MMA Prospect Watch: The Most Impressive Fighters from March

Ismael Bonfim MMA Prospect, LFA 111
Ismael Bonfim, LFA 111 Credit: Legacy Fighting Alliance

March has come and gone, and plenty of MMA action has as well. Lot’s of prospects were in action, at a rather key time: Dana White’s Contender Series, after running through the fall, is back to its usual summer home this year. So you could see some of these prospects fighting in front of Dana White in just a few months’ time.

For the most impressive prospects in March, read on!

Featherweight, Gabriel Alves Braga (7-0)

I wasn’t blown away by this performance, because in a way Braga had a chance of losing on the scorecards. He was walked down and his nose was busted up from the beginning. He did win 30-27 though. That’s because he was patient, picked his shots, and had the bigger moments. He landed a lot of front kicks to the body slowing his opponent down. Braga did drop his opponent briefly at a time but won this one being the more efficient fighter.
Grade: C+

Light heavyweight, Rodolfo Bellato (8-1)

Bellato fought a dangerous striker in Thiago Vieira so of course, Bellato won by submission. To get the fight down it was Bellato that threw a kick and slipped. His opponent followed him down and Bellato swept and got on top. After a takedown from him, he got into mount. Bellato landed big elbows and went for the armbar. The elbow was out but he transitioned to a triangle and with just seconds left Vieira tapped. Beautiful transition to the finish.
Grade: B-

Heavyweight, Eduardo Neves (5-0)

Neves proves again he’s a dangerous guy to trade with. He landed a left-right forcing his opponent to attempt a takedown. It didn’t work out and Neves landed big shots. It was a right hand that wobbled his opponent and another right hand that put the guy to sleep. All wins by knockout and the last three coming in the first round.
Grade: C+

Lightweight, Ismael Bonfim (17-3)

Not blown away with this performance either, but Bonfim dominated a good fighter. His takedown defense was tested a lot. It held up very well and the times he went down he was attacking with a guillotine. The boxing of Bonfim was on point picking away at his opponent. He also threw a lot of kicks and knees mixing it up. Bonfim was landing a lot coming forward and countering when his foe attacked. A clean showing but I feel he could’ve done more.
Grade: C

Welterweight, Gabriel Bonfim (12-0)

It didn’t take Bonfim long at all to win the vacant LFA welterweight title. He got right to it at the bell letting his hands go rapidly. He stunned his opponent twice with the right hand. Having his opponent in major trouble a scramble happened. In that scramble, Bonfim grabbed the d’arce and pulled guard and the opponent tapped. Amazing performance and finish by the new champ.
Grade: A+

Welterweight, Magomed Magomedov (8-0)

Magomedov dominated with wrestling and mostly top control. He got the takedown each round and never let his opponent up. Magomedov stayed busy with ground and pound going to the body and head. In round three he really picked it up with his output digging to the body. Not a finish but he was busy and dominated. With this win Magomedov won the Octagon welterweight title.
Grade: B-

Featherweight, Connor Matthews (5-0)

Matthews continues to do his thing getting in and out. He came out with a lot of volume. His opponent slipped to the mat off a kick. Matthews jumped on him to take the back and finish with the RNC. That’s now five first-round finishes and four of those came in under a minute. He needs a step up in competition.
Grade: C+

Welterweight, Billy Goff (6-2)

Goff and Garry Belletto fought for the vacant CES belt and Goff took it home. It wasn’t going good for Goff, getting dropped in the first minute. Still eating shots he walked Bellatto down and eventually got the takedown. From there it was savage mode from Goff. In the guard, Goff went off with elbows to the head and body. He cut Bellatto wide open and when they got back to the feet Bellatto even called it off and the ref called it off.
Grade: C

Featherweight, Damon Wilson (4-0)

Wilson stayed in his opponent’s face frequently switching stances and finding his right hand. He did eat a few good shots but nothing bothered him. As his opponent landed a left Wilson landed a right hand over the top. The right crumbled his opponent and a few extra left hands had the ref step in. Wilson has some big power in his hands finishing his last three fights with them.
Grade: B-

Lightweight, Thomas Paull (11-3)

In dramatic fashion Paull knockout out Cage Warriors veteran Perry Andre Goodwin. Early it was Goodwin that landed a right hand getting the attention of Paull. Goodwin pressed but Paull never wilted. A leg kick to a left-right-left landed from Paull and Goodwin was out before he even hit the mat. An awesome knockout that leads to a lightweight title victory.
Grade: B