MMA Sun 2015 Prospect Spotlight – The Bantamweights – 5 Who Just Missed Our Top Ten

The Bantamweight division is one of the deepest prospect divisions in the world.  As I look at all the divisions, this may be the toughest division to narrow down.  With the top 10 set, here are the five guys who “Just Missed”.

PenaDeMarte Pena – 10-0 – 25 years old

Pena is the bantamweight champion of EFC.  Pena has shown to be a really bright prospect in a region that the UFC would like to enter into, South Africa.  Pena recently made a drop from 145 lbs to capture the title at 135 lbs.  The reason that Pena did not make the top 10 really centers around the unknown of his opponents.  Pena has fought some decent guys in a pretty unknown region.  The positive is that he is still young and has  a very good chance to make it to the UFC.

Antun Racic – 17-5 – 24 years old

The Croatian fighter really has a solid resume and earned serious consideration for the top 10.  Racic also fought largely at 145 lbs and even at 155 lbs.  He has not fought often at 135 lbs, which is one reason that he was not on our top 10.  The other reason is that while Racic has fought and beat some good competition, he has lost to the best fighters he has faced (Max Coga, Juha Pekka Vainikainen, and Alexei Nevzorov).  The best thing he has going for him is his age.  At just 24-years old Racic has loads of experience and time to continue his development.

Boston Salmon – 3-0

Salmon is a true blue chip prospect.  He had a solid amateur career and has now notched a 3-0 career record.  Fighting for RFA is a huge opportunity for him.  His striking is superb.  He has looked fantastic so far against lesser competition.  I think that he needs a slow progression.  The Hawaiian native seems destined to be an elite fighter.

Mark Striegl -13-1 – 26 years old

Striegel is a really solid prospect out of the Philippines.  I think he as safe of a bet to get to the UFC as anyone on this “Just Missed” list.  Striegl made a successful decent down to the bantamweight division in October.  He also has made a move to the Evolve MMA camp.  All this points to a big show call up soon.  If not UFC, OneFC.  Striegl really stands out among the other fighters in the Philippines and moving a big camp helps.  Striegl is just 26-years old, so he can certainly continue to build he skill set.

Go Kashiwazaki – 10-0-2

Go has as good of a resume as anyone on this list.  The Japanese fighter certainly is drawing some eyes from North American promotions.  Kashiwazaki is one of the best of the new breed of Japanese prospects.  He has good submissions and overall good skills.


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