Weekly MMA Prospect Report: 2021 Picks Up Steam

Nick Browne
Nick Browne Credit: Nick Browne/Facebook

MMA is back in full swing this week. After a multi-week lull through the Holiday season, a number of promotions are back in action. Of course, the UFC is kicking off its 2021 on Saturday — but there is also LFA, Brave CF, and more to cover in this edition of the Weekly MMA Prospect Report.

LFA 97 | US | Friday

Lightweight, Nick Browne (10-1)

Browne’s sole loss is to John Gunther, and while that looks… not so good in hindsight, he does have a few good wins. He’s beat opponents like Sidney Outlaw, Troy Lamson, Ben Egli, and Trey Ogden who are all good fighters. Browne doesn’t have much to offer on the feet but strikes well to close the distance to wrestle. He’s a strong grappler being a big submission threat with five submission wins. Taking the back and finishing with the RNC is what he’s best at. He fights Arthur Estrázulas (12-4).

Welterweight, Josh Quinlan (3-0)

Josh Quinlan only has three pro fights but did go 6-0 as an amateur. As an amateur, Quinlan was the Real MMA and the Tuff-N-Uff welterweight champion.

Quinlan is a good striker throwing a lot of heat. He throws chopping leg kicks and has very clean hands. “The Renegade” is a prospect to watch for this year. He fights Joe Boerschig (6-3).

Brave CF 46 | Russia | Saturday

Welterweight, Eldar Eldarov (12-1)

Eldarov has impressive wins over some really good fighters and his only loss was eleven years ago to no other than lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov. He hasn’t lost since being on a current 11-fight win streak. The Russian was a former World Cup of Sambo champion and a former European sambo champion. He hits hard on the feet, but he wants to close the distance and get the takedown. His striking is getting better but the Dagestani would rather dominate his foes with wrestling and top position. He fights Leonardo Mafra (15-5).

Lightweight, Abdysalam Uulu Kubanychiev (16-3)

The lightweight fighter from Kyrgyzstan has been fighting at a pretty high level. He’s on an eight-fight win streak with six finishes. Kubanychiev doesn’t have the prettiest striking but makes up for it due to his pressure. He throws a lot of wild overhands and hooks to close the distance. He’s a decent wrestler. Kubanychiev isn’t much of a submission threat. He fights Jahongir Saidjamolov (14-4).

UAE Warriors 15 | Abu Dubai | Saturday

Middleweight, Rinat Fakhretdinov (19-2)

Fakhretdinov has many titles in Pankration and combat sambo both on the national and international level. That goes well with an impressive 19-2 MMA record, and he sits on a current 13-fight win streak. Fakhretdinov isn’t the best looking striker with his wide stance and looping strikes. He does make up for his awkward style with pressure and output. He doesn’t look to strike long as he is set to shoot at anytime. Fakhretdinov is a good wrestler and his ground game is solid. It’s more of his cardio and work rate never stopping that breaks opponents. He fights former UFC fighter Eric Spicely (12-5).

Lightweight, William Starks (4-1)

William Starks is only 4-1 as a pro but he had many amateur fights going 15-1. Starks was very successful in his amateur career being the IMMAF 2015 and 2016 world champion. He is a very strong athletic fighter and has very good wrestling showing nice timing and athleticism. On top, Starks is solid; he has won by TKO and submission but is more of a grinder. On the feet, it’s still a work in progress but he’s explosive and has pretty good kicks. He fights Abdurakhman Gitinovasov (5-1).

Welterweight, Shakhban Alkhasov (3-0)
Like many Dagestanians, Alkhasov is primarily a talented grappler. Most of his takedowns come from body locks and inside trips. His wrestling could be better when it comes to getting takedowns in open spaces. Alkhasov is raw on the feet but he is good at utilizing his kicks, going right upstairs which is rather impressive given his own 6’3″ height. He fights Vasile Suprovici (3-0).