If your enjoyment of a mixed martial arts event includes some of the most brutal ground and pound you've ever laid your giddy little eyes on, then our #9 ranked lightweight, French Canadian bruiser Guillaume DeLorenzi (9-1), should fill your heart with excitement. The Quebec-native is only a little over two years into his professional career, but he's amassed a 9-1 record with his lone loss taking place at XMMA 7 against War Machine back in February of 2009. Don't discount DeLorenzi, however, as he is currently training under Faras Zahabi, which has the potential to turn him into a terrifying lightweight prospect.
Offensive Skills: As aforementioned in the lead-in, DeLorenzi's ground and pound is jaw-dropping madness, and luckily for us -- it's confined to the small space of a cage. Most of its glory is a direct result of the strength and power that DeLorenzi possesses, and his physique, which looks like it's straight out of a Stallone flick, gives you a small hint of what's about to happen when he steps into the cage. Take one look at the Dale Hartt bout on July 6th of this year to get a first hand look at the face-rearranging power that DeLorenzi can create.
While power is most certainly a huge plus in the lightweight category, DeLorenzi's background also provides some evidence that his offensive skills can surpass the simplicity of just knocking guys out cold. Obviously, there needs to be some sort of base to work off of to get to those positions of dominance, and DeLorenzi happens to possess some of those qualities.
Interestingly enough, DeLorenzi isn't your standard mixed martial arts convert. While he did grow up with training in Karate and Judo, DeLorenzi's interest in mixed martial arts stemmed from traditional Jiu-Jitsu training while he was a police officer, a career he chose after high school. He eventually became a black belt in the traditional discipline, training other officers in the concepts. From there, he became interested in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and wrestling extensively, training with BTT Canada and the Canadian National wrestling team. As you've probably guessed, DeLorenzi is trying to follow in the footsteps of another great French Canadian fighter in Georges St. Pierre.
Defensive Skills: DeLorenzi's stand-up skills serve more as a distraction from his actual aim of taking his opponents down and cracking their skulls. That, in itself, is a major disadvantage and defensive liability. While he did smash Hartt in his most recent fight, he was stunned by what seemed to be a harmless punch, which could be some cause for concern. He definitely needs some more fundamental defense work on the feet to stop a potential derailment from happening.
On the ground, DeLorenzi is very respectable, showing that the best defense is a good offense at times. War Machine was able to take advantage of his mistakes on the ground, but his progression since that fight has been solid. Off his back, he's shown that he can control his opponents as well, which should help him against better wrestlers.
Progression & Learning Ability: One of the major points that's been pushed by people surrounding DeLorenzi is his work ethic and appetite to learn. He's been adamant about becoming well-rounded, and while it doesn't necessarily show in his striking skills -- the lengths to which he's went to improve his ground skills proves he's determined to become better, no matter what it takes. And it's apparent in footage of early fights versus recent fights that his training is paying off.
World MMA Lightweight Scouting Report:
#10 - Al Iaquinta
Environment: He's currently training under one of the best trainers in Canada in Firas Zahabi, and he frequently works out with other camps. That certainly gives him an edge on the competition as he's sparred with many different partners along with soaking in any knowledge he can gain along the way. Firas has always been good about making sure his fighters have the cardio to go three-to-five rounds, and DeLorenzi will need that for the amount of power he possesses.
Potential: smoogy and I debated back and forth as to whether DeLorenzi should be considered a top ten prospect, mainly due to the fact that smoogy loves him some Canadian prospects and I was a bit skeptical about his competition in Canada. After watching most of his more recent bouts following a viewing of his earlier fights, I came to the realization that it's hard to deny the fact that DeLorenzi is improving at a steady pace. His ground and pound has the capacity to end a fight instantly, and that brutality in combination with respectable wrestling skills, which continue to improve, put him on this list.
I'm really only concerned about his stand-up skills and defense. He's rather aggressive, and leaves himself wide open for counters. While much of the competition he's faced in his career has simply backed away from his massive power and ran for the hills, stiffer competition will take advantage of that aggressive and lack of defense with counters to the chin that could derail DeLorenzi's run to a major promotion.
The UFC will more than likely come calling as they do enough shows in the region to scoop up talent, but a stint with MFC is probably on the agenda as well. Rumor has it he was going to fight in Shine's recent Lightweight GP, so Shine may have something in the works for him since that fell through.
Guillaume DeLorenzi vs. Jay Jenkins - XMMA 5 - September 13, 20
Some footage of the Dale Hartt/DeLorenzi battle
War Machine vs. Guillaume DeLorenzi - XMMA 7 - February 27, 2009