Scouting the Best Prospects with Five Fights or Fewer: Part 3

From left to right: ARES FC heavyweight Reug Reug, Bellator middleweight Norbert Novenyi Jr., Eagle FC bantamweight Sharapudin Magomedov, LFA strawweight Tabatha Ricci, and ONE Championship strawweight Ritu Phogat.

Here at MMA-Prospects, we aim to introduce you to the sport’s top up-and-coming fighters, future champions, and stars of tomorrow.

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

Nyle Bartling
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 27
From: Unadilla, Nebraska
Gym: Minner Gray Performance
Athletic Inspirations: “As crazy as it sounds J.B Mauney, he is a professional bull rider, and dude is tough as nails and I enjoy listening to him talk,” Bartling told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestling

Nathan Fletcher
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 4-0
Division: 1 KO/TKO, 3 SUB
Age: 22
From: England
Gym: Next Generation MMA Liverpool
Athletic Inspirations: “I take inspiration from the likes of Matt Fraser and Michael Jordan after watching the last dance. From MMA, anyone with a good work ethic, like Mike Chandler,” Fletcher told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestler/Grappler

Nizar Ben Amara
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 3 SUB
Age: 28
From: Sfax, Tunisia but living in Bari, Italy
Gym: Wolf Temple
Athletic Inspirations: Mounir Lazezz
Style: Submission grappler

Norbert Novenyi Jr.
Division: Middleweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 4 SUB
Age: 20
From: Budapest, Hungary but living in London, England
Gym: London Shootfighters
Athletic Inspirations: “Actually I have quite a few such as my father, my coaches, and my teammates (Michael Page, Mike Shipman, Alfie Davis, Felix Klinkhammer, Basharat brothers, and Amir Albazi). Outside of my close circle, there aren’t many but there are guys whose styles I like and try to steal bits from. Those are Robert Whittaker, Dominic Cruz, TJ Dillashaw, Khabib, jones, Lomachenko, and Jaron Ennis,” Novenyi Jr. told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Jiu-jitsu

For more on Norbert Novenyi Jr., watch MMA-Prospects’ Joseph Shaw’s interview with him, here.

Nurullo Aliev
Division: Welterweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO
Age 21
From: Tajikistan
Style: Wrestling

Oumar “Reug Reug” Kane
Division: Heavyweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO
Age: 28
From: Dakar, Senegal
Training out of: Unknown
Style: Wrestling

Odie Delaney
Division: Heavyweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 31
From: Willow, Alaska, US but living in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Gym: American Top Team
Athletic Inspirations: “Definitely Fedor Emelianenko. In his prime, he was a savage fighter but more importantly he is a great example of a man. A man of God and family, like me,” Delaney told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestling

Patryk Kaczmarczyk
Division: Featherweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 22
From: Radom, Poland
Gym: Radomski Klub Taekwon-do
Athletic Inspirations: “My favorite fighter right now is Petr Yan but I draw inspiration from Adesanya, Jon Jones, GSP, Conor McGregor in MMA. In boxing Canelo; wrestling, Jordan Burroughs; Muay Thai, Sencha,” Kaczmarczyk told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Well-rounded

Pierangela Rodriguez Giunta
Division: Strawweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 4 KO/TKO
Age: 28
From: Venezuela but living in Spain
Gym: Lilius Barnatt Martial Arts
Athletic Inspirations: “I have a lot actually but right now, Amanda Nunes is my favorite,” Giunta told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Brawler

Pedro Machado
Division: Welterweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 SUB
Age: 28
From: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gym: Rio Fighters
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Paul Elliott
Division: Heavyweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 4 KO/TKO
Age: 28
From: Middlesbrough, England
Gym: Akurei MMA
Athletic Inspirations: “An athlete that inspired me as a fighter was Mirko Cro Cop. Mainly, because he’s pretty much the same as me. Southpaw, same height, and build, and explosive. Watching him when I was younger really inspired me,” Elliott told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Kickboxing

Paul Capaldo
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 23
From: Middletown, New Jersey, US
Gym: Nick Catone MMA & Fitness
Athletic Inspirations: “Frankie Edgar, Timur Valiev, and Marlon Moraes. These guys have helped me develop into the fighter I am today,” Capaldo told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Well-rounded

Predrag Bogdanović
Division: Welterweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 3 SUB
Age: 23
From: Novi Sad, Serbia
Gym: Family Fight Team
Athletic Inspirations: Khabib and Fedor
Style: Submission grappler

Ramon Taveras
Division: Featherweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 26
From: South Jacksonville, Florida, US but living in Jacksonville Beach
Gym: Bulldog Boxing
Athletic Inspirations: Austen Lane
Style: Well-rounded

Reginaldo Junior
Division: Welterweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 21
From: Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Gym: Nakahara Fight Team
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Ritu Phogat
Division: Strawweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO
Age: 26
From: Balali, India
Gym: Evolve MMA
Style: Wrestler

Ryan Kuse
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 2-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 26
From: Miami, Florida, US
Gym: The Goat Shed Academy
Style: Wrestler

Steven Koslow
Division: Featherweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO
Age: 23
From: Jacksonville Beach, Florida, US
Gym: 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Jacksonville
Athletic Inspirations: “I’d say a lot of fighters have inspired me… Not just the highest level MMA fighters but boxers, no-gi athletes, gi athletes. Someone is best in something and no one is best at everything I can name a few people from all those endeavors,” Koslow told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Submission grappler

