2012 World MMA Bantamweight Scouting Report: #6 - Claudio Ledesma

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Photo by Keith Mills, Sherdog
Name: 22px-flag_of_the_united_states Claudio Ledesma
Nickname: --
Age: 28
Height: 5' 5"
Location:
Denville, New Jersey

After an international journey that took us to Brazil, Sweden, and Japan, we head stateside to the Northeast, one of the hottest areas in the U.S. for producing high-quality mixed martial arts talent. Amateur wrestling and boxing serve as a gateway drug to the sport for many fighters in the area, and the accessibility of quality camps like AMA Fight Club, Team Tiger Schulmann, Renzo Gracie's academies, and Team Serra-Longo make the transition possible on a large scale. Add in a quality promotion like Ring of Combat, and the region has all the attributes of a self-sustaining MMA scene that is unrivaled in the United States.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Claudio Ledesma (5-2) calls the region home, and he's taken full advantage of the resources available to become one of the top bantamweight prospects in the world. The 28-year-old has amassed a 5-2 record in three years, earning his fifth win at Bellator 54 in October against Team Bombsquad fighter Brian Kelleher (4-2).

Despite sporting a record that seems a bit out of place for our countdown, Ledesma is one of the few prospects who hasn't shied away from a challenge. He battled 2011 World MMA Scouting Report rankee Jimmie Rivera (8-1) in only his second professional fight, dropping an unanimous decision at Urban Conflict Championships I last March. His second loss came four fights later at Ring of Combat 36 this past June against highly-touted prospect Aljamain Sterling (5-0). Ledesma narrowly lost on the scorecards, dropping a split decision to the 22-year-old wrestler.

Training out of the Renzo Gracie Academy in Denville, New Jersey, Ledesma is rooted in the arts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but his stand-up game has evolved into an effective weapon that supplements his foundation. He utilizes kicks well to soften up opponents for takedowns, and his hands are equally effective in helping him bring fights to the ground.

Ledesma's wrestling is surprisingly effective, although it is an area that he could improve upon in the future. From the top, Ledesma relies more on ground and pound over his grappling roots. That could be a concern moving forward as there isn't strong evidence to suggest Ledesma can consistently threaten with submissions when the opportunity presents itself. His overall skill-set, however, has improved substantially, leading us to believe he may be on the verge of breaking out in 2012.

Video footage of Claudio Ledesma in action after the jump. Check out GFL.tv for all of Ledesma's bouts under the Ring of Combat banner.

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Scouting_report_medium

Claudio Ledesma vs. Adam Shortz
UCC 3 - September 10, 2010

Larry Byrnes vs Claudio Ledesma
Last Amateur Bout
Asylum Fight League XXI - June 6, 2009

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