Weekly MMA Prospect Report: ONE on TNT II, Bellator 257 and More

Christian Lee ONE Championship
Christian Lee Credit: ONE Championship

ONE Championship continues with its stint on U.S. prime time, Bellator continues its spring resurgence, and more MMA action this week means plenty of prospects to choose from.

ONE on TNT 2 | Singapore | Wednesday

Lightweight, Christian Lee (14-3)

After a failed title shot in 2018, Lee rebounded and when he moved to welterweight (lightweight under the ONE weight system) he won a title. Lee is excellent on the feet, being quick and dynamic with outstanding footwork. His abilities on the mat are there when needed, holding four submission wins to date. At only 22, Lee is already a star for ONE Championship. Imagine where he’s going to be in, say, five years. He’s well-rounded, has solid cardio, and gets better in every fight. He fights Timofey Nastyukhin (14-4).

Bantamweight, Shuo Wang (11-4)

There isn’t a lot of footage on Wang but in his last fight, he impressed me a lot. He’s mainly a striker and of what’s seen his takedown defense is solid. Wang mixes it up well going to the head, body, and legs. He has good head movement that compliments his counter striking. He’s really good at slipping and returning. I still need to see more but Wang looks to be really talented. He fights Kyu Sung Kim (10-4).

Bellator 257 | Friday | US

Light heavyweight, Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-5-1)

Yagshimuradov is well-rounded and is dangerous on the mat and on the feet. He shows a lot of athleticism on the feet with the ability to throw nice spinning heel kicks, but he also hits like a truck, picking up a few one-punch knockouts. Yet, believe it or not, Yagshimuradov is even better on the mat. He has good power wrestling, has solid jiu-jitsu and his ground and pound is a fight changer. He fights Corey Anderson (14-5).

Heavyweight, Steve Mowry (8-0)

Standing a 6’9″, Mowry has all the tools to be a dangerous guy at heavyweight. Training out of Hard Knocks 365 the 28-year-old has plenty of time to develop into a more complete fighter.  8-0 as a pro, Mowry went 7-0 as an amateur with six wins by submission. He has some things to work on including his striking, which is improving, but overall he does a good job and stays long. Still, he is more effective in the clinch with knees. He has solid wrestling, being at his best once on the mat. And once there he has good jiu-jitsu for a big guy. He fights Shaun Asher (13-3-1).

Featherweight, Jay Jay Wilson (7-0)

The Kiwi has displayed beautiful jiu-jitsu and showed once he gets the back he has a fantastic rear-naked choke. Still, there is a lot he needs to show but Wilson is someone to watch out for. His striking has also been looking very good in his last two fights. In his last fight, he scored a nice knockout. He fights Pedro Carvalho (11-4).

Light heavyweight, Julius Anglickas (9-1)

Anglickas has a strong wrestling base, that being his best weapon for sure. He can wrestle all fight as his cardio has proved to be very good. He also has a dangerous submission attack, holding four submission wins in his career. On the feet, Anglickas bull rushes opponents and beats them up in the clinch. He also throws good leg kicks and a good jab.  He’s got a solid work ethic and eventually breaks your will. He fights Gregory Milliard (12-6).

LFA 104 | US | Friday

Flyweight, Carlos Candelario (7-0)

The last time Candelario was in the cage was three and a half years on the Contender Series. He did win but didn’t get a contract and tore his ACL. Candelario retired from MMA, but is back. Back when he was active I believe he was one of the best prospects at 125. Candelario has a background in boxing and kickboxing but his grappling is just as good. On the feet his hands are serious. He has hand speed, accuracy, and power. You can tell the golden gloves boxing experience. He has solid wrestling but what sets him apart is his excellent ground and pound. Watch out for this guy because he’s ultra dangerous. He fights Yuma Horiuchi (7-3).

Heavyweight, Thomas Peterson (3-0)

Peterson is only 3-0 as a pro and as an amateur, he went 5-0. He’s a two-time Minnesota State high school state champion and an NJCAA champion at Iowa Central. Along with textbook wrestling in his last fight he showed he has power in his hands. So far he seems to be well-rounded and is only 24. Obviously, he has more to show. He fights Odell Pantin (1-1).

Open Fighting Championship 3 | Russia | Saturday

Heavyweight, Aleksandr Maslov (6-1)

Maslov is a dangerous athletic striker who has a lot of pop behind his punches. He’s also very fast with his output and overall has good hands with a key uppercut he loves to throw. His takedown defense is a concern but age is on his side and he’s been fighting good solid fighters. Maslov hasn’t fought anyone with a losing record to date. He fights former UFC fighter Luis Henrique (13-6).

Heavyweight, Hugo Cunha (5-0)

Cunha doesn’t have a lot of experience in MMA but is a Brazilian National Team wrestler and a BJJ black belt. You will notice his level of competition has been poor as he’s fought three opponents with an 0-0 record. Cunha has still looked dominant thus far in his career and that’s with a 100% finish rate. Cunha on the feet throws a decent jab and puts cominations together but to close the distance and get takedowns is where he’s best. Where he’s actually the best in on the mat where he can show his BJJ black belt. He’s always working to better his position and working to finish. He fights Oleg Popov (10-1).

Heavyweight, Oleg Popov (10-1)

Popov is a wrestler who has some decent power in his hands. He’s an aggressive guy constantly shooting and what he lacks in size he makes up for with his strength. Not entirely someone who will blow you away on the mat but he has some heavy top control. Popov is getting better and better with each fight. He fights Hugo Cunha (5-0).

SHP 60 | US | Saturday

Featherweight, Cole Ferrell (10-0)

Cole Ferrell hasn’t been touched in his professional career and has rarely ever been in any kind of trouble. Ferrell has shown glimpses of power in his hands but is a good wrestler with a very solid ground game. He has shown that he has a tight grip when he gets the neck, hence why his eight submission wins have all come by way of a choke. If there is one knock on Cole Ferrell, it would be that he needs a step up in competition. He fights Tim Eschtruth (5-3).

Combat Night Pro 21 | US | Saturday

Featherweight, Ramon Taveras (4-0)

Taveras is only 4-0 but while scouting him months back he caught my attention. He has solid wrestling and a good ground game but it’s his striking that’s impressive. Taveras has excellent boxing throwing tight-knit combinations to the body and head. He’s a good counter striker and is good at switching up the angles when he’s throwing. He’s well-rounded and very skilled. Taveras fights Edward Massey (5-5).