December 2022 Top Prospects to Watch

1. Roberto De Souza Bellator vs Rizin

World class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player transferred his grappling success to the Rizin ring. Defeating bunch of tough Japanese fighters before dethroning Tofiq Musayev for the Rizin Lightweight title. Dominating & finishing fighters with his lethal Jiu-Jitsu game in the first round. After title win defeated Yusuke Yachi & revenging one of his losses to Johnny Case.

Bellator and Rizin cross promoting is important moment in MMA history, Co-Main Event fight against AJ Mckee. Easily toughest fight of life fighting one of the best Featherweights in the world. De Souza most likely to beat the Bellator fighter. Submission game on another level compared to AJ McKee.

 “A.J. is also very good on the ground, he has many submissions in his career, but we clearly have totally different styles. His ground is pretty much focused in MMA, my style is more a competition jiu-jitsu style. I believe I’m much more lethal than A.J. McKee in the ground.”

https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Roberto-Souza-Claims-Lethal-Ground-Game-Superior-to-AJ-McKees-188321

De Souza draw’d with the best Jiu- Jitsu player in Gordon Ryan, He can submit Aj Mckee without question.

33 years old, Prime of his career can pull off the upset and be considered one of the best fighters in the world.

2. Islam Omarov

Arguably one of the best Featherweight prospects in the world, All-Around talent eying for few years finally earning himself ACA Featherweight title shot after climbing up the Featherweight ladder. Islam Omarov challenging Alikhan Suleymanov for the title, Expect Islam to become the new ACA Featherweight Champion.

Reason for winning is there’s levels to this game, Right now Omarov can make straight impact into the UFC defeating top 25 Featherweights. First minute of watching his fights can understand his all-around skills.

Undefeated record of 12-0 standout wins against Bibert Tumenov, Dzhikhad Yunusov and top five Brazil Featherweight Marcos Rodrigues. Three high quality Featherweights who could fill roster spots for UFC, Bellator right now.

Lance Palmer of Russian Featherweights, Rather All-American wrestler has Sambo fighting style. Watch few of his fights and watch him dominate fighters Marco Rodrigues than back & forth grappling fight with Dzhikhad Yunusov. Fight against Yusnov was the nail on the ground throughout the fight, Testament of Omarov’s character won the fight.

Now toughest test is against Alikhan Suleymanov, Another top 100 Featherweight with two back to back standout wins against former ACA Featherweight Champion Felipe Froes & Leonardo Limberger. Islam must be on top of his A game, No mistakes, Smart striking choices to become next ACA Featherweight Champion.

Couple ACA Featherweight title defenses and expect to sign with UFC in 2023 or 2024. Great addition to UFC Featherweight stable.

3. Eldar Eldarov Brave CF

Brave Combat Federation superstar, Combat Sambo silver medalist, Brave CF Super Lightweight Champion is one of the best fighters in the world. Standout win against Mounir Lazzez current UFC fighter.

Brave CF 67 defending his Super Lightweight title for the second time against Belarus fighter Denis Maher. Expect a dominant pressure performance, Winning by using his Sambo background. Denis might give Eldarov trouble for one round but will break Denis later on.

In for a treat watching Eldarov fight, Sambo specialist constantly fighting hard and look to drag his opponent into deep waters.

4. Naoki Inoue Rizin

UFC definitely regrets releasing the 1-1 UFC fighter. Lost to Matt Schnell by split decision, Lost again to Sean Santella but went on six fight winning streak. Looked excellent against Yuki Motoya (Deep Flyweight & Deep Bantamweight Champion), Shintaro Ishiwatari (Pancrase Bantamweight Champion.

Naoki Inoue is only 25 years old beating men few years ago at 23 & 24 years old. Training at Longo & Weidman MMA see the progress for the Japanese Bantamweight prospect. Taking advantage of his speed and length against smaller opponents. Once Naoki add’s size to his frame he’ll be a scary Bantamweight foe.

15-3 record, No titles so far in his MMA career but believe if he upgrades his all-around striking ability he can become Rizin Bantamweight Champion or win the Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix. I see the progress in his striking fight to fight but I REALLY want to see Inoue take his striking to next level. Rizin 40 is end of the year event and curious to see Inoue’s striking progression against Kenta Takizawa.

