For the rest of the BE community that has scant tolerance for objective analysis and weeks of hard work pouring over regional MMA footage, Robert V-U brings you the half-baked 2012 prospect snub list. I do not have all day and neither do you, so stay tuned as I streamline you the five prospects that my gut says should have made the prestigious 2012 World MMA Featherweight Scouting Report.
-Must be under 30 (as far as I know)
-Must not be signed by Bellator, UFC or Strikeforce
-Cannot have been part of the 2011 or 2012 Scouting Report
The determining factor here is not so much how well the fighter has performed as it is how much ass kicking I believe the fighter is prepared to unleash on the top ranks of featherweights in MMA. So without any further babble, here is number five…
5. Tom Hayden (8-0), Age: 25, Affiliation: Team Jorge Gurgel
Some of you might remember Tommy Hayden as the guy that Cameron Dollar choked out and put to sleep way back on TUF 9 at 155-pounds, but you might forget that prior to Dollar’s submission Hayden wailed on Dollar. Hayden is a ground specialist training out of Ohio with Jorge Gurgel. He has not been extremely active of late, only competing twice the past two years against sub-par opposition, but he does hold a notable submission win over Dustin Neace back in 2009.
4. Jon "Killer" Shores (9-0), Age: 30, Affiliation: Rodeo Style
As his nickname suggests, this ruthless gentleman has looked dominant in the early stages of his career. Shores has fought professionally for two years after going 5-1 on the Shooto and Pancrase amateur circuit. Sure, he has only fought against Japanese opposition, but he has gone undefeated as a professional capping off his year with a win over Tomonari Kanomata (19-6-6 at the time). A military man, Shores is a part of the U.S. Navy, which brought him to Japan in 2007. He is affiliated with Rodeo Style, which houses numerous professional fighters that all fight at 135-, 145- and 155-pounds, so there are plenty of training partners he has access to. Hopefully Jon Shores can pick up a few fights with Dream or return stateside to face tougher competition, but his military service may interfere with his career’s progression as he could get the call at any time.
3. Rich Taylor (11-2), Age: 28, Affiliation Minnesota Martial Arts Academy
Widely believed (in my eyes) to be the best Minnesotan 145-pounder around, Rich Taylor went 3-0 in the past two years, racking up notable wins against Ashkan Morvari and Yaotzin Meza. After spending some time away from the fight game to nurse a hand injury, Minnesota awaits the return to action of Rich Taylor. His two submission-loses came to notable vets: Dustin Neace and Clint Godfrey. Neace took advantage of Taylor inexperience and lacking submission defense, and Taylor got cocky and botched a flying knee attempt resulting in Clint choking him out. Currently, training at MMAA, Rich has access to training partners such as Nik Lentz, Jacob Volkmann and Travis Reddinger. Despite a strong wrestling base, Taylor prefers to stand and bang, which has paid off with 5 (T)KO victories.
2. Doo Ho Choi (8-1), Age: 20, Affiliation: CMA Korea
A man that needs no introduction to the BElitists after his recent obliteration of Mitsuhiro Ishida , Doo Ho Choi is basking in the hype as several BE readers are baffled by his exclusion on the 2012 World MMA Scouting Report. His takedown defense has looked solid, but his proficiency in striking is what is really turning heads. His current 6-fight win streak is marked by four (T)KO victories and he is set to seek out another come February when he faces Kazunori Yokota at DEEP- 57 Impact. With muay thai and kickboxing experience already under his belt, one might hope he continues to fight in Japan while he continues to round out his game and possibly inject some life into the moribund JMMA scene.
1. Renato "Moicano" Carneiro (5-0), Age: 21, Affiliation: Constrictor Team
Coming off a close and somewhat controversial unanimous decision win over Iliarde Sabino Belo Dos Santos (21-4 at the time), Moicano has wasted no time easing his way into the sport by putting together an undefeated record against opposition that currently boasts a combined 93-35-2 record. Training out of Constrictor Team in Brasilia, Renato trains with Paulo Thiago, Rani Yahya, and Francisco Drinaldo. Moicano combines his lanky frame and aggressive attack to overwhelm his opponents. Look out for Moicano in 2012.
Thanks for reading. I was motivated to put this together because of how much I enjoy the Scouting Report and because essentialluckyman’s utterly distraught comments about Doo Ho Choi’s lack of inclusion on the SR.