Scouting the Best Prospects with Five Fights or Fewer: Part 2

From left to right: KSW heavyweight Izuagbe Ugonoh, Cage Warriors lightweight Ian Garry, BRAVE CF flyweight Muhammad Mokaev, CES bantamweight Mitch Raposo, and Bellator bantamweight Jaylon Bates.

In this three-part series, MMA-Prospects will look at the world’s best prospects with five fights or fewer.

I took not only to the U.S. regional scene, but to the world, including Brazil, Australia, Peru, Poland, China, the U.K., France, and many more countries to find the best rising pros. After weeks of scouting, I’ve come up with 100+ fighters. I believe that all these fighters are top-notch prospects, and if not, at least worth watching.

From this series, I guarantee future UFC fighters, top fifteen contenders, and potential champions. Some may be Bellator championships in the future, or maybe PFL one-million-dollar winners or ONE Championship titleholders.

Gerald Scott
Division: Lightweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO
Age: 26
From: Denver, Colorado, US
Gym: Genesis Training Academy
Athletic Inspirations: Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano
Style: Well-rounded

Grant Neal
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 24
From: Parker, Colorado, US
Gym: Genesis Training Academy
Athletic Inspirations: Mike Tyson
Style: Wrestler

Grace Cleveland
Division: Atomweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 2 SUB
Age: 27
From: Denver, Colorado, US
Gym: Elevation Fight Team
Athletic Onspirations: “Demetrious Johnson. He is the GOAT and just a great person, but I love his style,” Cleveland told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestling

Giannis Michalopoulos
Division: Lightweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO
Age: 30
From: Greece
Gym: Allstars Training Center
Style: Kickboxing

Gabriel Alves Braga
Division: Featherweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO
Age: 22
From: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gym: Tropa Thai/Team Nogueira
Style: Well-rounded

Hugo Cunha
Division: Heavyweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 27
From: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gym: Tata Fight Team
Style: Wrestler

Hurshed Nazarov
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 20
From: Tajikistan
Style: Scrapper

Hope Chase
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 3-1
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 22
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
Gym: White Viper Martial Arts/Indio Dojo
Athletic Inspirations: “The Chris Cyborg vs. Gina Carano fight on Strikeforce was the fight that inspired me to become an MMA fighter. I was 10 years old and never looked back,” Chase told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Scrapper

Hunter Colvin
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 25
From: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Gym: Triton Fight Center
Athletic Inspirations: “I like the true martial artists in the game such as Khabib and Wonderboy,” Colvin told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Jiu-Jitsu

Isaac Blais
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 2 SUB
Age: 24
From: Gatineau, Quebec
Gym: Patenaude Kung Fu – Gatineau
Athletic inspirations: “I look up to a couple a fighter especially at the beginning of my martial arts journey. Guys like Machida, Dominic Cruz, and of course Anderson Silva definitely gave me inspiration. Nowadays, I try to not idolize fighters too much as I try to make my own name in this “sport” but Israel is great,” Blais told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Grappler

Itsuki Hirata
Division: Strawweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 21
From: Tokyo, Japan
Gym: K-Clann
Style: Judo/Grappling

Ian Garry
Division: Welterweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 23
From: Dublin, Ireland but living in Portmarnock, Dublin
Gym: Team KF Martial Arts
Athletic Inspirations: “Funny enough they are all winners and all grinders. People who stop at nothing to win no matter what the people say. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Tom Brady. And then in a fighting sense, Conor [McGregor] was always that motivation growing up as a kid watching a fellow Irishman rise to success in the sport I knew I was in love with,” Garry told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Well-rounded

 

Izuagbe Ugonoh
Division: Heavyweight
Record: 1-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO
Age: 34
From: Szczecin, Poland but living in Warsaw
Gym: WCA Fight Team
Style: Boxing

For more on Izuagbe Ugonoh, read MMA-Prospects’ Michael Fiedel’s profile on Ugonoh, here.

Issac Purnell
Division: Lightweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 29
From: San Diego, California, US but living in Washington, Missouri
Gym: 21st-century Martial Arts
Athletic Inspirations: Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida, and Sean O’Malley
Style: Striking/Kickboxing

Joshua Da Silveira
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 27
From: Miami, Florida, US but living in Fort Lauderdale
Gym: American Top Team
Athletic Inspirations: “Im really inspired by my mom and dad to be honest. Two Brazilan foreigners came here for a better life. Even tho they are divorced they always try to put me in a position to be successful.” DaSilveira told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestling

Jaylon Bates
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 1-0
Finishes: 0
Age: 23
From: Corona, California, US but living in Portland, Oregon
Gym: Go Hard MMA
Athletic Inspirations: “My fighters I pull from I’d say there are too many to say but Jones Silva and GSP are my top favorites all time!” Bates told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestling

