2012 World MMA Light Heavyweight Scouting Report: #1 - Wagner Prado

Photo by Marcelo Alonso, Sherdog

Name: 22px-flag_of_brazil Wagner Prado
Nickname: Caldeirao
Age: 24
Height: 6'1"

Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

This is a guest post by Rory MacLeod (smoogy)

It is a daunting task to break into the upper-echelon of the light heavyweight division in mixed martial arts. The UFC is home to virtually all the biggest names, and few are making retirement plans. Top contenders aside, even the entry-level UFC ranks represent a big step up for most newcomers. If there is one prospect on our list most likely to successfully make the leap, it has to be Sao Paulo Muay Thai stylist Wagner Prado (7-0). Representing Praetorian MMA and Team Nogueira, "Caldeirao" looks to have the requisite combination of size, speed, and skills for the task.

Physically, Wagner appears to be a cross between Mark Kerr, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. and a gorilla. If championships were determined by the size of a fighter's limbs, chest and cranium, Prado would already be wearing gold. With a dozen muay thai fights to his credit, he is unsurprisingly strong in the stand-up department, and is capable of ending any fight abruptly with his savage roundhouse kicks and knees. Prado has done just that in most of his bouts thus far, scoring either clean KO wins or chopping victims down to the canvas to be finished off with heavy ground and pound.

Though he doesn't have the tallest frame or longest reach, Wagner controls distance well from a southpaw stance and possesses good defensive skills. He needs to develop a little more offense with his hands though; currently he is over-reliant on a quick lead right hook and rarely throws his left. As a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he does not look for prolonged grappling exchanges but has enough ability to defend and escape back to his comfort zone. Besides his novice status in submission fighting, Wagner acknowledges his need to seek out specialized wrestling training that he currently isn't receiving in Sao Paulo.

Wagner was set to face #8 selection Thiago Perpetuo in May, but a knee injury suffered by Prado in training caused the bout to be postponed indefinitely and put an early end to his 2011 campaign. He's now back in the gym and should return soon, likely with Sao Paulo's Max Fight series. With a win over Perpetuo or another fighter on his level of experience, Wagner Prado will be in striking range of a shot on the world stage in 2012.

Footage of Wagner Prado after the jump...

Flyweight Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight
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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
#1 - Fabricio Guerreiro
#2 - Alessandro Ferreira
#3 - Adriano Martins
#4 - Justin Salas
#5 - Neilson Gomes
#6 - Eduard Folayang
#7 - Zorobabel Moreira
#8 - Anton Kuivanen
#9 - Jordan Rinaldi
#10 - J.P. Vainikainen
Welterweight Middleweight Light Heavyweight Heavyweight
#1 - Andrey Koreshkov
#2 - Dhiego Lima
#3 - Brandon Thatch
#4 - Nordine Taleb
#5 - Hernani Perpetuo
#6 - Brock Jardine
#7 - Alan Jouban
#8 - Mohsen Bahari
#9 - Andre Santos
#10 - Stephen Thompson
#1 - Antonio Braga Neto
#2 - Marcelo Guimaraes
#3 - Claudio Silva
#4 - Bojan Velickovic
#5 - Ildemar Alcantara
#6 - Michal Materla
#7 - Elvis Mutapcic
#8 - Tor Troeng
#9 - Jack Hermansson
#10 - Tim Ruberg
#1 - Wagner Prado
#2 - Phelipe Lins
#3 - Tom DeBlass
#4 - Misha Cirkunov
#5 - Kyle Cerminara
#6 - Robert Drysdale
#7 - Artur Alibulatov
#8 - Thiago Perpetuo
#9 - Steve Bosse
#10 - Juha Saarinen
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Wagner Prado vs. Wellington Guilherme - Max Fight 8

Wagner Prado vs. Fernando Tressino - Campinas Fight 2

Wagner Prado vs. Luis Eduardo da Paixao

Wagner Prado vs. Alexandre Imperador

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