Potentially can become one of the best Bantamweights in the world at 28-32 years old.

5. Sebastian Przybysz KSW 77

KSW Bantamweight Champion, Top Five Bantamweight prospect is fighting his second fight of 2022. Third Bantamweight title defense against talented European Bantamweight prospect Jakub Wikłacz.

One of Sebastian Przybysz tougher opponents but predict the top Bantamweight prospect to finish the job. Taking advantage of his size & length.

  • 10-2 record 29 years old
  • KSW Bantamweight Champion
  • Biggest win against Antun Racic dominant performance
  • Similar fighting characteristics to Juan Archuleta
  • #1 Eastern Europe Bantamweight
  • Potential – top 15 edging top 20 UFC Bantamweight

Sebastian Przybysz continues to improve with every fight from his tough loss to Antun Racic back at KSW 46. Gradually becoming a force to be reckoned with, Guarantee top three major promotions interested in signing Sebastian as he’ll be a long term threat.

6. Ibragim Chuzhigaev KSW 77

Current KSW Light Heavyweight Champion dethroned the King of the Division Tomasz Narkun in his KSW debut. Earning himself respect as one of the best Light Heavyweight prospects in the world, Fought for ACA from 2013-2021 defeating former UFC fighters David Mitchell and Former One Championship title holder Igor Svirid.

Fighting for KSW, Successfully defending his KSW Light Heavyweight title against title challenger Ivan Erslan #1 Eastern Europe Light Heavyweight prospect. Defeating Erslan be another respectful win to gain attention from the best promotions in the world.

Erslan definitely will give Ibragim a challenge on the feet,Seven out of Twelve wins first round ko’s. Must be aware of the Croatian power, Breaking him down round after round with his Pankration fighting style.

All-Around fighting skills, Outpacing Erslan for rounds with his fast feet can lead to successful win.

Ending 2022 on high note with a great win, 2023 continuing his success with multiple title defenses and becoming the best Light Heavyweight prospect in the world.

  • 16-5 record 31 years old
  • Pankration Champion
  • Win against former UFC fighter, Cage Warriors Middleweight champion, Tristar Gym product
  • Trains out of Berkut FC with some of the best Russian fighters. Current Champions

7. Edil Esengulov Open FC vs ATF

Central Asia’s #1 Welterweight prospect is receiving brand new opportunity with ATF & Open FC Collabing Facing toughest opponent to date former Gorilla Fighting Championship Lightweight champion Anvar Chergesov.

Champion in the past can scare the Kyrgyzstan fighter but his dominant wrestling skills can lead to dominant first round win against tough opponent I hope attracts Khabib to signing the high level fighter to Eagle FC. On the other hand Edil Esengulov can sign with Open FC and win the Welterweight title.

Edil Esengulov only 24 years old, Untouched potential. #1 Asian Central Welterweight was to train at Khabib’s gym, Shavtkat’s gym, AKA Thailand, Tiger Muay Thai this man potentially become All-Around fighter. Hone his striking, Changing levels, Muay Thai and he’ll become force to be reckoned with.

8. Renat Khavalov Eagle FC

Dagestan prospect rising star, Eagle FC Bantamweight Champion successfully defended his Bantamweight title for the fourth time against Renat Ondar. Renat Khavalov striking definitely improved as he boxed of instead of grappling for five rounds.

Confidence is improving, Khabib and Ali Abdelaziz gradually guiding his career to becoming one of the best Bantamweight prospects in the world. Eagle FC 51 fight wasn’t his best performance, Time to enhance his skills in all aspects of fighting. 2023 with right training can display consecutive masterful performances against the best Russian & Central Asia Bantamweights.

Iron sharpens Iron is true as time, Training with great sparring partners in Dagestan from Magomedov Magomedov, Yusup Saadulaev will make this man a great fighter. Student of Adulmunap Nurmagomedov, Khaib accepting coaching role will do whatever it takes to make his father proud.