James Hendin
Division: Featherweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 22
From: London England but living in Southerland
Gym: Durham The Unity Gym
Style: Wrestling/Grinder

Josh Quinlan
Division: Welterweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 27
From: Hawaii but living in Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Gym: Wand Fight Team
Athletic Inspirations: “I draw motivation from my coach and former MMA fighter, Michael Costa,” Quinlan told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Striking/Kickboxing

Jornel Lugo
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 25
From: Miami, Florida, US but living in Orlando
Gym: American Top Team
Athletic Inspirations: Floyd Mayweather
Style: Striking

Jordan Newman
Division: Middleweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO
Age: 24
From: Minneapolis, Minnesota, US but living in Whitewater, Wisconsin
Gym: Roufusport MMA Academy
Style: Wrestling

Jamey-Lyn Horth Wessels
Division: Flyweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 30
From: Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
Gym: The Sound Martial Arts
Athletic Inspirations: “I definitely love GSP and his poise and professionalism to the sport. He’s a complete professional. No bullshit and humble,” Wessels told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestler

Josh Wang-Kim
Division: Featherweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 1 SUB
Age: 28
From: Rancho Bernardo, California, US but living in San Diego
Gym: Alliance Jiu-Jitsu San Diego
Athletic Inspirations: “I grew up in the martial arts watching the GOATs. Samart Payakaroon, Seakson Janjira, Seanchai, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, and Conor McGregor,” Kim told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Well-rounded

Jose Ochoa 
Division: Flyweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 4 KO/TKO
Age: 20
From: Moyobamba, San Martin, Peru
Gym: Dogo Training Center Team
Athletic Inspirations: Jose Aldo and Max Holloway
Style: Kickboxer

Justin Burlinson 
Division: Welterweight
Record: 5-0
Finished: 1 KO/TKO, 4 SUB
Age: 23
From: Sunderland, England
Gym: The Dungeon
Athletic Inspirations: “Muhammad Ali. Loved watching him since I was a kid,” Burlinson told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Submission grappler

Juliana Miller
Division: Flyweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 2 Submissions
Age: 24
From: San Diego, California, US
Gym: Team Hurricane Awesome
Athletic Inspirations: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane
Style: Jiu-Jitsu

Kyran Cameron
Division: Welterweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 1 Submission
Age: 27
From: Toronto, Ontario
Gym: Para Bellum MMA
Style: Well-rounded

Kiru Sahota
Division: Flyweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 2 Submissions
Age: 25
From: India but living in Huddersfield, England
Gym: Asylum Vale Tudo
Athletic Inspirations: Anderson Silva, Mike Tyson, and Muhammad Ali
Style: Muay Thai

Khaseyn Shaykhaev
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 SUB
Age: 23
From: Chechnya, Russia
Gym: Berkut Fight Club
Style: Grappler

Khasan Magomedsharipov
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 Submissions
Age: 20
From: Makhachkala, Dagestan
Gym: EAGLES MMA
Style: Grappler

Karina Aryadne
Division: Flyweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 3 SUB
Age: 24
From: Capao Bonito, Sao Paulo, Brazil but living in Sorocaba
Gym: Herman Gutierrez Team
Athletic Inspirations: ” I have a great idol and inspiration in MMA, my countryman Anderson Silva and in the female category my inspiration is the Polish Joana Jędrzejczyk,” Aryandne told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Jiu-Jitsu

Kristy Obst
Division: Strawweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 31
From: Perth, Western Australia
Gym: Martial Arts and Fight Centre
Athletic Inspirations: “I have drawn inspiration from many different athletes in the past. Currently, the people that are inspirational to me are the people around me in the gym. My coach Mike Ikilei with his words of wisdom and inspiring us to be inspired by ourselves. We have Ben Woolliss in our gym currently. The way he carries himself as an athlete is inspirational and how he trains and supports his teammates to improve. Also, One Championship athlete and close friend of mine Bozhena Antoniyar (TOTO) she is so tough, so strong, and so incredible!” Obst told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Striking/Kickboxing

Kennedy Rayomba
Division: Middleweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: Unknown
From: Germany
Gym: Combat Club Cologne
Style: Striking

Luke Trainer
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 2 Submissions
Age: 24
From: Stevenage, England
Gym: Titan Fighter
Style: Well-rounded

Lupita Godinez
Division: Strawweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 1 SUB
Age: 27
From: Aguascalientes, Mexico but living in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Gym: Titan Fighter
Athletic inspirations: “Ronda Rousey. When I watched her is when I decided I wanted to fight,” Godinez told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Striking

