Amateur MMA Prospect of the Week: Matt Cantwell

Matt Cantwell
Matt Cantwell Credit: Front Street Fights

Matt Cantwell is a 21-year-old from Chicago, Illinois training out of One Touch Fight Team. He started his MMA journey in April of 2019 and between five fights has fought at both lightweight and welterweight.

In his five amateur fights, Cantwell has a 100% finish rate. He’s finished his opponents in the first, second, and third rounds. Those finishes come from four submissions and one TKO. While his ground game is his strong suit, his stand-up is a work in progress. Some things to like about him: his guard is always up, he presses forward, and strikes well to close the distance. He just needs to use better footwork moving in and setting up his strikes better, because he has stopping power.

Cantwell has solid wrestling but if he’s just on the mat in general he’s right at home. It would be nice to see his takedown defense stiffen and he seems to just accept going to his back. Cantwell is solid off his back though, as in his last two fights he’s finished with a triangle set up off his back. While on top he grapples heavy and grapples to finish. Cantwell is persistent when transitioning and isn’t someone you want in a dominant position

His wrestling, cardio, pressure, and grappling all stand out. Obviously he’s still young so he’s still raw and in the learning curve. It’s easy to imagine him fighting as an amateur for at least a few more fights. If so, it would be a good idea as he’s only going to improve.

Cantwell is fighting Jordan Baxter (5-2) who is his toughest opponent to date. The fight happens this Saturday for Fight Card Entertainment.