Cage Warriors leads the MMA prospect charge this week with back-to-back-to-back shows. Let’s get to it!
RFP 83 | Ukraine | Wednesday
Featherweight, Maksim Sischuk (4-1)
Sischuk didn’t start off his career on the right foot. He went 0-2 as an amateur and started off 0-1 as a pro. The 21-year-old is now on a streak, winning his next four. Sischuk has finished all his fights and three in the first round. On the mat is where he is comfortable as his ground and pound is a big weapon. Even off his back he has a dangerous guard with a few subs off his back. On the feet, he does have leg kicks he likes to throw but everything is to close the distance. Not sold on him at all but worth watching for. He fights former UFC/Bellator fighter Richie Smullen (6-2-1).
Cage Warriors 123 | UK | Thursday
Middleweight, Will Currie (5-1)
Currie is primary a grappler with a submission base. As a pro, he’s finished with a RNC, armbar, americana, keylock, and an arm-triangle. Wrestling-wise he has good timing on his entries and has a strong body lock. Currie has been very impressive on the mat with that submission base, aggression, and smooth transitions. Only being 22, Currie has a bright future. He fights Christian Leroy Duncan (3-0).
Middleweight, Christian Leroy Duncan (3-0)
Duncas, undefeated as a pro, had an extensive amateur career mostly for IMMAF. He went 17-6 as an amateur before going pro, where he’s been exceling. All that experience has made Duncan into a well-rounded top prospect out of the UK. Duncan on the feet is known for his diverse tricky style. He’s always throwing flashy spinning attacks but he’s done a good job setting it all up. Both his hands and legs are very dangerous. He’s always throwing something different and is tough to read. Duncan is a solid wrestler and grappler as well. He needs work with takedown defense but can very well hold his own and not to mention he’s a submission threat. Duncan fights Will Currie (5-1) in a rematch.
Flyweight, Aaron Aby (11-3-1)
Aby has had a long journey beating stage three cancer and dealing with cystic fibrosis. Aby has fought a lot of tough guys dating back to 2013 when he made his debut. The Englishman is a good wrestler and a smothering grappler. Aby will give no space while actively landing ground strikes. He’ll also catch a submission once the opening is there. Aby is a smart methodical grappler. He fights Sam Creasey (13-3).
Featherweight, Manny Akpan (3-0)
Akpan didn’t jump out to me until his last fight when he upset top prospect Ben Ellis. Akpan is fine with going to his back and will even pull guard. He does so because he’s dangerous off his back with triangles and armbars. He is exceptional on the clinch with good muay thai including short elbows. He throws a lot of kicks and likes to bring out his flashy style a little more. Not sold on him all the way as he needs to show a bit more. He fights Keir Harvie (3-1).
Cage Warriors 125 | UK | Friday
Lightweight, Agy Sardari (14-2)
Being a Dutch fighter, of course Sardari has good kickboxing. He actually comes from a karate background and is an instructor. Sardari does have solid kicks, a good one-two, and nicely done footwork, moving in with two to three shots and back out. Sardari is well rounded and to me his wrestling and grappling is where he’s best. Sardari has strong wrestling and when he gets it to the mat he moves well on top. Off his back he’s super busy. As the fight goes on he gets better. He’s going to be a tough guy to beat. He fights Joe McColgan (7-3-1).
Welterweight, Jesse Urholin (6-0)
No doubt in the grappling realm Urholin is in his wheelhouse. The Finland native is a BJJ black belt and arguably the best grappler out of the Nordic area. He’s won medals at the IBJJF European Open, ADCC trials, was an ADCC European Champion in 2015 and 2017, and was an ADCC World qualifier those two same years. Urholin is very good in the grappling department, but his ground and pound is also fierce. Which makes Urholin a feared grappler, as if he isn’t putting you out with a submission he will smash you with punches and elbows. To complement his grappling he does have good wrestling usually utilizing takedowns from the clinch. He’s pushing it as a prospect being 32 already though. He fights Aaron Khalid (10-6-1).
Featherweight, Edward Walls (10-5)
Walls may have a .500 record but in his defense, he got back one of his losses and his last two defeats were by split decision. Despite those setbacks, he’s only 25-years-old and very exciting to watch. Walls is electrifying on the feet firing long one-two’s and heavy kicks. He’s very dangerous, explosive, especially with the head kick, which he’s very good at throwing. Walls does have wrestling in his back pocket and is getting better once on the mat. Walls is on a two-fight win streak, looking good in the process. He fights Steve Aimable (15-8).
Welterweight, Justin Burlinson (5-0)
Burlinson may be only 5-0 as a pro but this 24-year-old has a lot of experience as he went 15-1 as an amateur. Burlinson is a well-rounded talent that needs a little sharpening around the edges with takedown defense and at times, his striking. He has knockout power and good striking fundamentals but is better on the ground with effective jiu-jitsu. He’s a big threat with submissions holding thirteen career wins by that method. He fights David Bear (9-1).
Welterweight, David Bear (9-1)
Bear is mainly a grappler with exceptional wrestling. He doesn’t pose much of a threat on the feet beside a good jab and a decent one-two. His level changes on his takedowns could be set up better. Once he closes the distance he’s good at making the adjustments to get the fight down. Bear is a solid grappler. Never stationary in the guard Bear quickly transitions into dominant positions and side control. Bear has five submission wins but his grappling altogether is where he’s best. He fights Justin Burlinson (5-0).
Bantamweight, Nathan Fletcher (5-0)
Fletcher is a young fighter with whom I am very impressed. Combined as a pro and amateur he’s 12-1 with nine finishes. Not much has been seen of his striking especially but it is a bit stiff of what’s been seen. He has a good ground game and is a stellar wrestler though. Fletcher has a strong body lock takedown and on top, he’s a tactical grappler with seamless transitions. Overall such a good grappler and wrestler. He fights Brian Bouland (10-3).
Bantamweight, Dylan Hazan (3-0)
Hazan has a background as a two-time Italian freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling champion. There isn’t a lot of footage in MMA but he obviously has strong wrestling. He seems to have a good understanding of the ground game. Someone to watch for sure. He fights Josh Reed (11-5).
PFL #6 | US | Friday
Lightweight, Kayla Harrison (9-0)
Harrison is a very accomplished grappler who won the gold medal in judo at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan-American Games. Along with that she is last year’s PFL million-dollar winner. The judo practitioner holds a black belt in her sport and has won two national championships. Harrison has been dominant thus far in her MMA career. Her wrestling and her judo has been on full display and once on top, she’s a nightmare. Harrison is just dominant on top. Her grappling is high level and is both a submission threat and has fight-stopping ground and pound. She’s unstoppable. Harrison fights Cindy Dandois (16-6).