I miss Leland, and Smoogy's scouting reports. I think they were one of the best things about BE for the couple of years that they happened. In that sense I'm trying to go through and start a prospect watch listing of guys that fans should be keeping an eye on moving forward. I have a tentative list of names for each weight class, but need to do a lot more digging to break it down into a top 10 or 15 prospects. I should have a list of HWs that I'm happy with by next week, but I also have a question for the BE Community.
Honorio Banario and Chris Gruetzemacher, a couple of the best Featherweight prospects in the world. But do I still consider them prospects? To this point I have been considering anyone without UFC, or Bellator tourney experience a prospect. Banario is with the largest Asian promotion, One FC... is that considered arriving at a level above prospect? Gruetzemacher signed with WSOF, and is someone we will potentially be seeing on NBC Sports several times a year, is that enough to elevate him past prospect? TigerLee pointed out a few months ago, that WSOF had more top 25 fighters than Bellator on their respective rosters, but I still get the feeling that One FC, and WSOF are being used as a means to get to the end game of UFC. Also, can an organization that has only promoted 2 shows be considered making it? Does a spot on the roster of One FC, or WSOF do enough for a fighter to take him off the prospects list? I'm just looking for some feedback from the BE community on this moving forward?
One FC 9 - 31 May - Mall of Asia Arena - Philippines
Johnson emerges from nearly 2 years off due to a contract dispute with Bellator, but has a chance to re-establish himself as one of the top prospects at HW with a win over former UFC Champ Tim Sylvia. He is a powerful, and athletic wrestler with quality wins over long time KOTC veteran Tony Lopez, and fellow HW prospect Derrick Lewis. His only loss is to current top 5 HW Daniel Cormier.
Tynanes is a 22 year old, former Hawaii state wrestling champion who comes from a fighting family. When he fights you can clearly see him use his wrestling, and then unleash some ground and pound. His dad, Myles Tynanes has a record of 4-2-1 spanning a decade. Lowen's is a road warrior, and his first four professional fights have come in four different countries, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, and USA. He already has plans tentative plans to return to KOTC and defend his LW title later this summer.
Honorio Banario is a 23 y/o Wushu style fighter who has racked up an 8-1 record along with several nice titles to this point in his MMA career. He is the URCC LW Champion, and the first One FC FW Champion. Since suffering his only career loss, he has rebounded with two solid victories.
Belingon is another fighter from the Philippines that comes from a Wushu background. He was the 10th rated prospect on the BE 2012 FLW scouting report. Against Ueda he is fighting a Shooto, and Bellator veteran, who should be a tough test.
Legacy Fighting Championships 20 - 31 May - American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Patrick Ybarra vs. Damacio Page
A 23 year old, fighter who is 5-0, gets his big chance to make a statement against a recent UFC vet. Ybarra has a compact build and some explosive athletism. Ybarra is facing a guy in Page that finished his Zuffa run with 4 straight losses between UFC and WEC, but an impressive win would help catch the attention of Sean Shelby.
Alptekin Ozkilic vs. Antonio Banuelos
Cage Warriors Fighting Championships - 1 Jun - The Helix, Dublin, Ireland
Cathal Pendred vs. Che Mills - 1 Jun, CWFC 55
Irishmen Pendred gets a big chance to put his name in the mix for a UFC or Bellator shot by beating UFC Veteran Che Mills. Pendred is 6-0-1 in his last 7 dating back to 2010, with wins over UFC vet David Bielkheden, and respected vet Bruno Carvalho.