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.

Read more of this post

Advertisements

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.

Read more of this post

5 Light Heavyweights I Expect UFC to Sign in 2017

Light Heavyweight has long been a prize division in the UFC. It is my opinion that they are in desperate need of new mikhail_mokhnatkin_newstars in the division. It has not been easy for contenders to break into the title picture. There are some up and comers like Corey Anderson. Jared Cannonier, Misha Cirkunov, Nikita Krylov, Paul Craig and Ion Cutelaba, but I believe they need a few more. I like all five of the prospects below, but my guess is that if UFC signed all five tomorrow only one would eventually make it into the top 10. However, it is always possible that they land a future champion.

I give a disclaimer that these are not necessarily the top available light heavyweights, they are just 5 that I believe have a legitimate chance of actually signing with the UFC.  There are some top level prospects locked up in places like Rizin.

Read more of this post

5 Heavyweights I Expect UFC to Sign in 2017

In 2016 UFC really worked to bulk up their heavyweight division. They added several of the best prospects out there. minakovI expect that UFC continues to target this division. Here are five names that I think will be in the UFC in 2017.

Read more of this post

My 2017 Predictions

  • I predict 2017 will be a year of retirements of fighters we have watched for years. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, B.J. Penn, Frank Mir, Mark Hunt, Vitor Belfort, Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, Josh Barnett and Gray Maynard come to mind
  • Georges St. Pierre will re-sign with the UFC and will fight in 2017
  • Jon Jones will win the Light Heavyweight title
  • Justin Gaethje and Marlon Moraes will sign with UFC
  • Rampage Jackson will fight in UFC
  • Lorenz Larkin will sign with Bellator
  • The Ultimate Fighter will finally die
  • Ronda Rousey will not fight again.  Cris Cyborg will not fight in 2017 either
  • Mackenzie Dern will make her UFC debut
  • Helen Maroulis will sign with UFC
  • Ryan Bader will sign with Bellator
  • UFC will hold a live event in Russia
  • The Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, Middleweight, Welterweight, Lightweight, Featherweight and Bantamweight UFC belts will change hands
  • UFC will renew their deal with Fox
  • MMA Unions will still be a big story in 2017
  • UFC will start a female flyweight division
  • Vitaly Minakov will fight in UFC
  • WSOF will not die, but will end 2017 on life support (again)
  • Rory MacDonald will lose his Bellator debut
  • M-1 Middleweight champion Ramazen Emeev will sign with UFC
  • As @talkMMA reported, Jim Rome will replace Mike Goldberg
  • UFC pay-per-view numbers will really struggle the first half of 2017, but will rebound in the second half
  • Prospects UFC will sign: Tom Duquesnoy, Arjan Bhullar, Denis Goltsov, Darko Stosic, Magomed Ankalayev, Mikhail Mokhnatkin, Jordan Johnson, Paulo Costa, Oskar Piechota, Rob Wilkinson, Logan Storley Mukhamed Berkhamov, Muslim Salikhov, Yaroslav Amosov, Thiago Moises, Paddy Pimblett, and Leandro Higo
  • UFC champions at the end of 2017: Francis Ngannou, Jon Jones, Yoel Romero, Stephen Thompson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Max Holloway, TJ Dillashaw, Demetrious Johnson, Amanda Nunes, Joanna J.
  • Bellator champions at the end of 2017: Phil Davis, Rafael Carvalho, Douglas Lima, Michael Chandler, Daniel Weichel, and Eduardo Dantas

