I know, I know, I know, we all have UFC 211 on the brain, and rightly so. But if you’re like us here at CombatDocket.com, that’s nowhere near enough fighting for one weekend. Thankfully, there’s a ton of regional, and international MMA to be consumed, and plenty of great prospects to keep an eye on. Settle in with Shawn Bitter, aka the @MMAWizzard, as he walks us through the talents that should be on any MMA nerds radar.
Alaska FC 132, Thursday. (Alaska)
-HW, Mika Faavale (4-0): Mika might just be the best hope for an Alaskan MMA star, and being a HW only helps him. He has all 4 wins by knockout all in the first round. Like most HW’s he produces a lot of knockout power, flattening guys with a hook and a jab. On the feet he also likes to utilize kicks, likes to be flashy and try wheel kicks. When he really starts to attack the legs he does it with a lot of power, buckling the knees of his opponents. He fights Tony Lopez (50-25) who is a solid vet and known as a prospect killer. Anyone at HW that beats Lopez is making a big statement.
Bamma 29, Friday. (UK)
-LW, Tim Barnett (4-0): He really made a name for himself in February when he beat rising prospect Rhys McKee finishing him with knees and punches in the clinch where McKee is best. Barnett isn’t the most aggressive or technical fighter but he is tough as nails. As opponents try to move in on him he has shown solid counter striking, not much power in the hands but never hesitant. Where Barnett shines is in the clinch he has dirty boxing and elbows, but his knees are his main and most effective weapon. Once he gets the Thai clinch he is very dangerous but overall he needs to work on his all-around fighting, He fights Mario Saeed (9-3) who is a good grappler and could give Tim a good fight.
Fight Exclusive Night 17, Friday. (Europe Eastern)
-LHW, Michal Oleksiejczuk (11-2): He doesn’t have the normal KO power a regular LHW typically has, but he is a very smart striker. He really picks his shots and most of his knockdowns are by him connecting flush on the chin. The precision on his striking is fantastic, very successful going forward and off his counter striking. Of what I’ve seen has some decent wrestling, but it on the feet that he really shines. He fights Riccardo Nosiglia (5-0) who has solid wrestling and really good on top but if he couldn’t get the take-down I’m not sure how he would do.
CES 44, Friday. (New England)
-FW, Matt Bessette (21-7): A very tough fighter as shown in many of his fights. He needs to improve his head movement though since he leaves it on a straight line where he’s open to get hit a lot but is tough and can take a lot of damage. He just needs to improve his defense a bit. Overall offensively he is dangerous and he has decent wrestling/judo but his striking is clearly the best. He has a lot of power and is a deadly jaw hunter. You also cant sleep on him on the mat since he has good jiu-jitsu. He is a brown belt so he is dangerous from everywhere. And his ability to stand and trade makes him a very fun fighter to watch. He fights Rey Trujillo (22-18) who is a tough guy with a lot of experience but has 18 losses and Bessette is for sure a guy that should make that 19 losses.
EFC Worldwide 59, Saturday, (South Africa)
-WW, Dricus Du Plessis (9-1): I haven’t got to watch him live as of yet but he has a solid resume, only 21, and I hear good things about him. His only loss is to UFC fighter Garreth McLellan, but since then he has won 5 in a row including winning the EFC title. He is a good wrestler, 7 of his 9 wins are by submission, all by RNC or guillotine, his ability to get the back is very good and can drop for a guillotine. I believe he is a K-1 kickboxer, so he is someone to watch out for. He fights Mauricio da Rocha (7-3) who is a skilled grappler that should make this fight interesting.
MFP/WSOF Global, Saturday. (Russia)
-FW, Alexey Polpudnikov (22-4): He is a very dangerous fighter finishing 19 of his 22 fights, 9 by submission and 10 by KO/TKO. He likes to stalk his opponent down. He is a good precise striker and is very good at attacking the body with his hands and knees. His wrestling is good as is his counter wrestling and TDD. I haven’t got to watch him live yet but I believe he has a bright future. He fights Oscar Nave (12-11) who’s record says it all being a very below average fighter.
ACB 60, Saturday. (Europe Western)
-WW, Ismail Naurdiev (14-1): He is mainly a wrestler, but in his last bout in January his stand up is what won him the fight, landing a flying knee followed by a string of knees and punches for the TKO win. Naurdiev has shown through his career his wrestling is where he shines. Almost all his take-downs he elevates his opponents and slams them to the mat showing just how strong of a wrestler he is. His ability to get the fight to the mat with his slams, double legs, body locks, and judo throws is well polished. On top, he has good ground and pound, and submissions. Overall he is very solid once on top and can end the fight anyway but can also stay on top in control. He fights Benny Alloway (19-7) who is a former UFC fighter who has gone 6-2 since his release. With a win from Ismail it would be his biggest win in his career.
-LW, Shamil Nikaev (6-0): He is mainly a wrestler, he is very aggressive going for the take-down and he can shoot in for the double leg or just get it from the clinch where he is quite capable of elevating his opponents and slamming them to the mat. On top, he is as heavy as they come, and skilled as he passes guards easily, and able to get dominant positions in every fight. His stand up isn’t bad since he can kick, has good hands, and has shown some good power. He does get too wild at times, but that can be changed easily. He fights Aurel Pirtea (12-8) who is a big submission threat just recently putting Saul Rogers to sleep. If Nikaev just fights smart tho he should take this fight.
-WW, Tamirlan Dadaev (19-5): It the last 5 years Dadaev has went 9-2 with his only two losses to UFC fighters Nick Hein and Peter Sobotta. Being only 23 with 24 fights and the level of competition is impressive alone. Overall he is good all around but thrives more on the mat. He holds 12 submission wins with leg locks, armbars, guillotines, and RNC showing how diverse he is on the mat. On the feet, he shows moments of explosiveness lunging forward with flying knees and overhand rights. He has a lot of power in his hands but the only think I really worry about. He fights Rafal Lewon (13-6) who is slow and telegraphed. It “should” be a easy win for Dadaev.