Shem Rock
Division: Featherweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 4 SUB
Age: 27
From: Liverpool, England but living in Dublin, Ireland
Gym: Dublin Combat Academy/BudaJiu-Jitsu
Athletic Inspirations: “The discipline of Cristiano Ronaldo + my prof., Bruninho Barbosa,” Rock told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Samandar Murodov
Division: Welterweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 4 SUB
Age: 21
From: Tver, Russia
Style: Grappling

Stewart Nicoll
Division: Flyweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 3 SUB
Age: Unknown
From: Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia but living in Brisbane
Gym: Higgins MMA/Broz MMA
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Shido Boris Soto Esperanca
Division: Welterweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 24
From: Luanda, Angola
Gym: New Generation MMA
Athletic Inspirations: Khabib Nurmagomedov and Yoel Romero
Style: Wrestling

Sharapudin Magomedov
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
Age: 26
From: Dagestan, Russia
Style: Wrestling

Shakhban Alkhasov
Division: Welterweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 23
From: Makhachkala, Dagestan
Gym: Club Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s School
Style: Wrestling/Jiu-jitsu

For more on Shakhban Alkhasov, check out MMA-Prospects’ Michael Fiedel’s and Bryson Hester’s video package on Alkhasov, here.

Tabatha Ricci
Division: Strawweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 1 SUB
Age: 25
From: Birigui, Sao Paulo, Brazil but living in Aracatuba
Gym: Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Style: Jiu-jitsu

For more on Tabatha Ricci, read MMA-Prospects’ Kristen King’s interview with her here, and King’s entry from November’s “The Future,” here.

Tyler Ingram
Division: Welterweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 3 SUB
Age: 29
From: Wichita, Kansas, US
Gym: JMTK
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Tereza Bledá
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 1-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO
Age: 18
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Gym: Hanuman Gym Prague
Style: Wrestler

Treston Vines
Division: Welterweight
Record: 3-0
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO
Age: 24
From: Camp Hill, Alabama, US
Gym: Kage Fit Academy
Athletic Inspirations: Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya
Style: Well-rounded

Troy Green
Division: Welterweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO
Age: 27
From: Brooklyn, New York, US
Gym: Budokan Martial Arts Academy
Style: Well-rounded

Vyacheslav Ryabov
Division: Heavyweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 5 KO/TKO
Age: 24
From: Kirov, Russia but living in Moscow
Gym: Fight Family, Moscow
Style: Striking

Viktoriya Dudakova
Division: Strawweight
Record 2-0
Finishes: 5 KO/TKO
Age: 21
From: Volgograd, Russia
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Viecheslav Borshchev
Division: Lightweight
Record: 2-1
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO
Age: 28
From: Volgograd, Russia but living in Sacramento, California, US
Gym: Team Alpha Male
Style: Striking/Kickboxing

Weber Almeida
Division: Featherweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 4 KO/TKO
Age: 33
From: Cuiaba, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Gym: XGym
Style: Karate

For more on Weber Almeida, read MMA-Prospects’ Wesley Dugle’s interview with him, here.

Will Currie
Division: Middleweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 4 SUB
Age: 22
From: London, England
Gym: New Wave Academy
Style: Submission grappler

Will Starks
Division: Lightweight
Record: 4-1
Finishes: 4 SUB
Age: 27
From: Columbia, Missouri, US
Gym: Hulett House Gym
Athletic Inspirations: Georges St. Pierre
Style: Submission Well-rounded

Yasmine Jauregui
Division: Strawweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 4 KO/TKO
Age: 21
From: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Gym: Entram Jiu-jitsu
Style: Well-rounded

Yohan Lainesse
Division: Middleweight
Record: 5-0
Finishes: 4 KO/TKO
Age: 28-years-old
From: Varennes, Quebec, Canada but living in Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Gym: Brazilian Top Team Canada
Style: Scrapper

Yasmin Castanho
Division: Strawweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 3 SUB
Age: 24
From: Barra de Sao Joao, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gym: IFTeam
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Young Jae Song
Division: Bantamweight
Record: 4-0-1
Finishes: 3 KO/TKO, 1 Submission
Age: 25
From: Chuncheon, South Korea
Gym: Wild Gym
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Yann Liasse
Division: Lightweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 3 SUB
Age: 29
From: Luxembourg
Gym: Bulgarian Top Team
Style: Well-rounded

Zac Pauga
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 1-0
Finishes: N/A
Age: 32
From: Lakewood, Colorodo
Gym: Elevation Fight Team
Athletic Inspirations: “Alistair Overeem is my friend and mentor, I draw a lot of inspiration from him. Especially the fact that he is still competing at the top level at 40 years old,” Pauga told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Well-rounded

Zaakir Badat
Division: Light-heavyweight
Record: 1-0
Finishes: 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 23
From: Durban, South Africa
Gym: Novagen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Style: Jiu-jitsu

Zackery Powell
Division: Welterweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 2 Submissions
Age: 23
From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Gym: Niagara Top Team
Athletic Inspirations: “I’d say the athletes I look up to the most are in my surroundings. Aaron Jeffery and Anthony Romero. Watching these guys pave the way and knocking at the door of the UFC inspires me a lot,” Powell told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Wrestling

Zedekiah Montanez
Division: Featherweight
Record: 4-0
Finishes: 2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
Age: 28
From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Gym: Balance Studio HQ
Athletic Inspirations: “I grew up watching boxing, and fighting movies lol, like Wolverine, Lou Kane, and the red/green ranger, Rafael turtle, Fernando Vargas, Camacho, Michae Jordan, Brian Dawkins, and Usain Bolt,” Montanez told MMA-Prospects.
Style: Striking/Kickboxing