Weekly MMA Prospect Report: ONE Kicks Off Atomwieght Grand Prix

Denice Zamboanga ONE Championship
Denice Zamboanga Credit: ONE Championship

ONE Championship kicks off its women’s atomweight grand prix this Friday, while Anthony Romero looks to notch another win and work his way to the UFC as part of Fury FC 50. In terms of MMA prospects, they’re all over the globe this week, with Brazil, the UAE, and other locales hosting key shows. Now on with this week’s report!

SFT 29 | Brazil | Thursday

Heavyweight, Acácio dos Santos (13-3)

Acacio dos Santos is a very dangerous and sloppy striker all at the same time. He has the power, speed, and output but lacks badly when it comes to technical ability. His kicks are slightly better, as he doesn’t throw them as carelessly. Santos will get flashy at times but is best when he attacks the lead leg. Santos is usually in control while in the clinch. It’s another position where he uses his size to his advantage, muscling opponents around and making it look easy to land knees.

Santos is an interesting talent with his size and is a dangerous fighter regardless of the deficiencies he has. With an impressive 13-3 record, an eight-fight win-streak, and having not lost a fight since 2015, Santos is seen as a top 205’er out of Brazil for a reason. He fights Marcos Brigagão (13-2).

UAE Warriors 21 | Abu Dhabi | Thursday

Welterweight, Wisem Hammami (5-0)

There isn’t tons of footage on Hammami but from what I’ve seen he’s set himself apart. He has good hands from the looks of things, and seems to have some knockout power. Hammami is more of a wrestler and on top is where he’s comfortable. In the fights I’ve watched he’s been able to quickly get into the mount. From there he’s got good finishing ability with his ground and pound. Hammami fights Omar Hussein (8-2).

ONE Championship | Singapore | Friday

Strawweight, Denice Zamboanga (8-0)

On the feet, Denice Zamboanga is consistent with pressure and output. She has a good right hand and is very accurate with her straight strikes. The jiu-jitsu of Zamboanga is just as good. Her takedown defense has been getting better and off her back, she’s shown to be very hard to keep still. She fights staple Seo Hee Ham (23-8).

Strawweight, Bo Meng (17-5)

Meng is the first person to beat former UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang. Meng is a well-rounded combatant who has a lot of power in her hands. Enough to stop someone with just one punch. She’s rapid with her output throwing with her hands and mixing in kicks. She’s an even better wrestler with ferocious ground and pound. She fights Ritu Phogat (5-1).

Strawweight, Alyse Anderson (5-1)

Anderson is still very green on the feet, as she needs work on both offensive and defensive fundamentals. She does throw nice straight punches at least.  Her ground game is very dangerous though. Anderson has slick jiu-jitsu, is dangerous on top and bottom, and specializes in chaining from submission to submission. Her offensive wrestling isn’t too good but she is a pretty good counter wrestler. In her last two fights, she was able to score takedowns. She fights Itsuki Hirata (4-0).

Be sure to check out our interview with Alyse Anderson ahead of ONE Championship: Empower.

Combate Global | US | Saturday

Bantamweight, Kevin Cordero (11-2)

Cordero is an absolute action fighter that comes out with the same aggression every time he fights. Cordero is a scrapper. He’ll sit in the pocket and let his hands go and kick the lead leg. Both his right and left hand are dangerous and he doesn’t let up with his volume. He’s a problem on the feet and all that pressure will force opponents to shoot. That’s an issue itself because Cordero is even better on the mat. His offensive wrestling is good as well and holds six submissions. Overall he’s a dangerous guy all around and never in a boring fight. He fights a tough guy in Ricky Bandejas (14-5).

Bantamweight, Eduardo Matias Torres (11-0)

In all likelihood the best prospect out of Chile, Torres holds an impressive undefeated record. The competition Torres has beaten hasn’t been great but he’s disposed of his opponents the way he should. Torres is always bringing forward pressure as he looks to force his way into the clinch. His wrestling needs some work but he does a good job at utilizing trips in the clinch. On the mat is where Torres wants it, where he is dominant. He has very technical grappling where he makes all the right moves and his BJJ IQ is perfect at only 26-years-old. He fights former UFC fighter Nohelin Hernandez (11-5).

