MMA Prospect Roundtable 2023: Which Up-and-Comers Are UFC-Ready?

Jean Matsumoto Credit: LFA

For as long as I’ve been covering MMA my dude Dusty Andrews has always been the one I talked the most prospect stuff with. He’s been one of my favorites to follow. I respect his opinions and I had to have him take part in this. Follow him on Twitter.

Jean Matsumoto (13-0) 23 years old. Brazilian Bantamweight who likely has already been on the UFC’s radar for a few years now. A well-rounded fighter with good experience for his age can fight from either orthodox or southpaw with effective creativity to his timing. Shows competent boxing with nice reflexes as he attacks off slips, excellent attacking combos incorporating kicks and an array of punch techniques. Also skilled in grappling with numerous neck-targeted chokes on his record. I would be surprised if he was ever in a boring fight.

Rakhim Midaev – (11-1) 28 years old. An all-action explosive Russian Bantamweight that shows great strength with takedowns, takedown defense, and arm triangles. Came up through the ACA Young Eagles promotion but fought last in RCC where he finished a quality opponent in Lavrentyev. Has an array of fight-ending kick attempts he likes to throw from early wheel kicks to stabbing side and spinning back kicks and even tornado kick attempts. In a heavy entertainment currency era, the UFC fan base will find his style attractive.

Felipe Lima (11-1) 25 years old. An explosive Bantamweight turning Featherweight on an eleven-fight win streak. Former Fight Club Rush champion in which he won via flying knee in the first round. Lima is an attractive striker with a signature Aldo-esque nasty hook to body. Getting a great diverse experience training at All Stars in Sweden. Almost competed on Road to UFC so he’s on his way sooner rather than later.

Murtaza Talha Ali (6-0) 28 years old. IMMAF standout that specializes in grappling. Strong wrestler with good power, has to evolve his stand up still but he’s good where you need to be for MMA and that’s wrestling and taking the fight where you want it. Also adept with submissions, trips from the clinch, transitions and heavy ground and pound.