MMA Sun Prospects in Action This Weekend (January 20-22)

  • Ben Neuman (MMA Sun #54 WW) vs. Damion Hill @ LFA 2 – Friday – Prior Lake, MN – AxsTVJoseTorres
  • Bobby Lee (MMA Sun #57 LW) vs. Matthew Marsh @ LFA 2 – Friday – Prior Lake, MN – AxsTV
  • Arbi Aguev (MMA Sun #19 WW) vs. Patrik Kinci @ ACB 52- Saturday – Vienna, Austria
  • Denis Smoldaraev (MMA Sun #2 HW) vs. Michal Andryszak (MMA Sun #21 HW) @ ACB 52- Saturday – Vienna, Austria
  • Abdul Rakhman Temirov (MMA Sun #46 FW) vs. Valdines Silva @ ACB 52- Saturday – Vienna, Austria
  • Brian Kelleher (MMA Sun #15 BW) vs.  Murad Kalamov @ ACB 52- Saturday – Vienna, Austria
  • Shamil Nikaev (MMA Sun #4 LW) vs. Joao Luis Nogueira @ ACB 52- Saturday – Vienna, Austria
  • Nick Roehrick (MMA Sun #38 LHW) vs. Combat Night Pro – Saturday – Tallahassee, FL
  • Jose Torres (MMA Sun #6 FlyW) vs. Pedro Nobre @ Titan FC 43 – Saturday – Coral Gables, FL – UFC Fight Pass
  • Caio Urugai (MMA Sun #60 FW) vs. Michael Quinones @ Titan FC 43 – Saturday – Coral Gables, FL – UFC Fight Pass
  • Mo De’Reese (MMA Sun #28 LHW) vs. Volkan Oezdemir @ Titan FC 43 – Saturday – Coral Gables, FL – UFC Fight Pass
  • Steve Mowry (MMA Sun #52 HW) vs. Abel Valdez @ Titan FC 43 – Saturday – Coral Gables, FL – UFC Fight Pass

5 Featherweights I Expect UFC to Sign in 2017

The UFC’s featherweight division has lots of talent.  However, it may be the most difficult division to get into the

Paddy Pimblett, Ashleigh Grimshaw

UFC.  They only signed 7 featherweights in all of 2016.  I expect that number to go up slightly in 2017, but the fact remains that the door is much smaller for the featherweights into the UFC.    The best hope for many of these fighters is a late injury replacement.

Despite the door into the UFC being more narrow in the featherweight division, there is loads of talent out there.   Despite TUF likely going away soon, the show would have been a nice way for some of these prospects to make it into the UFC.

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MMA Sun Prospects in Action This Weekend (January 13-15)

  • TJ Laramie (MMA Sun #45 FW) vs. Maxime Dubois @ TKO 37: Rivals – Friday – Montreal, Canada – UFC LeandroHigoFight Pass
  • Tony Laramie (MMA Sun #55 FlyW) vs. Keith Lee @ TKO 37: Rivals – Friday – Montreal, Canada – UFC Fight Pass
  • Leandro Higo (MMA Sun #3 BW) vs. Steve Peterson (MMA Sun #28 BW) @ LFA 1 – Friday – Dallas, TX – AxsTV
  • Eli Tamez (MMA Sun #30 BW) vs. Ulyses Aguila @ LFA 1 – Friday – Dallas, TX – AxsTV
  • Montana Stewart (MMA Sun #27 WSW) vs. Cynthia Calvillo @ LFA 1 – Friday – Dallas, TX – AxsTV
  • Musa Khamanaev (MMA Sun #16 LW) vs. Luis Palomino @ Absolute Championship Berkut 51 – Friday – Irvine, CA
  • Shamil Gamzatov (MMA Sun #6 LHW) vs. Rodney Wallace @ Absolute Championship Berkut 51 – Friday – Irvine, CA
  • Mario Israel (MMA Sun #25 BW) vs. Kyle Reyes @ Absolute Championship Berkut 51 – Friday – Irvine, CA
  • Terrion Ware (MMA Sun #24 BW) vs. Nick Mamalis @ Absolute Championship Berkut 51 – Friday – Irvine, CA\
  • Guan Wang (MMA Sun #45 FW) vs. Ghassan Muhareb @ Glory of Heroes 6 – Friday – Shenzen, China
  • Megan Anderson (MMA Sun #1 WFW) vs. Charmaine Tweet @ Invicta FC 21 – Saturday – Kansas City, MO – UFC Fight Pass
  • DeAnna Bennett (MMA Sun #3 WSW) vs. Jodie Esquibel (MMA Sun #26 WSW) @ Invicta FC 21 – Saturday – Kansas City, MO – UFC Fight Pass
  • Pannie Kianzad (MMA Sun #2 WBW) vs. Raquel Pa’aluhi @ Invicta FC 21 – Saturday – Kansas City, MO – UFC Fight Pass
  • Aspen Ladd (MMA Sun #8 WBW) vs. Sijara Eubanks @ Invicta FC 21 – Saturday – Kansas City, MO – UFC Fight Pass
  • Amy Montenegro (MMA Sun #23 WSW) vs. Celine Haga @ Invicta FC 21 – Saturday – Kansas City, MO – UFC Fight Pass