Few years picture seeing Renat sign with UFC and make impact right away. Looking forward to watching his career progress in 2023 becoming top five Bantamweight prospect.

  • EFC Bantamweight Champion
  • Pupil of Abdumunap Nurmagomedov
  • 24 years old

9. Alikhan Suleymanov ACA 150

Current ACA Featherweight Champion, Top ten-top fifteen featherweight prospect with impressive win streak including “Impressive” win against former ACA Featherweight Champion Felipe Froes and #1 Brazilian Featherweight Leonardo Limberger.

Key to the Featherweight Champion’s success is the Jiu-Jitsu side control transitions, Overwhelming opponents on the ground making it look like he’s rolling with white belt. Striking is improving but the Sambo wrestling is his ultimate weapon.

Suleymanov defending his title against rising Dagestan star, Islam Omarov. Ultimate grappling test against another Combat Sambo machine with great gas tank. Fights like these show what type of fighter truly are, Moments of losing, Failed takedowns but come out victorious.

However the man is confident with running through Felipe Froes, Performance a masterpiece in pressure cooker moment. Strong confidence winning fight can build off for an incredible tough fight at ACA 150.

Alikhan Suleymanov vs Islam Omarov ACA 150 headliner can scheduled fight on any UFC PPV card, UFC Fight Night. Two potential top 15 Featherweights.

10. Christian Lerory Duncan Cage Warriors 148

Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion, Top Ten United Kingdom prospect defending his title against long term fighter Jesse Taylor. Test fight for the Englishman to see if Duncan ready for the UFC.

Duncan aces the test, Late Christmas present for him as he’ll become future UFC contracted fighter. United Kingdom region red hot in 2022, UFC definitely wants to ake advantage of the England market, Signing the best available England fighters.

Dana White, UFC matchmakers love entertaining finishers and Duncan is the perfect fighter for the UFC. Six out of seven wins all by finish. Showing his explosive power, Agility, Speed, Taekwondo fluidity in his fights.

The great range fighting and fast feet can make the Champion give UFC Middleweights problems. Middleweight moving like Bantamweight.

Unoarthodox fighting style can give Jesse Taylor problems as speed and power will be the advantage. Aware what’s at stake, Leroy Duncan must perform to the best of his abilities. First round KO will impress the UFC to signing him beating former Ultimate Fighter winner, Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion. Lastly Cal State Fullerton wrestler, Finishing third in the pact 10’s.

  • 7-0 record
  • #1 Middleweight Prospect from England
  • Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion
  • Six finishes
  • Kickboxing/Karate Fighting Style
  • Biggest win Djati Melan

11. Nathan Fletcher Cage Warriors

Caught my eye watching Fletcher defeat tough England fighter Brian Bouland in 2021.Became fan of the English fighter ever since.

Watching his fight on UFC fight Pass compare Nathan Fletcher to fellow English fighter Brad Pickett. Love the 24 year olds upside, Few years with more training and understanding his best fighting style inside the ring he’ll become Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion.

Sadly lost to former Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion Dominique Wooding in 3rd round. Gave valiant effort but figured out the small adjustments. Curious to see the minor improvements he mdade in his upcoming fight against Alessandro Giordano #5 Italian Bantamweight prospect.

“Perfect. This fight camp has been like a year long for me, I’ve been in the gym for the past 365 days.

“I’ve never felt more ready to go and take somebody’s head off. It’s going to be an absolute demolition job.

“In terms of preparation this is by far the best I’ve ever felt.” Nathan Fletcher https://mmauk.net/2022/12/07/i-expect-to-go-in-and-stop-him-nathan-fletcher-discusses-cage-warriors-148/

Fletcher trains out of Next Generation MMA Liverpool with Paddy Pimblett, Adam Cullen, Liam Gittins and Molly McCann. Learning and sparring between those two fighters will take his talents to next level. All the hard training hopefully pays off, Ending 2022 right way and have life changing 2023.

  • 6-1 record
  • 24 years old
  • Fought for Cage Warriors Bantamweight title
  • Six wins – Five first round finishes
  • Trains with Paddy Pimblett
  • Comparison- Brad Pickett

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