Looking Back at RFA: The Top RFA Alumni

The Resurrection Fighting Alliance has long been considered the top feeder organization to the UFC.  The promotion has sent nearly 50 fighters into the UFC’s roster.  Recently, it was announced that RFA and Legacy were merging to create one big regional promotion.  With RFA’s last event on the horizon, we take a look at who the top RFA alumni are.

  1. Mirsad Bektic –bektic

Bektic is only 4-0 in the UFC, but he has all the makings of a future contender or even a title holder.  I believe when all is said and done, Bektic will be the best of the RFA alums.  He probably would have been closer had it not been for a serious injury that sidelined him.

2. Tim Elliott –

Tim Elliott was in the RFA before his first stint in the UFC.  He has fought against some of the best in the world at flyweight and is now on the brink of a title shot against Demetrious Johnson.  If he were to somehow pull off the upset, he would move to number 1.

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MMA Sun Prospects in Action This Weekend (December 2-4)

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  • Ottman Azaitar (MMA Sun #13 WW) vs. Kevin Koldobsky @ Brave CF 2: Dynasty – Friday–Isa Town, Bahrain
  • Gary Mangat (MMA Sun #13 FlyW) vs. Troy Bantiang @ Brave CF 2: Dynasty – Friday–Isa Town, Bahrain
  • Alex da Silva (MMA Sun #54 FW) vs. Daniel Swain @ Brave CF 2: Dynasty – Friday–Isa Town, Bahrain
  • Gadzimusa Gadziev (MMA Sun #58 WW) vs. Carl Booth @ Brave CF 2: Dynasty – Friday–Isa Town, Bahrain
  • Tyree Fortune (MMA Sun #48 LHW) vs. Ben Forsyth @ Brave CF 2: Dynasty – Friday–Isa Town, Bahrain
  • Sid Wheeler (MMA Sun #23 MW) vs. Brendan Allen @ Valor Fights 39 – Friday – Knoxville, TN
  • Arman Ospanov (MMA Sun #10 FW) vs. Ryan Hayes @ Legacy FC 63 – Friday – Tulsa, OK – AxsTV
  • Jimmy Flick (MMA Sun #46 FLyW) vs. Levi Mowles @ Legacy FC 63 – Friday – Tulsa, OK – AxsTV
  • Karol Bedorf (MMA Sun #18 HW) vs. Fernando Rodriguez Jr. (MMA Sun #24 HW) @ KSW 37: Circus of Pain – Saturday – Krakow, Poland
  • Borys Mankowski (MMA Sun #3 WW) vs. John Maguire @ KSW 37: Circus of Pain – Saturday – Krakow, Poland
  • Mansour Barnaoui (MMA Sun #9 LW) vs. Lukasz Chlewicki @ KSW 37: Circus of Pain – Saturday – Krakow, Poland
  • Marcin Wojcik (MMA Sun #40 LHW) vs. Marcin Lazaraz @ KSW 37: Circus of Pain – Saturday – Krakow, Poland
  • Kevin Petshi (MMA Sun #58 BW)  vs. Vando De Almeida @ European Beatdown 1  – Saturday – Mons, Belgium

Making the Switch: 13 Athletes Who Could Transition to MMA

A lot of high level prospects have jumped into MMA hoping to find success.  Recently wrestling standout Ed Ruthkylesnyder and Tyrell Fortune debuted for Bellator.  Jarod Trice is set to debut on December 3rd for the promotion.  Aaron Pico is also under contract with Bellator.  Russian Olympian Bilyal Makhov was signed by the UFC with no professional MMA experience.  Iranian wrestler Amir Aliakbari is fighting for Rizin.  I expect the floodgates to continue to stay opened for competitors in wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, judo and kickboxing.  There are other fighters who have recently made transitions that I did not include on this list because I felt they were too deeply transitioned.  Davi Ramos, an elite BJJ practitioner has a 5-1 record already.  Ary Farias is 3-1 in MMA.  BJJ star Kron Gracie is 3-0 with some impressive showings.  Some kickboxers have dabbled in MMA, but I see the path to full time and successful MMA being more difficult for them.  Robin Van Roosmalen is 1-0 in MMA, but still is competing in kickboxing.  Anderson Braddock Silva is more likely to make a full switch to MMA, he already has a 2-0 professional mark.  Obviously, the biggest name would be Rico Verhoeven.  Rico is the top kickboxer in the world.  He has a 1-0 MMA mark, but I do not expect him to do any more than just dabble in MMA.

