UFC Prospects to Keep an Eye On (Part 2 of 12)

I am writing this article to provide some of the prospects I feel have relatively high potential in the UFC based off what I’ve seen thus far. I am not stating all of these fighters in this full article have the potential to be the champion of their respective division (though I think some can be). However, I am including them because I believe they have the capability of moving up the rankings and obtaining a very good reputation inside the octagon.

I realize ‘prospect’ can be perceived as a subjective term so I will specify that the fighters in this article I am referring to have no more than 4 fights in the UFC thus far (as of April 10th, 2020) and have made their promotional debut. By no means have these fighters looked perfect in the UFC thus far. In fact, some of these fighters have lost at least once so far in the promotion, but I believe in their long-term growth and future success which is why I am mentioning them in this piece. I hope you enjoy!

Middleweight Division

Edmen Shahbazyan

This selection I hope is not a surprise. After becoming a professional MMA fighter in 2017, Edmen has looked excellent in the UFC thus far as he’s showcased strong finishing capabilities, composure, quickness, technical striking, proficient wrestling, and solid grappling. Edmen has also been faced with adversity in the UFC when he faced Darren Stewart. He couldn’t finish Stewart early (Edmen was even hurt in the fight) and had to rely on his wrestling and grappling to do enough to get the nod on the judge’s scorecards (split decision victory). Even though
Edmen has looked excellent thus far, I expect Edmen to look even BETTER going forward and climb the Middleweight rankings further as Edmen is only 22 years of age, still learning, and still growing.

Rodolfo Viera

Rodolfo Viera is BEAST on the mat. Viera is one of the most decorated BJJ practitioners the sport has ever seen and it has translated very well in MMA as he has earned the nickname ‘The Black Belt Hunter’ by submitting fellow BJJ Black Belts on the mat. What also impresses me about Viera is that he has a good, explosive takedown game so he can get the fight to the mat where he will hold an advantage over the vast majority of the fighters in this division. My main concern for Viera is his cardio which may still be a liability going forward because he is a densely-muscled fighter with a grappling-heavy style. However, I am hopeful that he can address it because he is still in the early stages of his MMA career (7-0 professionally in MMA), has his UFC debut out of the way where he was faced with some adversity, and only 30 years of age. I also believe succeeding excessively at the highest level in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition will help him progress in MMA from a mindset and confidence perspective.

Written by AJS BETS

Pro MMA Bettor. Your Go-To Source For All Things #MMA. Handicapper for MMAOddsBreaker

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