Weekend Update: Results From MMA Sun Prospects

  • Welli Zhang (MMA Sun #38 WSW) Def. Karla Benitez by KO in Round 1 @ Kunlun Fight MMA 7Goltsov
  • Yanan Wu (MMA Sun #31 WBW) Def. Anjela Pink by TKO in Round 1@ Kunlun Fight MMA 7
  • Marilia Santos (MMA Sun #21 WSW) Def. Qihui Wan by Unanimous Decision @ Kunlun Fight MMA 7
  • Kirill Sidelnikov (MMA Sun #26 HW) Def.  Baga Agaev by Unanimous Decision @ Fight Nighs Global
  • Saigid Izagahmayev  Def. Nikolay Aleksakhin (MMA Sun #31 WW) by Unanimous Decision @ Fight Nighs Global 57
  • Dmitry Minakov (MMA Sun #47 LHW) Def. Myktybek Mamasaliev by Submission in Round 1 @ Fight Nighs Global 57
  • Omar Nurmagomedov (MMA Sun #60 BW) Def. Rishat Kharisov by Submission in Round 2 @ Fight Nighs Global 57
  • Kuat Khamitov (MMA Sun #63 LW) vs. @ Gadzhi Rabadanov by Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) in Round 3 @ Fight Nighs Global 57
  • Tom Duqesnoy (MMA Sun #1 BW) Def. Alan Philpott By Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in Round 2 @ BAMMA 27
  • Nathan Jones Def. Walter Gahadza (MMA Sun #8  WW) by Split Decision @ BAMMA 27
  • Rhys McKee (MMA Sun #34 FW) Def.  Jai Herbert by TKO in Round 1 @ BAMMA 27
  • Tanner Boser (MMA Sun #9 HW) Def. Rakim Cleveland by Unanimous Decision @ Unified MMA 29
  • Oskar Piechota (MMA Sun #4 MW) Def. Nikos Sokolis by Submission in Round 2 – Spartan Fight 6
  • Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (MMA Sun #1 WBW) Def. Samara Santos by TKO in Round 3 @ Ladies Fight Night 4
  • Darko Stosic (MMA Sun #7 HW) vs. Dion Staring @ Final Fight Championship 27
  • Filip Pejic Def. James Brum (MMA Sun #25 BW) vs.  @ Final Fight Championship 27 – Saturday – Zagreb, Croatia
  • Dominic Mazzotta (MMA Sun #12 BW) Def. Solon Staley by Unanimous Decision @ Pinnalce FC 15
  • Mark Cherico (MMA Sun #23 LW) Def.  Antonio Castillo Jr.by TKO (Injyry) in Round 1 @ Pinnalce FC 15
  • Sean Santella (MMA Sun #23 FlyW) Def. Matt Lozano by Submission in Round 3 @CFFC 62
  • Joe Solecki (MMA Sun #65 LW) Def. Andrew Chiricho by Submission in Round 1 @ CFFC 62
  • Alexander Keshtov (MMA Sun #26 FlyW) Def. Billy Giovanella by TKO in Round 1 @ Global Proving Ground 27
  • Dashawn Boatwright (MMA Sun #47 LHW) Def. Eric Ellerbee by TKO in Round 4 @ Global Proving Ground 27
  • Juan Archueleta (MMA Sun #56 FW )vs. Derrick Mandell @ KOTC: Warranted Aggression
  • Denis Goltsov (MMA Sun #3 HW) Def. Salimgirey Rasulov by Unaimous Decision @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Brett Cooper  Def. Aslambek Saidov (MMA Sun #21 WW) by TKO in Round 3 @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Magomed Magomedov (MMA Sun #5 BW) vs. Oleg Borisov (MMA Sun #2 FW) by Submission (Guillotine) in Round 4 @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Marat Bataev Def. Yusup Raisov (MMA Sun #7 FW) by Unanimous Decision @ @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  •  Marcelo Alfaya Def. Beslan Isaev (MMA Sun #24 WW) by Unaimous Decision @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Alexey Butorin (MMA Sun #12 MW) Def. Jake Bostwick (MMA Sun #38 MW) by KO in Round 1 @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Alexander Sarnavskiy Def. Ramazan Esenbaev (MMA Sun #42 LW) by TKO in Round 3 @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Adlan Bataev (MMA Sun #18 FW) Def. Donald Sanchez by Unanimous Decision @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Tural Ragimov (MMA Sun #21 FW) Def. Ed Arthur (MMA Sun #43 BW) by Unanimous Decision @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  •  Ilya Shegov Def. Wallyson Carvalho (MMA Sun #41 LHW) by TKO in Round 2 @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution
  • Kaue Fernandes (MMA Sun #54 FW) Def. Eduardo Santiago @ Shooto Brazil 68
  • Carlos Felipe Def. Wagner Maia (MMA Sun #14 HW) vs.  @ Shooto Brazil 68

MMA Sun Prospects in Action This Weekend (December 16-18)