EFC 40 | Russia | Saturday

Welterweight, Khabib Nabiev (4-0)

Nabiev isn’t much in the striking department but is an outstanding grappler. Nabiev floats on top and transitions to dominant positions freely. His wrestling looks good enough so far. Even in positions where he’s off his back he’s scrambled and got back in control. All four of his finishes have come from what’s he’s done on top. Nabiev still has a way to come but his grappling alone is to be feared. He fights Aleksandr Verevkin (4-2).

Bantamweight, Umar Kunakbiev (6-0)

Kunakbiev is a fun prospect out of Russia that’s well-rounded and fun to watch. On the feet, he has a flashy style. He throws a variety of kicks from different angles. Just a normal roundhouse is his best weapon but he will throw switch kicks and use the cage. He’s an even better wrestler and grappler. Kunakbiev has three submission wins and his ground and pound set it up. A talented guy that’s worth watching out for. He fights Ramazan Amaev (6-0)

Road FC 59 | South Korea | Saturday

Featherweight, Soo Chul Kim (16-5-1)

Kim is finally making his return to MMA after a four-year absence. This guy is a very well-rounded fighter. He’s very hard to engage on since he can change levels effortlessly. Kim can use the power in his striking, or he can tie you up in clinch which he is skilled at. I don’t like how he keeps his hands down low and he needs some work on his takedown defense. He goes in for attacks at odd angles and it’s hard to tell what he’s going to throw next, making him very dangerous. He fights Hae Jin Park (8-1).

UAE Warriors 22 | Abu Dhabi | Saturday

Featherweight, Jarno Errens (11-2)

Errens is a top prospect out of the Netherlands with good experience, who is still only 26. On the feet is where he is best, where he can fight at his preferred range. Errens throws straight punches and a lot of leg kicks to maintain the range. He closes distance pretty quickly when throwing bigger shots like the flying knee and spinning attacks. Errens has the volume and mixes up his weapons to keep his opponents guessing. His takedown defense is his biggest flaw. He at least has a good ground game and holds five submissions. He fights Ali Kabdulla (6-0).

Welterweight, Ramazan Kuramagomedov (8-0)

The Russian is very well-rounded, being skillful no matter where the fight goes. On the feet, Kuramagomedov throws a lot of kicks. Throwing with diversity, his kicks come from all over the place. When he decides to just attack the lead leg, that’s when he’s at his best. Overall he’s a flashy but intelligent kickboxer. Kuramagomedov is an even better grappler. Once he gets the fight to the mat he quickly finds dominant positions. In the past Ramazan had trouble solidifying top position but now he’s a fighter with a strong body triangle and has just been dominant on top. You give him anything on the mat, he’s going to get into a better position and he has proved to be a submission threat. He fights Matias Juarez (12-3-1).

Fight Club Rush 9 | Sweeden | Saturday

Lightweight, Sahil Siraj (5-0)

Siraj may be only five fights into his career and is already 31 years old, but he has an extensive background in muay thai and kickboxing with over fifty fights. As expected, Siraj has displayed wonderful striking. He has power in his hands and legs, mixes it up, picks his shots, and his left hand is his money shot. Not sold but his talent can’t be denied. He fights Arbi Mezhidov (13-5).

KSW 63 | Poland | Saturday

Welterweight, Roberto Soldić (18-3)

A welterweight out of Croatia, Soldic has beaten some stiff competition including Lewis Long, Michał Materla, Borys Mańkowski, and UFC’s Dricus Du Plessis, winning five titles in his career including this KSW championship. Soldic is always coming forward and always looking for the finish in a controlled chaos manner. Soldic has heavy hands and a very accurate head kick, which he has dropped many opponents with. It’s the constant volume he throws paired with his speed that allows him to do so well. Soldic is always throwing punches behind kicks and vice-versa, showcasing his great striking abilities. He fights Patrik Kincl (24-9).

Fury FC 50 | US | Sunday

Lightweight, Anthony Romero (9-0)

Romero has won multiple titles as an amateur, is 18-1 as a pro and amateur combined, and last year he won on the Contender Series. Despite a very impressive performance over a tough Mike Breeden, he wasn’t awarded a contract. Romero is a Taekwondo black belt and a world IBJJF bronze medalist. Romero is extremely well-rounded. He has excellent wrestling, a good ground game, is very technical on the feet, and has a great gas tank. He fights JJ Okanovich (7-1).


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