We take a look at 12 different elite level athletes in other disciplines who could make the transition to MMA some time in the near future.  I tried to find people who were more than pure speculation or wishful thinking, but have actually spoken about a potential move to MMA.  The addition of any of these would be a boost for the sport.

1. Kyle Snyder 

Snyder is an Olympic gold medalist.  Those don’t come around often.  He has made clear that he wants to fight MMA and may do so sooner rather than later.  The questions for Snyder are, how would a potential MMA career impact a run at the 2020 Olympics.  I am assuming that is still important to him.  However, he could forego that and jump right into MMA.  I am quite certain UFC and Bellator would love to get their hands on him.  Also, he is still a collegiate athlete that has to uphold his amateur status.  I could see a scenario where he leaves school to compete in MMA, but that is not a sure thing.  If Snyder would move full time to MMA it would make him the best prospect in the sport.  He is just 20-years old, has an incredible wrestling pedigree and could fight in the heavyweight or light heavyweight divisions.  It is not really speculation of Snyder jumping into MMA, he has said he will.  However, I will believe it when I see it.

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MMA Sun Prospects in Action This Weekend (November 18-20)

  • Sergey Pavlovich (MMA Sun #1 HW)  vs. Alexei Kudin @ Fight Nights Global 54 on Wednesday in Russia
  • Rasul Mirzaev (MMA Sun #3 FW) vs. Levan Makishivili  @ Fight Nights Global 54 on Wednesday in Russia
  • David Khachatryan (MMA Sun #21 LW) vs. Anatoly Safronov @ Fight Nights Global 54 on Wednesday in Russia
  • Alexei Kunchenko (MMA Sun #4 WW) vs. Murad Abdulaev (MMA Sun #23 WW) @ M-1 Challenge 72 on Friday in Moscow, Russia
  • Artem Frolov (MMA Sun #7 MW) vs.  Luigi Fiorvanti @ M-1 Challenge 72 on Friday in Moscow, Russia
  •  Ivan Shtyrkov (MMA Sun #35 HW) vs. Antonio Silva @ German Titov Boxing Fight Night on Friday in Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Andre Harrison (MMA Sun #1 FW) vs. Julian Lane @ Ring of Combat 57 on Friday in Atlantic City, NJ
  • Julio Arce (MMA Sun #26 BW) vs. Frank Buenafuente @ Ring of Combat 57 on Friday in Atlantic City, NJ
  • Yana Kunitskaya (MMA Sun #15 Women’s BW) vs. Tonya Evinger @ InvictaFC 20 on Friday in Kansas City, MO
  • Jessy Rose Clark (MMA Sun #6 Women’s BW) vs. Pam Sorensen @ InvictaFC 20 on Friday in Kansas City, MO
  • Cheick Kone (#MMA Sun #27 MW) vs. Adam Mutaliev @ Lyon Fighting Championship 7 on Saturday in Lyon France
  • Joseph Morales (MMA Sun#15 FlyW) vs. Josh Pavia @ Global Knockout 8 on Saturday in Jackson, CA

16 in ’16: Ranking The Top 100 Prospects

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have gone division by division and ranked the top 16 prospect in each weight class.  Now, I take that group of 128 fighters and rank the top 100 overall prospects in the sport regardless of division.  I believe there are a few prospects who made some jumps in their weight class since our publish due to wins or losses of fighters ranked above them.  Also of note, I did not rank the fighters who recently signed with UFC  (Tai Tuivasa, Brett Johns, Jack Marshman, Kwan Ho Kwak, Paul Craig and Brian Camozzi).   I would love to hear what you think.  Who is ranked too high?  Who is ranked too low?  Who should or should not be in the top 100 overall?

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16 in ’16: Some Observations

This week, I finished the 16 in ’16 list of all the men’s MMA divisions (yes, the female divisions are coming).  I decided to breakdown some of the totals.  All in all we highlighted 128 different fighters, most of whom should already be on the UFC or Bellator’s radar.  It will be interesting to see who pans out and who does not.