  • Bryony Tyrell (MMA Sun #23 WSW) vs. Welli Zhang (MMA Sun #38 WSW) @ Kunlun Fight MMA 7 –TomDuquesnoy Thursday – Beijing, China
  • Yanan Wu (MMA Sun #31 WBW) vs. Cindy Dandois @ Kunlun Fight MMA 7 – Thursday – Beijing, China
  • Marilia Santos (MMA Sun #21 WSW) vs.  Qihui Wan @ Kunlun Fight MMA 7 – Thursday – Beijing, China
  • Kirill Sidelnikov (MMA Sun #26 HW) vs. Baga Agaev @ Fight Nighs Global 57 – Friday – Moscow, Russia
  • Nikolay Aleksakhin (MMA Sun #31 WW) vs. Saigid Izagahmayev @ Fight Nighs Global 57 – Friday – Moscow, Russia
  • Akhmet Aliev (MMA Sun #29 LW) vs. Peter Queally (MMA Sun #48 LW) @ Fight Nighs Global 57 – Friday – Moscow, Russia
  • Kuat Khamitov (MMA Sun #63 LW) vs. @ Gadzhi Rabadanov @ Fight Nighs Global 57 – Friday – Moscow, Russia
  • Tom Duqesnoy (MMA Sun #1 BW) vs. Alan Philpott @ BAMMA 27 – Friday – Dublin, Ireland
  • Walter Gahadza (MMA Sun #8  WW) vs. Nathan Jones @ BAMMA 27 – Friday – Dublin, Ireland
  • Rhys McKee (MMA Sun #34 FW) vs. Jai Herbert @ BAMMA 27 – Friday – Dublin, Ireland
  • Tanner Boser (MMA Sun #9 HW) vs. Rakim Cleveland – Unified MMA 29 – Friday – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Oskar Piechota (MMA Sun #4 MW) vs. Nikos Sokolis – Spartan Fight 6 – Saturday – Plock, Poland
  • Darko Stosic (MMA Sun #7 HW) vs. Dion Staring @ Final Fight Championship 27 – Saturday – Zagreb, Croatia
  • Pavel Doroftei (MMA Sun #8 MW) vs. David Mitchell @ Final Fight Championship 27 – Saturday – Zagreb, Croatia
  • James Brum (MMA Sun #25 BW) vs. Filip Pejic @ Final Fight Championship 27 – Saturday – Zagreb, Croatia
  • Dominic Mazzotta (MMA Sun #12 BW) vs. Solon Staley @ Pinnalce FC 15 – Saturday – Pittsburgh, PA – Watch Live on FloCombat
  • Mark Cherico (MMA Sun #23 LW) vs. Antonio Castillo Jr. @ Pinnalce FC 15 – Saturday – Pittsburgh, PA – Watch Live on FloCombat
  • Sean Santella (MMA Sun #23 FlyW) vs. Matt LOzano @CFFC 62 – Saturday – Philadelphia, PA
  • Joe Solecki (MMA Sun #65 LW) vs. Andrew Chiricho @ Pinnalce FC 15 – Saturday – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Juan Archueleta (MMA Sun #56 FW )vs. Derrick Mandell @ KOTC: Warranted Aggression – Sunday – Ontario, CA
  • Denis Goltsov (MMA Sun #3 HW) vs. Salimgirey Rasulov @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Aslambek Saidov (MMA Sun #21 WW) vs. Brett Cooper @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Magomed Magomedov (MMA Sun #5 BW) vs. Oleg Borisov (MMA Sun #2 FW) @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Beslan Isaev (MMA Sun #24 WW) vs. Marcelo Alfaya @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Ramazan Esebaev (MMA Sun #42 LW) vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Adlan Bataev (MMA Sun #18 FW) vs. Donald Sanchez @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Tural Ragimov (MMA Sun #21 FW) vs. Ed Arthur (MMA Sun #43 BW) @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Wallyson Carvalho (MMA Sun #41 LHW) vs. Ilya Shegov @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Albert Duraev (MMA Sun #34 WW) vs. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky @ Absolute Championship Berkut 50: The Evolution – Sunday – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Kaue Fernandes (MMA Sun #54 FW) vs. Eduardo Santiago @ Shooto Brazil 68 – Sunday – Brasilia, Brazil
  • Wagner Maia (MMA Sun #14 HW) vs. Carlos Felipe @ Shooto Brazil 68 – Sunday – Brasilia, Brazil