March 3, 2015 Leave a comment
For years we have maintained that the breeding ground for MMA talent were in USA and in Brazil. After all, Brazil is home to martial arts in many ways and USA by far has the best training facilities. I would argue that is still true to a point. However, my statistics show that Eastern Europe is the fasting growing place for up and coming MMA talent. There was a moment in MMA history where the best prospects were from USA, Brazil and then Canada. Perhaps we would include a place like Japan and U.K. in the talk following. However, those countries have been surpassed by Russia primarily.
Where Did They Rank?
Out of my 393 prospects on my lists from male bantamweight to Heavyweight 70 were Russians. That means 18% of the top prospects in the sport are Russian. This does not include Ukrainian or Moldovan prospects either. The United States still has the most prospects in quantity with 90 in total or 23% of the prospect pool. Brazil did have the third most MMA prospects at 47 (12%). Perhaps not surprisingly, the U.K. was next with 25 prospects in total (6%). In one of the more surprising aspects, Poland rounded out the top 5 with 18 total prospects (5%). Canada is still making a mark with 14 prospects on our lists. France is making trending upwards with 13 prospects listed. Japan comes in with 12 total. Sweden had a showing of 8 prospects. Ukraine and Germany follow them with 8 prospects respectively.
About The Lists:
There are several guys out there who do a great job scouting prospects and they might have some names on their radar that we are unaware of. However, we believe we have a fairly comprehensive list with many weight classes having 50 or more prospects listed. We also believe that this is an adequate sampling. Certainty the results could vary slightly depending on what other prospects were listed, but we do not think the findings would change all that much.
For our purposes we have a strict definition of what makes one a “prospect”. We would not consider one to be a prospect who has fought previously in UFC or Bellator. Also, we withhold guys who have fought on the main cards of World Series of Fighting and OneFC. In addition, we limit our prospects to under 33 years old.