Weekly MMA Prospect Report: Tonon’s Time the Shine?

ONE Championship Gary Tonon
Credit: ONE Championship

ONE Championship signing grappling ace Garry Tonon immediately turned heads back in 2018. Now, four years later, he sports a 6-0 record, and is fighting for his first title in MMA.

Le takes on Thanh Le this Friday at ONE Championship’s Lights Out card in Singapore — but there’s lots of other MMA action going down this week, and plenty of prospects spread out across a number of cards. Here’s a look at the best bets among the up-and-comers this week.

Ares FC 4 | France | Thursday

Strawweight, Ewelina Woźniak (6-0)

Billed more as a kickboxer, Wozniak can do it all. Wozniak has real knockout power in her hands. You saw it in her fight with Anita Bekus, with Wozniak flatlining her with a clean one-two. A left jab to the body to a right hand is the one-two and a combination she likes to throw. Wozniak doesn’t just have power in her hands but in her legs and knees as well. She’s also physically strong, and seeing her just throwing girls onto the canvas is impressive. From a distance, you’re letting her pick you apart with her kickboxing and her improved hands. You have to close the distance on her to find more success but her clinch work is deadly. Elbow and knees she’ll throw a ton. For more of a refined striker/kickboxer, her grappling is up to par. She fights Maria Silva (7-0).

Strawweight, Maria Silva (7-0)

“Viuva Negra” is a multi-time champion in Sanda and was a Muay Thai champion as well. With the skillset she brings on the feet Silva is a decent wrestler with a credible ground game. She’s an athletic explosive striker on the feet with excellent kickboxing. Silva has good movement, fast hands, and puts together her punches and kicks well. Impressively enough she’s just as good on the mat then on the feet. She fights Ewelina Wozniak (6-0).

ONE Championship | Indonesia | Friday

Lightweight, Garry Tonon (6-0)

Tonon is well-known in the world of BJJ as he holds accomplishments such as IBJJF Pan-American No-Gi Champion, IBJJF World No-Gi Champion, EBI lightweight champion, and much more. Tonon has looked stellar in his MMA career and has even looked great on his feet. Tonon uses nice footwork, landing one-twos and throwing with a lot of output while moving in-and-out. He’s shown good wrestling, getting double-legs and trip takedowns. The mat is his world, as he finds dominant positions easily and while his ground-and-pound is very good, he is obviously a big submission threat. He fights featherweight champ  Thanh Le (12-2).

Lightweight, Kiril Gorobets (11-1)

Gorobets is one of the most electrifying prospects out there today. He’s a human highlight reel with finishes from a head kick, spinning back kick, peruvian necktie, and a banana split. Gorobets is a legit all-around finisher and gets to work quite quickly with six first-round finishes. He’s dynamic on the feet throwing a bunch of different attacks from different angles. While he is a dangerous dude on the feet all-around he’s an even better wrestler. Gotobets is a submission ace with three submissions all from different techniques. He fights Martin Nguyen (13-5).

Light heavyweight, Mohamed Said Maalem (11-3)

Born in Geneva, Maalem is a good prospect. The biggest issue is he’s 37-years-old so not really a prospect in terms of years. Despite his age, he hasn’t had any signs of slowing down and at light heavyweight and up, you can get away with being older. Still, with one more loss he could be set back too far to make an impact in a major promotion. On the feet, Maalem has clubbing striking throwing big looping overhands. He does hit hard and strikes well to close the distance. He has solid wrestling and on top he’s going to threaten with big ground and pound. He fights Mohammad Fakhreddine (14-4).

Welterweight, Luis Felipe Dias (14-3)

Luis Felipe Dias is labelled as a jiu-jitsu fighter but tends to test the waters on the feet. What stands out most is a heavy outside leg kick, a sticking jab, and a one-two. I would rate the grappling of Dias very highly. From the time he touches the canvas he is constantly moving and working to finish. Dias has no fear of attempting submissions in awkward positions. Not sloppy in the slightest as he really knows what he’s doing. Besides position over submission Dias is very tactical when locking up a submission. You can’t ask for much more from Dias in the grappling department. He fights Nursulton Ruziboev (33-8-2).

Lightweight, Sam Patterson (8-1-1)

Patterson has a very strong resume and someone I only recently gave credit to. He’s knocked out former UFC fighter Felipe Silva and beat two really good prospects in Ylies Djiroun and Kamal Magomedov. His striking is very in your face, high output style. He’s always throwing something different. His straight right is his preferred weapon but his striking as a whole is top notch. Along with that his grappling is solid and he has good movement. Patterson seems to be the real deal. He fights Khunkar-Pasha Osmaev (10-6-1).

Flyweight, Asu Almabaev (14-2)

Almabaev has a background in freestyle wrestling, was a national champion in jiu-jitsu, and has a BJJ world cup. He’s currently on an eight-fight win streak taking out decent competition. On the feet Almabaev is quick, he has good fast hands, and he throws a lot of volume with combinations. His takedown defense is his glaring weakness but his good BJJ bails him out of bad positions. He’s mostly well-rounded and with proven cardio, he’s a solid fighter. He fights Imram Magaramov (4-0).

Featherweight, Husein Kadimagomaev (8-1)

Kadimagomaev is a high-level prospect coming out of Switzerland. The young 22-year-old is training out of Allstars Training Center which has been red hot the last few years. As impressive as 8-1 is, Kadimagomaev went 18-0 as an amateur. He has heavy kicks, good combinations coming in, and has solid wrestling. At such a young age he’s already so well-rounded and already so good. He fights Agshin Babaev (22-7).

Light heavyweight, Murtaza Talha Ali (4-0)

Young as a pro, Ali is one of the highest-level light heavyweight amateurs in a long time. Ali is a two-time IMMAF world champion which is the biggest accomplishment out there as an amateur. Ali is a good striker and is an excellent wrestler. He’s had no issue closing the distance and powering guys to the mat. Ali has solid ground and pound and can grab the neck at any time. Ali has the blueprint to be the next big thing at light heavyweight and I think he will real soon. he fights Mikheil Sazhiniani (7-1).


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