Heavyweight, Jesus Navarrete (5-0)

Navarrete is a chubbier heavyweight but is talented enough to watch out for. The big man is a technical striker with a good jab and a lot of output. Navarrete will march forward throwing his hands and kicks. He’s got that Mexican toughness marching forward taking shots to give some. Not sold on him altogether but is a good striker and fun to watch. He fights Enrique Lara (4-3).

KSW 56 | Saturday | Russia

Welterweight: Roberto Soldic (17-3)

The Croatian has beaten some stiff competition including Lewis Long, Borys Mańkowski, and Dricus Du Plessis, winning five titles in his career. Soldic is one of the best welterweights outside the UFC. He’s always coming forward and always looking for the finish. Soldic has heavy hands and a very accurate head kick, which he has dropped so many opponents with. It’s the constant volume he throws that allow him to do so well. He’s always throwing punches behind kicks and vice-versa. Soldic is the real deal. He fights moving up to 185 Michał Materla (29-7).

Light heavyweight, Ivan Erslan (9-0)

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 Tomasz Narkun (17-3) which is a huge step up in competition.

Welterweight, Mateusz Legierski (6-0)

Legierski is well-rounded but is better on the feet. He has a heavy right hand throwing the overhand and right cross. He fights in bursts exploding forward with three-strike combinations usually. He throws a good right kick to the midsection and is good attacking the legs of his opponent. Legierski has some background in kickboxing too which explains the commitment to his kicks. He really doesn’t have much wrestling technique but has the strength to just bully guys down. He fights Francisco Albano Barrio (7-1).

SFT 24 | Saturday | Saturday

Lightweight, Manoel Sousa (5-0)

Sousa is a heavy-handed fighter who slings powerful right and left hooks. He does a good job going to the body and throwing kicks behind his strikes. He has good head movement and good footwork as well. He looks like a really dangerous fighter that can be a good prospect for the coming years. The powerful Sousa fights Estabili Amato (10-3).

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