With the UFC setting up shop at the O2 Arena in London this Saturday, the U.K.’s biggest regional show, Cage Warriors, is also back in town — with a number of the region’s top MMA prospects. London’s calling the MMA faithful this week it seems. That and more on this installment of the Weekly MMA Prospect report.
CFFC 106 | US | Thursday
Lightweight, Paris Artis (5-0)
Artis is a highlight-reel finisher holding a few dramatic finishes. He comes out with a high guard chopping with heavy leg kicks and throwing check hooks. Artis has huge power in his hands and kicks with one-shot knockout power. Even on the mat his jiu-jitsu is decent with good scrambling ability and a slick submission attack. I’m not too sold on him but he’s someone you tune in to watch when he’s fighting. Artis fights champ Blake Smith (6-2) for the title.
Cage Warriors 134 | UK | Friday
Featherweight, James Hendin (6-1)
Hendin is a super impressive young man out of England. Hendin is a wrestler who will grind out hard-fought decision wins. He’s always in your face throwing low calf kicks, short powerful punches, and pressing opponents against the cage. Hendin has good wrestling, especially with a beautiful hip-toss he’s hit many times in his career. Hendin has one submission but it’s more of his smothering active ground and pound. Hendin has pressure, technique, and a deep gas tank. He fights Jordan Vucenic (8-1).
Featherweight, Jordan Vucenic (8-1)
Vucenic is mainly a wrestler. He has heavy leg kicks plus good forward pressure, but everything he does on the feet is to get to the takedown. Along with good wrestling, Vucenic has really good top control and really nice fluidity as well. His work rate is impressive with a deep gas tank. Still needs some work on the feet but is scrappy. He defends his title against James Hendin (6-1).
Lightweight, George Hardwick (8-1)
No matter where the fight takes Hardwick he’s going to be comfortable. He’s all about volume on the feet throwing slick combinations to the body and head. Surgical on the inside with his hands and elbows in the clinch he will chop the legs at distance. Hardwick can wrestle as well. He can get takedowns on the legs and from the upper body. His jiu-jitsu is slick. He smoothly takes the back and right away locks in the body triangle. As a pro he’s really good at finding the neck of his opponent. Hardwick fights Lukasz Kopera (10-6).
Middleweight, Will Currie (6-2)
Currie has only lost to one person and it was twice to Christian Leroy Duncan. He is primarily a grappler with a submission base. As a pro, he’s finished with an RNC, arm-bar, americana, keylock, triangle and an arm-triangle. Wrestling-wise he has good timing on his entries and has a strong body lock. Currie has been very impressive on the mat with that submission base, aggression, and smooth transitions. Only being 23, Currie has a bright future. He fights Patrick Vallee (12-12-2).
Flyweight, Lone’er Kavanagh (2-0)
Kavanagh is a very skilled and intriguing young man. Where he’s best at is unequivocally on the feet. He’s light on his feet, doing a lot of bouncing around. Kavanagh is excessively fast specifically with his movement, hands, and his legs. The Englishman throws a nice lead uppercut, is a well-executed counter striker, and has a good one-two. Kavanagh fights behind his kicks, setting the tone of his fights that way. He’s such a flashy guy and he doesn’t telegraph his strikes at all. Kavanagh is a true 125-er that brings speed, athleticism, explosiveness, and a recurrent rapid pace. He fights Ryan Morgan (1-0).
iKON FC 2 | US | Friday
Middleweight, SD Dumas (5-0)
The first thing you notice when watching Dumas is how often and quickly he lets his kickboxing set the pace. He loves to chop away at the legs and then go high – sometimes to the opposite side. All his work he does with his legs opens up his striking even more. Dumas has really good distance management on the feet, with of course his kicks but his striking as well. He has a stiff jab and strikes really well long, keeping guys at the end of his punches. He fights very patiently picking his spots and it’s a big reason why he can fight as well as he can later in fights. Here is an extensive piece I did on Dumas. He fights Aaron Highbaugh (9-5).
PFL Challenger Series 5 | US | Friday
Lightweight, Bruno Miranda (13-3)
Miranda has extensive experience in Muay Thai and it’s shown throughout his MMA career. You will see Miranda attack with leg kicks early and often throughout his fights. The Brazilian is a banger who will come out throwing bombs the entire bout. He is wild though and that’s resulted in him getting tagged, but he’s tough and his will breaks opponents. Miranda is a striker/kickboxer by trade but he has some decent wrestling to fall back on. he fights Carson Frei (9-4).
Eternal MMA 64 | Australia | Saturday
Lightweight, Josh Kuhne (3-0)
It’s hard to get a good read on Kuhne because his fights end so quickly. The storm he brings right out of the gate is so heavy his opponents so far couldn’t withstand it. Kunhe has massive power in both his hands and knees. So much is unknown about him but to put on a show is what he’s all about. There is a reason they call him Kamikaze. Kuhne fights Blake Donnelly (5-1).