We’re back with another five prospects to scope out in this fourth installment of our Blind Reacting series. There are plenty of solid prospects floating around in the MMA world, and any one of them could be your next Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, or Jose Aldo. We cover a slew of them each and every week in our Weekly MMA Prospect Report. Beyond that, here are five more prospects to consider — prospects we’ve never seen, nor covered, before.
This time out, we’ll start off with the women’s strawweight division, and move on from there.
Strawweight, Huaxiang Dong (9-2)
- Excellent wrestling
- Good top position
- Submission threat
- Stays busy on top
- Good pull-counter
- Good movement
- Good output/smothering pressure
- Physically strong
- Will be overzealous in exchanges/Vulnerable in exchanges
Dong was not on my radar before but definitely is now. Dong started off her MMA career 1-3 and hasn’t lost since, winning eight fights in a row. She’s been fighting for WLF MMA for the last four years and is their current strawweight title holder. Dong is following in the footsteps of countrywoman Weili Zhang.
Like a lot of mixed martial artists fighting over in China, Dong is super young with a lot of experience. It’s tough to find all her fights but there is enough to get a good read on Dong. The best way to describe Dong is a wrestler that is more than comfortable striking.
Being as good as a wrestler as she is, Dong isn’t the type to have it be her main purpose. Dong does a great job lulling opponents with her striking until they are comfortable striking and that’s when Dong will shoot. You don’t see a lot of good wrestlers come from China and Dong possesses just that. She times level changes well and once she gets to the inside her physicality shows. Just in the clinch Dong can sling girls around and when she gets in on the hips she will elevate her opponents.
At times when striking Dong can be too willing to engage and her head sits on the centerline. When she’s not overzealous her movement going in and out and her reactive head movement is really good. Her striking is aggressive and although she can be more technical she makes up for it with volume. She comes from both sides of her opponent too so if you let her push you back it’s not going to go well.
I like Dong a lot and the longer she keeps fighting in China, she’s going to get better and better. Dong is still very young so the sky is the limit. Her wrestling alone would give a lot of girls up the rankings trouble.