Prospects to Watch at ACA 114: Omielańczuk vs. Johnson Jr.

Raul Tutarauli throws a strike. Credit: M-1 Global.

Russian promotion Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) has developed a reputation as one of the top breeding grounds for premiere MMA talent, producing high-quality talent who go on to do great things both domestically and abroad.

On Thursday, November 26, ACA returns to Lodz, Poland, with an event stacked with local talent, ACA 114: Omielańczuk vs. Johnson Jr.

The organization’s vacant heavyweight title is on the line in the main event, as UFC veteran Daniel Omielańczuk takes on Bellator, ONE FC, and FNG veteran Tony Johnson Jr.

The eight-fight card will air on ACA’s PPV streaming service and will kick off at 10:00 AM ET.

Below are some of the event’s top prospects to keep an eye on. For the purpose of this article series, a “prospect” will be considered to be a fighter under the age of 30, but the total number of fights a fighter has will not be considered either qualifying or disqualifying as part of the criteria.

Raul Tutarauli (25-5)

  • Name: Raul Tutarauli
  • Nationality: Georgia
  • Division: Lightweight
  • Age: 28
  • Record: 25-5 MMA, 7-3 M-1 Challenge

The nation of Georgia has taken the MMA world by storm of late, with natives like Merab Dvalishvili, Ilia Topuria, Giga Chikadze, and Guram Kutaletadze making names for themselves in the UFC.

Seeking to join them in budding MMA stardom is 28-year-old lightweight Raul Tutarauli. Tutarauli, a stout, powerful lightweight at 5’7″, earned his stripes on the Russian regional scene in the prestigious M-1 promotion.

A tank of a fighter, Tutarauli pairs his uncanny power – which has seen him score 18 knockouts – with a commanding wrestling game. It is not uncommon for Tutarauli to pick up opponents and slam them to the canvas, though his blitzing, swarming punching attack is perhaps his most dominant skill.

Tutarauli’s dazzling 25-5 record is made even more impressive when one takes into account that three of his losses came at the hands of two now-UFC prospects; the Georgian was submitted by Roman Bogatov and twice bested by standout Damir Ismagulov, once by knockout and once by unanimous decision.

Tutarauli will face Bulgaria’s Plamen Bachvarov (9-2) at ACA 114, who is riding a four-fight winning streak. Tutarauli will look to make it four straight wins in his own right against Bachvarov in what is sure to be a firefight.

Jakub Kowalewicz (9-4)

  • Name: Jakub Kowalewicz
  • Nationality: Poland
  • Division: Featherweight
  • Age: 27
  • Record: 9-4 MMA, 3-1 KSW

Poland’s Jakub Kowalewicz (9-4) has a fascinating record.

Fighting across Europe and the Middle East in the form of Poland’s KSW, Bahrain’s BRAVE CF, and Russia’s ACB, Kowalewicz has fought an assortment of the regions’ top talent.

Of Kowalewicz’s four losses, three stand out in particular. One came in 2014 to a Sergej Crechio (26-11-1) who sported 26 more professional fights than the Pole at the time, one came at lightweight to ACB-ACA champion (and current welterweight contender) Ali “Hulk” Bagov (29-10), and a third marked an unsuccessful BRAVE title challenge by Kowalewicz against Elias Boudegzdame (16-6).

Perhaps most impressively, the quick-twitch Kowalewicz was the first man to defeat eventual UFC signee Alex da Silva (23-3), scoring a decision win over the Brazilian when the two fought in BRAVE.

Kowalewicz is a well-rounded fighter, and his darting in-and-out style benefits him at his natural weight class of 145 pounds. At ACA 114, he’ll face Germany’s Attila Korkmaz (10-5), a fellow ACB-ACA veteran who challenged for the GMC title in 2014 against Lom-Ali Eskijew (17-5).

The fight should be a good one, with the winner establishing themselves as a can’t miss European prospect at featherweight.

Leonardo Limberger (13-1)

  • Name: Leonardo Limberger
  • Nationality: Brazil
  • Division: Featherweight
  • Age: 26
  • Record: 13-1 MMA, 5-0 Shooto Brasil

Some weeks ago, Brazilian bantamweight Raoni Barcelos (16-1) made waves in the UFC community with his standout performance over Khalid Taha (13-3). At ACA 114, his teammate Leonard Limberger (13-1) will look to continue the momentum for their gym, former UFC heavyweight champion Pedro Rizzo’s Rizzo Ruas Vale Tudo.

Limberger, 26, has risen through the ranks of the Brazilian regional scene by defeating stiff competition in Shooto Brasil, WCOS, and S-70. While some Brazilian fighters receive skepticism over the quality of their opponents, Limberger has sought out – and bested – successful fighters.

His opponents’ combined record at the time he fought them stands at a cool 129-41-3, good for a 74.57% winning percentage.

Patient beyond his years on the feet, Limberger pairs useable punching power with a competent ground game. “Kazuya” has two knockouts to show for it, along with his five submission wins.

Limberger will face a fellow prospect in Ukraine’s Dmitriy Parubchenko (14-1), who sports six KOs and seven submissions, in what should be an exciting back-and-forth matchup between rising standouts.