Amateur MMA Prospect of the Week: Duke Sensley

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Duke Sensley
Duke Sensley Credit: Youtube

Duke Sensley is a middleweight born and living out of New Orleans, Louisiana. He trains out of Nola MMA under head coach Ray Lopez, and after an early setback, Sensley has put together a solid win streak.

Sensley made his debut in December of 2019, losing by split decision. Taking a year off, Sensley has come back strong and gone on to win his next three fights — finishing all three of his opponents. Now the 26-year-old is sitting at 3-1 riding a gust of momentum.

While focusing mainly on MMA Sensley has dabbled in other disciplines. He’s currently 4-0 in boxing and 2-0 in kickboxing while ranking as a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. A couple of months ago, Sensley also won in the Louisiana Golden Gloves in his division.

In his last three fights, he’s shown a bit of everything, previewing his overall skillset. What has impressed the most is his athleticism and his ability to adapt to any position.

As an example, in his fight with Elijawah Rose, Sensley showed his ground game and wrestling. He earned three takedowns in the opening minute or so, including a nice scoop double leg and a head-and-arm throw where he won the scramble. He was taken down himself but used a beautiful maneuver to reverse, grabbing the heels of his opponent while he stood in the guard creating a sweep right into mount. Sensley fell to his back but put both his feet on the body of Rose and just leg pressed his opponent off him. That knocked Rose off balance and Sensley capitalized, taking the back and finishing with the RNC.

Sensley fought Anthony Gibson next and really showed out in that fight. Sensley opened up with a left hand-right uppercut-body kick combination followed by a flying knee. Nearly every shot landed clean; it was a very nice sequence. He was taken down right after that but was able to get his leg right over the shoulder. Sensley and Gibson rolled and jockeyed for position and it was Sensley that landed on top. From there the ground and pound sent the ref in.

His last fight, just a few weeks ago, came against Andrew Stirling and he looked as good as ever. He was taken down right away but had a guillotine. Although that didn’t work out he pushed on the head of Stirling and got his hips to the side to sweep his opponent. Stirling again took Sensley down but Sensley wasn’t having it. He kept scrambling and would again get top position. Just as it looked like Sensley was about to lose position he sneaked to the back beautifully and won with the RNC.

It would be nice to see more from Sensley on the feet, because his striking looks super clean and his explosiveness seems to be a problem. However it seems Sensley always finds himself in grappling exchanges and back-and-forth scrambles. In that, he’s thrived in always making the right moves/adjustments all in the heat of the moment — something that makes it even more impressive. He’s all fluidity, aggressiveness, tricky, and sharp in the grappling department. There is still so much more to see and he’s one to watch in the next few years.

Duke Sensley will fight Douglas Freeman this Saturday on the Gulf Coast MMA 11 card for the promotion’s welterweight title.

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