How To Get Signed By the UFC…

 

I have been scouting and watching MMA prospects for many years now. I am always happy when a fighterufcthat I have scouted and watched makes it to the UFC. Over the years I have been scouting prospects I have encountered many who are frustrated by the seeming lack of UFC interest in them. Sometimes it seems odd who UFC is interested in and who they are not. Sometimes it seems inconsistent.  In the midst of watching who the UFC signs and who struggles to get there I have found some things to be true.  Below I outline the pathway for any prospect to get to the UFC.

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5 Lightweights I Expect UFC to Sign in 2017

The lightweight division, now ruled by Conor McGregor is one of the bigger divisions in the UFC.  It also seems to be moises-300x300a division that they are willing to add to on a regular basis.  That bodes well for the top prospects in one of the deepest divisions in the sport.  The UFC seems intent on signing the top prospects.  The UFC signed around 20 lightweight fighters in 2016 alone.  I look for them to add more of that same in 2017.

As one might expect the list of prospects in the lightweight division is very long.  We take a look at five of the fighters who are well positioned to get a call from the UFC offering them a contract.  This list does not countdown the top 5 prospects in the division, but rather focuses on who I think the UFC is likely to sign in 2017.  I would be surprised if all of these fighters do not eventually end up there.

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5 Welterweights I Expect UFC to Sign in 2017

The UFC’s welterweight division is the deepest division in the UFC.  Last year, UFC signed 17 welterweight fighters tostorley the roster.  I fully expect UFC to continue to target the best welterweight prospects in 2017.  There are several names that would be good additions to the division.   There is a rumored season of the Ultimate Fighter coming up that wll feature welterweights.  However, the show will feature former UFC or TUF contestants.  The rumored cast includes Jesse Taylor, Gilbert Smith, Mike Ricci, Ramsey Nijem, Eddie Gordon and Dhiego Lima.  I would assume that could slow down what UFC will look to do in the welterweight division.  However, the names listed below are fairly good options.   The UFC always seems to like to find talent in the welterweight division.  While there are several rising stars in the division, I believe that there are UFC level fighters knocking on the door of the UFC.  These are the guys that I think could be next on the list.

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5 Middleweights I Expect UFC to Sign in 2017

The UFC’s middleweight division is interesting. There is a solid top 10, but things get wide open after that. I believe emeevthe door is open for a new signing to really emerge in 2017.  The division once ruled by Anderson Silva has a quickly aging top 15.  We assume that several current ranked UFC middleweights will retire sooner than later.  Michael Bisping, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, and Tim Kennedy are probably closing in on the end of their careers.

There are several young and quickly rising middleweight prospects that leave promise for the division.  I believe that we will see this division infused with new talent in 2017.  One of the clear observations is that the best middleweight prospects are based out of Russia and Eastern Europe.  We have listed the 5 middleweights that we think are really on the verge of UFC offers.  This list does not necessarily rank the top 5 available middleweights, but highlights the most likely middleweight UFC signings. In 2016, UFC signed 16 middleweights.  There is no reason to assume that number would be any different in 2017.  These fighters are likely at the top of the UFC call list.

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