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!
Damir Ismagulov is a very impressive fighter with a 14-fight winning streak against solid competition. Prior to making his UFC debut, Damir stuck out in a great way as he was an M-1 Global Lightweight champion. Damir has a very technical, a very impressive, and well-rounded skill set. Damir is a high-level wrestler with fast, crisp, and technical striking while utilizing good leg kicks. The only things I notice about Damir’s game that are not excellent are his striking output (though it’s adequate) and that he is not the most threatening finisher (has won 9 decisions out of his 19 total wins). Despite this, I think Ismagulov will become a ranked fighter in this weight class due to his overall talent with the potential to look even more impressive. I think Ismagulov can get even better than he’s shown while still young, training at Tiger Muay Thai, and having an already very impressive, well-rounded skill set that can be sharpened even more. Arman Tsarukyan Arman was tasked with a very tough UFC debut against Islam Makhachev, but made a great account of himself as he went toe-to-toe with one of the best wrestlers and grapplers in the division. In his second UFC appearance, he was able to get the nod against Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Arman is a very well-rounded fighter and capable finisher (10 of his 14 wins are via finish) that I think has a lot of potential in this division even for as incredible as this weight class is. That said, Arman still needs to improve his overall game in order to significantly move up the ranks in this very deep, 155lb division. However, I am hopeful that he does because he is only 23 years of age, has been doing work at great camps such as American Top Team & Tiger Muay Thai, and has a very good, well-rounded skill set that will likely get better as time progresses.
Alexander Hernandez started off his UFC career with a lot of momentum, but has not performed as well in his two most recent fights. Hernandez got a quick win via finish against very good fighter, Beneil Dariush and then showcased his good wrestling & grappling game the following bout. After, he faced proven veteran, Donald Cerrone where he was out struck as Cerrone was the superior technical striker and able to take advantage of Hernandez’s striking defense as Hernandez does not have a high guard & can be countered. The following fight, he was timid to engage with Francisco Trinaldo and won a low output decision. Perhaps Hernandez’s recent performance against Trinaldo was due to his loss against Cerrone hindering his willingness to engage with Trinaldo. Regardless, I still believe in Hernandez’s potential in the long run despite his two most recent performances. Hernandez is an intelligent, young, and very talented fighter that I believe will learn from his mistakes in the octagon to improve his confidence & sharpen his skill set and become a top 10 fighter in this elite weight class.
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