Here are some of the better prospects in action this weekend.
EFC - Africa - 27 Feb - Johannesburg, South Africa
Frederich Naumann (4-0) vs. Leon Mynhardt (11-6)
Now that UFC has signed EFC-Africa HW Champ Ruan Potts, I wouldn't be surprised to see more South African talent on their radar in the near future. That makes this LW title fight a big fight for both men. Naumann has been kickboxing since 2001, and started his MMA training in 2010. Since turning pro he has stopped 3 of his 4 opponents.
Naumann vs. Dietricks - Amateur fight
PXC - 28 Feb - Guam
Kailin Curran (2-0) vs. Yoojin Jung (0-0)
Curran recently moved from her native Hawaii to train at Reign MMA along side numerous UFC and Bellator fighters. She has a decent all around game with solid striking to compliments her takedowns. I'm not sure if it is her goal, but a win here could make her a candidate to fill one of the remaining roster spots on TUF: 20.
Ante Delija (8-1) vs. Denis Smoldarev (5-0)
Age: 23 Age: 22
Height: 6'5 Height: 6'5
Both of these guys received serious consideration for my top 10 HW prospects, and they are in consideration to take the spot available now that Steve Mocco has signed with WSOF. Delija was one of my favorite HW prospects in the sport until he showed up out of shape and gassed badly against Strikeforce vet Dion Starling last October. For the first 3 minutes of that fight, Ante looked like he was on the verge of punching his ticket to the UFC, before his lack of cardio caught up with him. He has good size, athletic ability for a HW with a decent skill set that he has worked to round out. Smoldarev has a strong Sambo background and is a great prospect in his own right. While the same height as Delija, Smoldarev is a bigger fighter, pushing the 265lbs limit.
Delija vs. Strmonja - Forward video to 3:15
Ilya Doderkin (4-0) vs. Daniel Tabera (17-5)
Doderkin comes from a Sambo background and has stopped all four of his opponents as a pro. He has good takedowns but his striking does not appear to be especially refined and is a skill that he will have to improve moving forward.
Maxim Divnich (7-0) vs. Niko Puhakka (28-14)
Divnich brings his kickboxing pedigree into MMA and has KO'd 4 of his 7 opponents to this point.
Titan FC - 28 Feb - Kansas City, Kansas
Croom is riding a 9 fight-winning streak including 8 first round stoppages. He is already scheduled to compete for the MFC LW title in May if he can get through this fight unscathed. He has built around his high school wrestling base but also has very good power on the feet.
Sean Strickland (13-0) vs. Tomasz Drwal (20-4)
#4 Middleweight Prospect
KOTC MW Champion Strickland steps into hostile territory to take on the UFC veteran Tomasz Drwal. Strickland has faced a good but not great strength of schedule to this point in his career, but facing a solid UFC veteran could be the fight that lands him an offer from one of the bigger organizations.
Lukasz Klinger (6-0) vs. Tomasz Kondracluk (10-4)
Age: 30 Age: 25
Height: 6'2 Height: 6'0
Klinger is a well rounded Polish fighter who is training and fighting out of England now. His does not have one dominant base, but has some experience with wrestling, boxing and kickboxing that he has blended together very well.
Review from last week:
Legacy FC - 21 Feb - San Antonio, TX
Bubba Bush (7-2) submitted Rakim Cleveland (6-4) to retain his Legacy MW title. I would not be surprised if Bush gets a call from UFC soon.
Cosmo Alexandre (6-1) showed off his Muay Thai background with a vicious TKO of Rey Trujillo. Alexandre made his MMA debut for Bellator, but was public during the Bellator/Eddie Alvarez dispute as another fighter who was not happy with the organization. He has now won six in a row since losing his pro debut, and could be headed to bigger things in the near future.
M4TC - 22 Feb - Tyne and Wear, England
James Mulheron (5-0) picked up a UD over Stav Economou (15-4-1).
Ryan Scope (8-0) TKO'd Phil Flynn (10-8) early in the 1st round.
CFFC - 22 Feb - King of Prussia, PA
Levan Makashvili (7-0) picked up the UD victory over Jordan Stiner (6-1) in a battle of previously undefeated fighters.
Vale Tudo Japan - 23 Feb - Tokyo, Japan
Yuta Sasaki (16-1-2) stopped his fourth straight opponent, with a submission over Akihito Ishihara (6-2-1). Sasaki would be another great addition to the UFC's BW division if they can get him signed.
Takeshi Kasugai (13-3-1) dropped a majority decision to Hiromasa Ogikubo (11-3). Ogikubo has won 5 of 6, with the only loss coming to current UFC fighter Kyoji Horiguchi. Ojikubo advanced in a FLW tournament along with Czar Sklavos, Kana Hyatt, and Ryuichi Miki.
I'm not perfect, if I've missed a prospect let me know in the comments section.