Featherweight, Ludovit Klein (17-2)
Slovakia’s Ludovit Klein was wreaking havoc on the European scene for years before getting his shot at the the big show just last September. In his debut, he finished City Kickboxing alum Shane Young, in just a little over a minute. Klein is riding a lot of momentum on an eight-fight win streak. Look for big things ahead of this young man in 2021.
Heavyweight, Alexander Romanov (13-0)
Romanov was signed to the UFC in early 2020. The heavyweight was supposed to make his debut on three separate occasions but the pandemic held him back from doing so. Romanov did finally make that walk against fellow newcomer Roque Martinez, and stopped him in round two. Last November “King Kong” won a Performance of the Night bonus scorning the first forearm choke in UFC history (or at least in the modern era) against Marcos Rogério de Lima.
Lightweight, Damir Ismagulov (19-1)
Damir Ismagulov was the M-1 Challenge lightweight champion before signing with the UFC in late 2018. Ismagolov isn’t really talked about among all the rising up-and-comers and he’s quietly gone 3-0 for the promotion. Highlighted wins in the octagon are Joel Alvarez and Thiago Moises. He didn’t fight at all in 2020 which may have some forget Damir, but once he gets back in there I’m sure he will insert himself as a top up-and-comer.
Featherweight, Lerone Murphy (9-0-1)
Back when Murphy was signed in 2019 there were loads of UK talent and Murphy wasn’t near the top of the list for many. Debuting against the returning Zubaira Tukhugov, Murphy wasn’t expected to win. As he didn’t get the win. Instead, he fought to a draw in a rather impressive performance. There was no step back after that as he fought a talented Ricardo Ramos and ran through him in round one. Murphy is now fighting Douglas Silva Andrade in what could be a potential Fight of the Night.
Middleweight, Dusko Todorovic (10-0)
First of all, Todorovic is in action this Saturday against a very talented Punahele Soriano. This list isn’t big enough for both of them and I think Todorovic is just too much for Soriano right now. Dusko made his way into the UFC thanks to a Contender Series win in 2019. He’s only had one fight in the UFC and it was a favorable match-up against Dequan Townsend. He still was very impressive in that fight, just as he was before he even signed to the UFC. He holds a win outside the promotion over fan fave Michel Pereira.
Phillips won on the Contender Series by 34 second KO