Five “Big Show” ready prospects from October’s MMA action
Aaron Jeffrey is one of the many fighters who should get the call-up, says Shawn Bitter. Credit: LFA (via MMAJunkie).
LFA middleweight contender Aaron Jeffery (9-2)
Canada’s Aaron Jeffrey is coming off three consecutive wins following a loss on the Contender Series in 2019. That loss was to Brendan Allen, who is now a surging fighter in the UFC.
Jeffery is one of the top prospects out of Canada. His two losses are to the aforementioned Allen and Sean Brady who are two UFC fighters looking great in their own rights.
The 27-year-old Jeffery last fought for LFA and handed wrestling standout Andre Petroski his first loss, toppling him from the ranks of the unbeaten.
It was his LFA debut and an impressive one at that. In fact, his next fight – if not signed to a bigger show first – could be for the prestigious LFA middleweight title, all of whose holders have gone on to the UFC.
Jeffery is comfortable on the feet with overall good boxing skills. He has a good jab and solid output with his hands. He’s strong against the cage with solid dirty boxing. Despite his output, he has excellent cardio.
“I think the fact that the UFC gave me the Contender Series opportunity showed they already had interest,” Jeffery told MMA-Prospects. “After losing that fight, I have knocked out my last three opponents. My only losses are to high-level UFC fighters. I can also do what it takes outside of the cage. I can talk in front of a camera, I’m educated, and I’m not hard on the eyes.”
“I have what it takes to be there.”
Eternal MMA welterweight champion Jack Della (9-2)
After starting his career losing his first two fights, Jack Della Maddalena is now on a nine-fight win streak. He is also the defending welterweight champion in Australia’s Eternal MMA.
Della’s level of competition could be better, but all his wins have seen him defeat fighters with winning records. On the feet, he hits hard with both his punches and kicks. He’s very technical, as well, mixing in his kicks and punches into effective combinations.
Della is solid at attacking the body, going there often, and effectively using his elbows.
Della is probably a better wrestler, and he has finished opponents both with ground and pound and submissions.
The battle-tested Della has earned his stripes on the regional scene and is likely ready for a step up in competition.
“I have put a lot of time into this, and feel if I keep fighting the local people, they are going to keep getting hurt,” warned Della in response to MMA-Prospects.
“I’m ready to represent my city against the best in the world.”
Brazilian flyweight Matheus Mendonca (6-0)
Matheus Mendonca is a stellar flyweight prospect at only 21-years-old. The young Brazilian trains out of Chute Boxe Diego Lima with the likes of UFC mainstays Charles Almeida, Thomas Almeida, and plenty of other top-notch fighters.
Mendonca is only 6-0, and in cases of fighters with few fights, I would normally suggest staying on the regional shows longer. But that said, Mendonca just beat Pedro Nobre – a former UFC fighter and a very experienced fighter. Mendonca looked very good in that fight and showed that a lot of his skills are more polished than expected.
“Bocao” is legit on the mat with excellent jiu-jitsu. He only has two submission wins, but you can see he’s always working to score a finish once the fight hits the canvas. Mendonca smoothy flows on top and can naturally transition from submission to submission.
Taura MMA bantamweight champion Ary Farias (10-2)
Ary Farias is a well-accomplished Brazilian jiu jitsu ace.
A hulking BJJ black belt, some of his many accomplishments include gold medals at the CBJJ Brazilian Nationals in 2011, IBJJF European Open in 2011, and the renowned IBJJF World Championships in 2011 and 2016.
Farias has competed against a who’s who of competitive grappling, including Bruno Malfacine, Paulo and Joao Miyao, AJ Agazarm, Augusto Mendes, and Mikey Musumeci.
He’s fought for a top MMA promotion before in Russia’s ACB, and has even fought in the United States for LFA.
In his last fight, he fought back in his home country, Brazil. In that fight, he won the Taura MMA bantamweight title.
Farias is on a five-fight win streak with three first-round stoppages. He’s one of the best grapplers in the division, and at 31-years-old, it’s time for a run in a big promotion.
Future MMA Featherweight Champion Elismar Lima (23-7)
The 32-year-old Brazilian has been in the sport for nine years and despite several setbacks, he’s had more successes.
At least in the last five years, he’s only lost to good fighters, and on the other side, has beaten some talented fighters in the process.
For someone that has been doing this for a while, this has been the best Lima has looked. On a five-fight win streak, he has wins over Rafael Barbosa, Guilherme Faria, and Khasan Askhabov, all of whom are excellent prospects in their own rights.
Lima is a dangerous striker with a lot of pop in his hands, forward movement, accuracy, and bodywork. His biggest issue is his takedown defense, but he does well off his back when grounded.
He’s competed in some grappling matches, but at least in MMA, he hasn’t been a submission threat.
Lima is climbing up there in age, but he doesn’t in the slightest have a padded record. At this stage in his career, Lima deserves a bump up to a big promotion.