Leonardo Feitosa
Division: Flyweight
Record4-0
Finishes: 4 SUB
Age: 19
From: Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Gym: Deo Academy
Athletic Inspirations: Demian Maia
Style: Submission specialist

Lucas Brennan
Division: Featherweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 20
From: Irvine, California, US but living in Frisco, Texas
Gym: Next Generation MMA World HQ
Athletic Inspirations: Chris Brennan (Father), Frankie Edgar, and GSP
Style: Jiu-Jitsu

Lone’er Kavanagh
Division: Flyweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 21
From: London, England
Gym: Great Britain Top Team
Athletic Inspirations: Vasyl Lomachenko and Israel Adesanya
Style: Stiker/Kickboxer

Lance Gibson Jr.
Division: Lightweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 25
From: Seattle, Washington, US but living in Tempe, Arizona
Gym: Gibson MMA
Athletic Inspirations: Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson
Style: Wrestling

LeAnn Adkisson
Division: Strawweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 2 SUB
Age: 33
From: Austin, Texas, US but living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Gym: American Top Team OKC
Style: Wrestler

Mitch Raposo
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 Submissions
Age: 22
From: Fall River, Massachusetts, US
Gym: Regiment Training Center
Athletic Inspiration: Frankie Edgar
Style: Wrestling/Grappling

For more on Mitch Raposo, read MMA-Prospect’s Joe McDonagh’s interview as part of the New England’s Next article series, here.

Michal Figlak
Division: Lightweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO
Age: 23
From: Poland but living in England
Gym: Trojan Free Fighters
Athletic Inspirations: “Mike Tyson. Just the fact that he came out of nothing and become a champion and how ruthless he was to his opponents,” Figlak told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Well-Rounded

Muhammad Mokaev
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 20
From: Buinaksk, Dagestan, Russia but living in Salford, England
Gym: KHK MMA Team
Style: Wrestler

For more on Muhammad Mokaev, read MMA-Prospects’ Daniel Woods’ profile, here.

Matt Speciale
Division: Lightweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 31
From: Brampton, Ontario but living in Toronto
Gym: Bazooka MMA
Athletic Inspirations: “Michael Jordan for his ability to never be complacent, Jose Aldo for his overall MMA skill, and my coach, Bazooka Joe for having the strongest mindset in the fight game and just learning from him the past twelve years both in getting physically stronger and mentally stronger. Without him, I wouldn’t have the mindset to do what I’ve done so far in the sport of mma and kickboxing,” Speciale told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Striking

Mohammad Alavi
Division: Featherweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 3 SUB
Age: 34
From: Tehran, Iran but living in Sydney, Australia
Gym: PMA MMA
Athletic Inspirations: Mohammad Ali
Style: Well-rounded

Mike Diamond
Division: Featherweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 32
From: Harare, Zimbabwe but living in Auckland, New Zealand
Gym: City Kickboxing
Style: Kickboxing

Mohamed Zarey
Division: Welterweight
Record: 3-0
Finished: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 25
From: Oslo, Norway
Gym: Frontline Academy
Style: Well-rounded

Mo Miller
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 25
From: Piscataway, New Jersey, US but living in Cleveland, Ohio
Gym: Strong Style Fight Team
Athletic Inspirations: “I think Floyd Mayweather and Terrance Crawford. Even though they are boxers I like how they always find a way to win, no matter the opponent. I like their ability to adapt.” Miller told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestling/Grappling

For more on Mo Miller, read MMA-Prospects’ Michael Fiedel’s interview with him, here.

Melissa Croden
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 2-0
Finished: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 29
From: Calgary, Canada but living in Crowsnest Pass
Gym: Crowsnest Martial Arts
Athletic Inspirations: “Stephen Thompson has always been a big inspiration for my style. My coach and I had used him as an example to model myself from in my amateur career. Anderson Silva has been a top favorite of mine, I admire his creativity. And more recently, I have been keeping a close eye on Khamzat Chimaev: he has a wrestling style that I desperately want. He melts his striking with his take downs very well and I absolutely love his aggressive ground and pound,” Croden told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Striking/Kickboxing

Michele Oliveira 
Division: Strawweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 2 SUB
Age: 25
From: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gym: Nova União
Style: Jiu-Jitsu

Murtaza Talha Ali
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 1-0
Finishes: 1 SUB
Age: 26
From: Al-Muharraq, Bahrain
Gym: KHK MMA Team
Style: Wrestling

Mikey England
Division: Welterweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO
Age: 29
From: Centerville, Iowa, US but living in Kansas City, Missouri
Gym: Glory MMA
Athletic Inspirations: “Michael Jordan everyday. I try to draw inspiration and motivation every single day from anything and everything I do,” England told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Well-rounded