July 13, 2016 Leave a comment
The Resurrection Fighting Alliance has sent over 40 fighters to the UFC. They have solidified themselves as UFC’s number one feeder organization. Not only that, but the promotion prides itself on that. I imagine that makes for a very difficult business model. They have a quick turnover of their best fighters. However, it seems that RFA is a place where good prospects want to fight.
We take a look at 15 fighters who could be inching closer to signing with the UFC. If history tells us anything, it tells us that most of these fighters will end up in the UFC…its just a matter of when.
- Thiago Moises – 8-1 – 21 years old – Lightweight
Moises is a solid prospect. Currently he stands as our 9th ranked lightweight prospect. The American Top Team trained fighter, was featured on the most recent episode of “Dana White Lookin’ for a Fight”. He won in impressive fashion and many thought he would be signed right there to a UFC deal. I still feel like his next fight could be in the UFC.
2. Alexandre Pantoja – Flyweight
The RFA flyweight champion has an impressive resume. My guess is that he is on the currently filming cast of the Ultimate Fighter 24 which features flyweights vying for a UFC title shot.
3. Leandro Higo – 17-2 – 27 years old – Bantamweight
Our 7th ranked bantamweight prospect, Higo is super talented. He is the current RFA bantamweight champion. In the past, Higo competed at flyweight, but I believe that weight cut was too much for him. Also, previously a competitor on the Ultimate Fighter Brazil, Higo did not do as well as expected. I still believe Higo has a chance to be an elite fighter. I also think that UFC could come calling soon.
4. Raoni Barcelos -10-1 – 31 years old – Featherweight
Barcelos is our 7th ranked featherweight prospect. I am honestly shocked he is still not in the UFC. My guess is that it will not take any more than one win to get him there. Barcelos is super talented and has flown somewhat under the radar. I think he is a name to watch even in the UFC featherweight division.
5. Boston Salmon – 5-0 – 25 years old – Bantamweight
I had heard talks of Salmon being on Sean Shelby’s radar a while back. Nothing has happened to change that. Boston is MMA Sun’s 4th ranked bantamweight prospect right now. Salmon needs to fight. He has been on the sidelines for a while now. I think Salmon would fit in really nicely inside UFC’s talent rich bantamweight division. If he is not a top ten fighter in the world, I would be surprised.
6. Logan Storley – 4-0 – 23 years old – Welterweight
Storley may be the prize of the RFA roster. A four time All-American wrestler at Minnesota University, Storley has the pedigree to be great. He is also undefeated in MMA. He needs a few more wins, but I can’t imagine it would take long for him to draw serious interest.
7. Jordan Johnson – 5-0 – 27 years old – Light Heavyweight
Johnson may be one of the next light heavyweights the UFC signs. He has a big win over Shaun Asher in his last outing. The MMA Lab fighter, will need another win or two, but UFC needs light heavyweight so that may speed up his signing.
8. Ray Elizadale – 10-0 – Flyweight
Elizadale will be put to the test in his next fight, but he does have a nice record. The only problem is that UFC does not sign many flyweights. However, he could be a target as a late replacement in the future.
9. Trevin Giles – 6-0 – 23 years old – Middleweight
Giles is a nice, young middleweight prospect. He is set to fight Josh Clark at the end of this month, and I think a win there could get him the call.
10. Rafael Viana – 6-1 – 31 years old – Light Heavyweight
Viana was featured on a Dana White Lookin’ For A Fight Episode that resulted in him losing to Devin Clark and Clark getting signed by UFC. However, Viana had a nice showing despite the loss. He is not the prospect that some other light heavyweights are, but light heavyweights are not common.
11. Dan Moret – 10-2 – 29 years old – Featherweight
I am not sure what long term success Moret will have, but the eye test tells me that he is better than a regional fighter. I think he is a guy that could get signed as a late replacement, but could also do quite well given the right opponents.
12. Hugo Prada – 7-0 – Lightweight
Prada just signed with RFA and could be the sleeper of the group. He is a Colombian fighter who missed out on two different seasons of TUF Latin America. It is widely believed that he would have been the favorite to win those seasons. He could be the first Colombian fighter to be signed outright by UFC.
13. Chase Waldon – 9-1 – 29 years old – Middleweight
Waldon is a guy to watch as well. It will be interesting to see how he is matched in RFA. If he can work his way to a RFA title, then that certainly helps his chances. Waldon fights this weekend against Austin Heidlage. A win there gives him some momentum.
14. Czar Sklavos – 12-4 – 34 years old – Flyweight
I like Sklavos a lot as a fighter. However, two things go against him. 1. He is not young. 2. He is a flyweight. I could see a scenario where he gets a win in his upcoming fight and gets to fight in the UFC in Utah.
15. Brian Camozzi – 6-2- 25 years old – Welterweight
The brother of UFC fighter, Christ Camozzi has put together a nice string of wins that help his case. I do not regard him as an elite prospect, but he could do enough to find his way into the UFC. He is also still young, which helps him.