MMA Prospect Watch: The Most Impressive Fighters from November

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Roman Faraldo, Bellator 271
Roman Faraldo, Bellator 271 Credit: Bellator MMA

November has come and gone, and the end of the year just snuck right up on us. Before we get to the Holidays, here’s a look at the most impressive MMA prospects from last month.

Featherweight, Cody Law (5-0)

Law just continues to look great but was still fighting against a lower-level opponent. They were going back and forth but when Law was landing it was affecting his opponent. The wrestler in Law dropped his opponent with a flurry of punches. While in the guard with wrist control Law landed two nasty elbows. The first one basically knocked the guy out and the second one was the nail in the coffin. Another spectacular finish by Law.
Grade: B

Welterweight, Roman Faraldo (6-0)

Faraldo came out and took control of this fight. He was landing the jab and keeping his opponent on the outside. He wobbled his opponent with a short left hook. Knowing he hurt him he pointed at his opponent and then landed a flying knee for the knockout. A highlight-reel savage knockout that will be remembered for a while.
Grade: A

Featherweight, Aaron Pico (9-3)

Pico handed Justin Gonzales his first career loss last month. Gonzales was 12-0 as a pro and 9-0 as an amateur. Sure Gonzales got a few good shots in but Pico dominated the fight. He won mainly off his wrestling and top position. On the feet though he had smothering pressure and threw to end the fight. Pico was digging into the body over and over and you saw it hurting Gonzales. All Pico in this fight and he could be a champion one day.
Grade: A+

Light heavyweight, Uran Satybaldiev (5-0)

Satybaldiev won the biggest fight of his career taking the Open FC title back home to Kyrgyzstan. In the opening of the first round Satybaldiev dropped his opponent with a right-cross. He dominated on top in the guard landing short ground and pound. All the damage added up and the opponent stopped it himself seconds into round two.
Grade: C+

Strawweight, Danni Neilan (5-0)

Neilan dominated from start to finish late in round three. Round one she got the takedown early and dominated on top. In round two she dropped her opponent with a left hand and controlled on top. Getting the takedown right away in round three Neilan turned up the output. She moved into mount and landed ground and pound until the ref stepped in.
Grade: C+

Featherweight, Mansur Azhiev (7-0)

This was a great performance from Poland’s Mansur Azhiev. He had four brief takedowns in the third round but his performance on the feet showed out. Azhiev did a fantastic job taking control of the fight using feints and traps. He landed that overhand right many times and set up a head kick a few times. Azhiev threw punches behind kicks and his head movement and his footwork were on point. He’s proved he’s one to watch for.
Grade: A

Lightweight, Hyder Amil (5-0)

This was a pretty fight but it was a scrap between Amil and Brazil’s Robson Junior. Amil was definitely in danger in this fight. Junior had him shelling up quite a bit and was briefly on the back a few times. The difference was Amil can take damage to dish it out. Amil dropped Junior twice with a huge right hook. Somehow Junior survived but didn’t in round two. Amil dropped him again with that right hand in round two and Junior got to his feet. Amil didn’t let off throwing output closing out the fight landed a barrage of his hands and a couple of knees. A sloppy fight but one hell of a fight.
Grade: C+

Flyweight, Alessandro Costa (10-2)

Costa was dropped in round one briefly from a head kick. That woke him up though and the remainder of the fight he was in control. Costa went on to drop his opponent twice in the first. He was relentless with his pressure throwing power hooks, kick, and knees keeping his opponent guessing. At the end of rounds one and two Costa ended the round with a takedown. If Costa had a few more seconds in two he would’ve finished with the armbar. A leg kick Costa landed in round two affected his opponent right into round three. Costa swarmed with punches crumbling his opponent down. He unloaded with ground and pound until the ref stepped in. This was Costa’s second LUX title defense.
Grade: A+

Welterweight, Kamal Magomedov (9-0)

Not a lot happened prior to the finish but it’s what Magomedov does best. After a feeling-out process, it was Magomedov that was taken down. Magomedov had his legs up for a triangle but went to the armbar and his opponent tapped. That’s still all nine wins coming by submission in the first round.
Grade: A

Bantamweight, Jonas Magard (14-5)

To win the Oktagon title Magard beat veteran Filip Macek. Magard is usually a jiu-jitsu guy but five rounds he displayed his talents on the feet. He dropped Macek four times in the fight. Magard fought behind his jab and was landing the one-two at will. He defended every takedown and just had Macek uncomfortable the whole fight.
Grade: C+

Bantamweight, Jerrell Hodge (9-3)

This fight was all Hodge through three rounds. He landed a lot of good shots with his hands but more with his legs. Hodge landed many kicks to the body and glancing head shots. It was the ground game Hodge won with. He was defending takedowns and getting takedowns of his own. Hodge easily moved into dominant position each round and stayed busy. In round three he almost finished with an arm-bar.
Grade: C+

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