With Anthony “Rumble” Johnson dropping out of the light heavyweight grand prix, one of MMA’s top 205lb prospects gets a shot at gold. Julius Anglickas steps into the tournament this Saturday, up against Russian champ Vadim Nemkov.
Here’s a look at that, and other key prospects in action this week.
Lux Fight League 17 | Mexico | Friday
Lightweight, Francesco Patron Manzo (8-0)
Manzo is only 22-years-old and is a well-rounded young man with tons of potential. He’s a diverse striker that’s still really technical. Manzo is always throwing in volume mixing in kicks and punches. He has an underrated ground game as well as shown in his last fight with a beautiful armbar finish transitioned from the back. He fights former UFC veteran Marco Beltran (16-7).
RCC: Intro 16 | Russia | Saturday
Heavyweight, Kirill Kornilov (10-0-1)
Kornilov has a kickboxing background but in his MMA career, it’s the hands that he has got the job done with. He has a really good jab and uses a lot of feints to produce openings for him to exploit. Where he is most effective is when his opponents come forward, catching them as they come in. He’s a dangerous guy off his back foot, so not someone you want to advance on carelessly. His takedown defense isn’t at all where it needs to be however. Even worse, he’s way out of his realm on the mat off his back. Kornilov fights Ednaldo Oliveira (21-8-1).
FEN 36 | Poland | Saturday
Lightweight, Mateusz Rębecki (13-1)
Rebecki is a BJJ black belt and is a two-time gold medalist in ADCC (Poland). He trains out of Berserker Team with fighters like Michal Materla, Tomasz Narkun, and many more established veterans. Rebecki is a bit one-dimensional being solely a grappler but in that area, he’s just so dangerous and that’s on top or bottom. While on a ten-fight win streak at the time he fought them, the combined record of his opponents was 135-46-3. Of thirteen victories he’s finished all but one fight. Seven stoppages by KO/TKO and five by submission. He fights Aigun Akhmedov (22-2).
AMC Fight Nights 105 | Russia | Saturday
Middleweight, Vladimir Mineev (15-1-1)
Mineev has several good wins, the most notable being against former UFC fighter Maiquel Falcão. There have been doubts in the past about his cardio, takedown defense, and head movement, but he has grown into a well-rounded martial artist. The Russian has a dynamic offensive striking attack with excellent output with his hands and kicks, and his wrestling is underrated as well. Mineev fights Magomed Ismailov (17-2-1).
Featherweight, Mukhamed Eminov (17-1)
Eminov is someone I scouted a few years ago and is much better today than he was then. The Russian hasn’t displayed much on the feet but he does have a solid ground game. Eminov is a very technical grappler who transitions through guard beautifully and excels at passing positions as a whole. He also brings a very intelligent submission base with eleven submission wins. He fights Roman Silagadze (4-1-1).
Middleweight, Sharaputdin Magomedov (5-0)
Magomedov is a kickboxer with an extensive background. In MMA that’s what he showcased so far. Even going backwards Magomedov has light footwork and can still land effectively. In the clinch he’s good at landing knees as shown in his last fight. Magomedov has a lot of dexterity in his legs being able to throw head kicks in tight spaces. He can throw with both legs and is hard to read on what he’s going to throw. He’s dangerous at distance and even though his takedown defense does need work, he’s dangerous to close the distance on. Magomedov fights Mikhail Allakhverdian (9-2).
Middleweight, David Barkhudaryan (13-3)
Barkhudaryan is mainly a striker and a very dangerous one at that. He has a one-two he loves to throw, chopping powerful leg kicks, and a firing straight jab. Beware of rushing in on him as well as he’s a dangerous counter-striker. Barkhudaryan has lights out power in his hands and can stop the fight at any time. He’s currently on a seven-fight win streak and looking at the peak of his career. He fights Artur Alibulatov (21-4).
Bellator 268 | US | Saturday
Light heavyweight, Julius Anglickas (10-1)
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 the champ Vadim Nemkov (14-2) for the title.
Light heavyweight, Karl Albrektsson (12-3)
Albrektsson has only three losses in his career, all three to stellar fighters in Valentin Moldavsky, Phil Davis, and Jiri Prochazka. He has also beaten good competition such as former UFC fighter Josh Stansbury and Bellator light heavyweight champ Vadim Nemkov. “King” has a background in BJJ and in Sanshou, in which he was the 2014 European champion. His weak point would be on the feet, as he’s often seen fighting too stiff. He excels on the mat though, looking better in each fight. He fights Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-6-1).
Lightweight, Nick Browne (11-1)
Browne’s sole loss is to John Gunther, and while that looks… not so good in hindsight, he does have a few good wins. He’s beat opponents like Sidney Outlaw, Troy Lamson, Ben Egli, and Trey Ogden who are all good fighters. Browne doesn’t have much to offer on the feet but strikes well to close the distance to wrestle. He’s a strong grappler being a big submission threat with five submission wins. Taking the back and finishing with the RNC is what he’s best at. He fights Bobby Lee (12-6).
Bantamweight, Jaylon Bates (3-0)
Bates made his pro debut for Bellator and is one of their best and brightest up-and-comers. He’s the full package and besides being a wrestler first his striking is good. He has good hands and good use of his range. Bates is a fantastic wrestler and can wrestle three rounds no problem. Being an aggressive wrestler he can keep taking guys down despite them getting to their feet. Bates has a slick submission game no matter where he’s at. Still not enough has been shown but he looks like the real deal. He fights Raphael Montini (6-4).
Welterweight, Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-1)
Berkhamov is a very solid fighter that can go the distance or finish. He has solid cardio going the distance three times but mainly ending the fight with his striking. He only throws one strike at a time but he is very explosive and is very hard to read as he throws hooks, jabs, leg kicks, and head kicks and his timing is perfect. Berkhamov has solid wrestling as he changes levels great and always gets the takedown. He is very good on top moving well and stays heavy and gets dominant position frequently. He fights Jaleel Willis (15-2).