Total By Country:

  1. Russia – 38 (29.6%)
  2. USA – 28 (21.9%)
  3. Brazil – 12 (9.4%)
  4. Germany – 5
  5. UK – 5
  6. Poland – 4
  7. Japan – 4
  8. Canada – 4
  9. Australia – 3
  10. Sweden – 2
  11. France – 2
  12. Wales – 2
  13. Moldova – 2
  14. Serbia – 2
  15. Ukraine – 2
  16. South Korea – 2

(The following countries had one prospect: South Africa, Scotland, Ireland, Iran, Estonia, Armenia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, Kazakhstan)

Further Observations:

  • Russia and USA are the two best places to find elite prospects in the sport
  • Brazil has fallen a good ways behind USA in terms of prospects, but are still solidly the third most prospect rich country
  • Germany and Poland are countries on the rise in terms of prospects
  • Another country which surprisingly has a good deal of talent is France
  • Canada may be the country that has taken the biggest slide, but there are a host of Canadian prospects who were in consideration.  Perhaps by this time next year T.J. Laramie, Jesse Arnett, Austin Ryan, Xavier Alaoui, Miles Anstead, Alexi Argyriou, Mandel Nallo or Aiemann Zahabi.
  • The heavier weight classes are Eastern European heavy
  • 3 of the prospects listed have signed with the UFC since our publication (Ricardo Ramos, Paul Craig and Jack Marshman)
  • 4 of the prospects have lost fights since our publication (Boston Salmon, Albert Tadevosyan, Maxim Divnich and Ray Elizadale).  Although, Boston Salmon’s loss should be marked with an asterisks because that was one of the worst decisions I have ever witnessed.
  • When we add the two female divisions, I expect USA to close the gap with the Russians in terms of total prospects.  I also expect the Brazilians to take a big leap forward in total.
  • There is certainly less volume of talent above the welterweight weight class.  However, I would stack the quality of my middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight prospects against any other weight class
  • For some reason featherweights, bantamweights and flyweights have a tough time getting signed to the UFC
  • There are probably 15 of the 128 prospects that I feel have championship level potential, most have UFC level skills already.
  • There are a lot more fighters with complete mixed martial arts backgrounds as opposed to coming over to the sport of MMA with one discipline

Prospects in Action This Weekend – 10/28-10/30

 

yaroslavamosov

Yaroslav Amosov

  • Pietro Menga (MMA Sun #3 FlyW) vs. Yeray Gomez @ ICE FC 18  – Friday – England
  • Peter Queally (MMA Sun #40 WW) vs. Decky Dalton (MMA Sun #64 FW)@ Cage Legacy Fighting Championship – Friday – Ireland
  • Gerald Meerschaert (MMA Sun #12 MW) vs. Chase Walson (MMA Sun #19 MW) @ RFA 45 – Friday – Prior Lake, MN –  AxsTV
  • Raoni Barcelos (MMA Sun #5 FW) vs. Dan Moret @ RFA 45 – Friday – Prior Lake, MN –  AxsTV
  • Jordan Larson (MMA Sun #44 WW) vs. Ben Neumann @ RFA 45 – Friday – Prior Lake, MN –  AxsTV
  • Abusupiyan Magomedov (MMA Sun #41 WW) vs. Mathias Schuck @ SuperiorFC 15 – Saturday – Germany
  • Mattia  Schiavoilin (MMA Sun #27 MW) vs. Goran Reljic @ SuperiorFC 15 – Saturday – Germany
  • Yaroslav Amosov (MMA Sun #7 WW) vs. Salim Touahri @ Tech Krep Prime Selection – Saturday – UFC Fight Pass
  • Allan Nascimento (MMA Sun #21 FlyW) vs. Roberto de Souza @ Gold Fight 8 – Saturday – Brazil
  • Deroci Barbosa (MMA Sun #54 FW) vs.Gerlado Guimaraes @ AsperaFC 46 – Saturday – Brazil
  • Wellington Turman (MMA Sun #46 WW) vs. Julio Cesa Bilik @ Frontline Fight Series 3 – Saturday  – Brazil
  • Shane Burgos (MMA Sun #6 FW) vs. ? @ CFFC 61 – Saturday – New Jersey
  • Ricky Bandejas (MMA Sun #55 BW) vs. Miguiel Restrepo @ CFFC 61 – Saturday – New Jersey