2012 World MMA Lightweight Scouting Report: #10 - Juha-Pekka Vainikainen

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Name: 22px-flag_of_finland Juha-Pekka Vainikainen
Nickname: --
Age: 27
Height: 6'0"
Location:
Espoo, Finland

Finland may not have the prominence of its neighbor, Sweden, in regards to the growth of the sport in Scandinavia, but it has lent a helping hand. That hand has normally been in the form of fodder for the various prospects in other Nordic countries eyeing a shot at the big leagues. Hopefully, that will change in 2012.

Finland's Juha-Pekka Vainikainen (18-5-1) claims the country's first spot on this year's report, sporting an impressive eight-fight unbeaten streak spanning only one year. In that lone year, Vainikainen submitted rising prospect Anthony Durnell in thirty-two seconds, bombed Iowan Ryan Bixler in two minutes and nineteen seconds, knocked out respectable American fighter Josh Pulsifer, and defeated UFC veterans Brian Geraghty and Steve Lopez by decision. Not bad for a fighter who had gone on a 2-3 skid in his previous five fights.

The 27-year-old's recent success can be attributed to the maturation of his technical skills, most notably his striking game. Sporting a six-foot frame in the lightweight division certainly helps his cause, but it's still difficult to find fighters with a good understanding of how a jab works. Vainikainen seems to have a handle on it, and he's moved to a much more pitter-patter method of barraging his opponents' defenses ala Nick Diaz. It's worked wonders in helping him secure his latest unbeaten streak.

Other areas of Vainikainen's game haven't improved as one would hope however. He's been exposed on the ground in past losses, and his conditioning is a problem as he heads deeper into fights. Obviously, those are areas that wrestlers and elite grapplers could take advantage of quickly. We'll see if Vainikainen can shore up those areas and make a run for bigger fights in 2012.

Check out more video footage of Vainikainen after the jump...

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#1 - Rony Mariano
#2 - Aljamain Sterling
#3 - Chris Holdsworth
#4 - Josh Hill
#5 - Fabiano Fernandes
#6 - Claudio Ledesma
#7 - Sirwan Kakai
#8 - Kyoji Horiguchi
#9 - Leandro Hygo
#10 - Pedro Munhoz
#1 - Hacran Dias
#2 - Joey Gambino
#3 - Brandon Bender
#4 - Lance Palmer
#5 - Jim Alers
#6 - Anthony Gutierrez
#7 - Max Holloway
#8 - John Teixeira
#9 - Cody Bollinger
#10 - Bubba Jenkins
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Scouting_report_medium

J.P. Vainikainen vs. Anthony Durnell
Iron Fist 3 - November 6, 2011

J.P. Vainikainen vs. Steve Lopez
Fight Festival 31 - October 1, 2011

J.P. Vainikainen vs. Ryan Bixler
Fight Festival 30 - March 12, 2011

J.P. Vainikainen vs. Brian Geraghty
Fight Festival 29 - January 31, 2011

J.P. Vainikainen vs. Maciej Polok
Fight Festival Goes Kaisaniemi - June 16, 2010

J.P. Vainikainen vs. Jose Luis Zapater
M-1 Challenge 10 - November 26, 2008

Check out some of Vainikainen's earliest fights here.

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