20 UFC Prospects to Watch in 2021

Brad Riddell UFC 253
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 27: Brad Riddell of New Zealand reacts after defeating Alex da Silva of Brazil in their lightweight bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Lightweight, Brad Riddell (9-1)

Riddell was signed to the UFC in late 2019 and many were aware of his ties to City Kickboxing. The thinking was, teammate and UFC star Israel Adesanya helped him get to the UFC. Very quickly, however, Riddell made a name for himself, showing he belongs. In his debut, he had a Fight of the Night war against Jamie Mullarkey. Riddell is 3-0 in the UFC beating Alex da Silva and Magomed Mustafaev as well. I see a ranked number beside his name this year.

Welterweight, Mounir Lazzez (10-1)

Lazzez is only 1-0 in the UFC but it was against the dangerous Abdul Razak Alhassan. Lazzez was a +265 underdog but won the fight and performed like a -265 favorite. He is fighting next Wednesday against a good name in Warlley Alves, winner of TUF Brazil 3. The UFC brass hasn’t seen it yet but Lazzez is a highlight-reel finisher. He can be the fighter the UFC expected Alhassan to be.

Lightweight, Guram Kutateladze (12-2)

Kutateladze is another fight from Georgia who is under the spotlight. He had one of the most difficult UFC debuts against KSW legend Mateusz Gamrot and Kutateladze won by split decision. That fight was also the Fight of the Night. Kutateladze was counted out by the majority coming into the UFC and now he’s considered as one of the most anticipated UFC newcomers.

Welterweight, Miguel Baeza (10-0)

Baeza went through the Contender Series in 2019 to get his UFC contract. In his debut he had a setup fight but after that, he was thrown to 25-fight UFC veteran Matt Brown. The UFC wanted a test to see where Baeza was in his development, and he passed with flying colors. After an insane round one, Baeza knocked out Brown in under twenty seconds in round two. Baeza then went on to get his first career submission against a solid Takashi Sato. Also, in his last two fights, he won Performance of the Night bonuses. To top it all off he has already had high praise from none other than UFC president Dana White.

Bantamweight, Kyler Phillips (8-1)

Phillips fought on the Contender Series back in 2017 (the first season) and competed on the Ultimate Fighter Season 27. Even after coming up short in all that the UFC still liked Phillips and brought him in two years later, only coming off a single win. He impressed in his debut against Gabriel Silva earning Fight of the Night. He then won Performance of the Night in his next fight destroying Cameron Else. His latest assignment is huge as he’s fighting Song Yadong, which has most already counting him out. A win there, which I think is possible, will do huge things for him going forward.