Here are some of the better prospects in action this weekend
X-Fight MMA - 27 Jul - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Ricardo "Demente" Abreu (3-0) vs. Bruno Chinaglia (1-0)
Abreu is a highly decorated BJJ Blackbelt, 4 x Brazilian Champion, and 2 x world champion. He has trained in the past with Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva, and Fabricio Werdum as part of their MMA training camps. As an MMA fighter his game is what you would expect, close the distance, takedown, submission. His standup is basic, but he does have some power when he connects.
Allan Nascimento (8-1) vs. Vinicius Maximo
Nascimento is back for his 2nd fight of the month, and tries to put his only professional loss a little smaller in the rear view mirror. Nascimento will attack with submissions from any position on the ground, and is never out of fight.
Thomas de Almeida (12-0) vs. Ricardo Sattelmayer
Almeida will try to finish out the month of July 3-0 with another victory. There isn't much that this fight will do for Almeida's stock, unless he gets stunned, because Sattelmayer brings a 3-6 record into the fight. Almeida is coming off a fight where he was rocked early, but then showed his power to score his 12th straight 1st round finish.
Shooto - 27 Jul - Tokyo, Japan
Yuta Sasaki (12-1-2) vs. Kenji Yamamoto (6-1-1)
At 5'10'' Sasaki has a height, and reach advantage over most other Bantamweights, but he doesn't always use it. When he snaps his jab it is a very effective weapon, but it doesn't always seem like he uses it enough. Sasaki favors a grappling contest, he has a good single leg takedown, but also uses his long arms and legs to sweep, and tie up his opposition.
King of the Cage - 27 Jul - Lac du Flambeau, WI
Sam Thao (7-1) is one of the better FLWs not signed to UFC. He is listed on the KOTC poster, but I cannot find anything listing who he is fighting. He hasn't been the most active fighter over the last few years, only fighting once since 2010, but if he increases his activity, and picks up some wins he could be in the running for a UFC roster spot.
Fight Lab 32 - 27 Jul - Charlotte, NC
Joseph Pacheco (6-0) vs. Amaechi Oselukwue (4-7)
Pacheco's name might ring a bell for some fans, as he has scored stoppage victories on Bellator undercards his last two times out. He is a powerhouse with the ability to end the fight on the feet or muscle an opponent around on the ground.
Victory Fighting Championships - 27 Jul - Omaha, NE
James Wood (7-1) vs. Brian Foster
Wood will look for his 2nd straight victory over an UFC veteran when he steps in with Foster this weekend. In December, Wood defeated Kevin Burns in a 5 round UD. A victory over Foster would have to land Wood on the radar of both UFC and Bellator, if he isn't there already. Wood is looking to take the fight to the mat, where he can use ground and pound. He doesn't have a blast double, or dynamic throws, but has been successful using body clinch, and single legs off the clinch. His striking isn't great, outside of good use of knees to both the body and head in the clinch.
Brian Houston (3-0) vs. Jett Jones
Houston is coming off a 33 second KO victory in June where he showed good movement, quick hands, and good power. It is early in his MMA career, but Houston could be a serious prospect moving forward.
CF - 28 Jul - Matoshinhos, Portugal
Artur Lemos (4-0) vs. Pedro Carvalho (1-0)
Portugal is not an MMA hotbed for top talent, but Lemos is a solid prospect to keep an eye on. He does his best work on his feet with a solid Muay Thai based striking game. He has shown some takedowns, but is very content to stay inside his opponents guard, and just try to punch from there when it goes to the ground. He has outstanding athleticism, and appears to be someone who could continue to refine his game over time.
Bellator - 31 July - Albuquerque, NM - I normally would not worry about a Bellator card, as they get plenty of press, but there are three very good prospects on their Spike.com prelim card next week.
Jenkins is among the best prospects in the sport. A Freestyle wrestling Junior World Champion, and NCAA Division 1 Championship give Jenkins the amateur wrestling credentials to go with anyone. He is a tremendous athlete, and I expect big things from him moving forward.
Kimball's last three wins have put him on the radar of the big organizations. He picked off UFC vets Tom Speer, and Drew McFedries before submitting highly regarded prospect Chidi Njokuani, who is the brother of current UFC fighter Anthony Njokuani. Overall Kimball has won 9 of 10 since starting his career 0-2.
After a successful College career where he was a multiple time All-American, Bunch was a US Freestyle National Champion, and found some success on the international stage. He fell sort of the 2012 Olympics in a wrestle off with Coleman Scott, and was signed by Bellator with no pro fights. Bunch is a great athlete with elite wrestling.
Review from Last Week
Legacy Fighting Championships
Darrion Caldwell (3-0) remained undefeated in his young career with a Unanimous Decision victory. Holly Holm picked up a highlight reel Head Kick KO, and improved to 4-0 in MMA competition. Also, solid prospects Matt Hobar (8-1), and Bubba Bush (6-2) picked up solid wins.
Robson Souza (5-0) missed weight big time in this FLW fight, and was removed by Jungle Fights. Junior Boya (5-2) was in the right place at the right time, and stepped in for his first fight since 2009, and won a TKO in the 2nd round over Marcos Vinicius (8-2) to pick up the interim Jungle Fights FLW title.
Chris Fishgold (9-0) picked up his 8th stoppage win in 9 pro fights, with a 2nd round TKO over Marcin Wrzosek (6-2).
Danny Roberts (9-1) picked up his 3rd straight stoppage victory with a 3rd round submission victory over Henry Fadipe.
Ali Arish (20-2) improved his winning streak to 9 straight with a UD victory over tough veteran Jack Mason.
Michael Tobin (5-0) was scratched in his XFC FW title fight against Adrian Rodriguez. Rodriguez (5-1) went on to score a Submission victory over Taylor Harvey. Tobin appears to have a fight lined up in early August for another organization's FW title.
Former Edinboro University Wrestler and NCAA D1 finalist Chris Honeycutt (3-0) picked up a five round Unanimous Decision victory over Manny Murillo to win the UPC MW title. The rounds were only 3 minute rounds, but the UPC web site indicated that it was a pro fight, and his opponent has a 5-1 pro record according to Sherdog.
Here are 4 of the 5 rounds if you want to check them out.