Here are some of the better prospects in action over the next week.
Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye - 31 Dec - Tokyo, Japan
Satoshi Ishii (10-2-1) vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (15-9)
Ishii is the 2008 Olympic Gold medalist in Judo. His career got off to a rough start as he was match with an accomplished veteran Hidehiko Yoshida in his first fight, and Fedor in his 6th. Since a year off after the Fedor fight, and some reports that he had serious, potentially career threatening injuries, he has returned and this will be his 7th fights in the last 12 months. The list of guys he has beaten includes Tim Sylvia, Sean McCorkle, Pedro Rizzo, and Jeff Monson. Ishii will need to continue working on his striking, as against Monson he appears to have a rinse and repeat cycle of a few weak jabs, followed by his left hand. Monson has never been known to be a dangerous striker, and Ishii was never threatened with a takedown by Monson. Ishii's clinch as you would expect from an elite judo practitioner is his strength. He has some very nice takedowns on Monson in their fight, and launched a much bigger McCorkle in their matchup. Ishii looked very tired by the end of the Monson fight, even though it wasn't fought at a grueling pace, but I will give him a little bit of a pass, as that was his 6th fight in 10 months at that point.
Cage Warriors FC - 31 Dec - Dublin, Ireland
Alers is the CWFC Featherweight Champion, and riding a seven fight winning streak heading into his next defense. He was #5 on the 2012 BE Prospect report. Jim was a wrestler in high school, but quickly transitioned to BJJ, and is currently a brown belt training with Alliance Jiu-Jitsu, and Gracie Barra in Orlando Florida. An opponent would be setting himself up for failure if he just focuses on Alers grappling, as he has developed a good striking game to complement, and help set up his takedowns. In 2012 Jim was schedule to fight Conor McGregor, but McGregor pulled out with an injury, and then signed with UFC shortly there after. Alers would love to get the chance for that fight to happen in the UFC.
Mateusz Teodorczuk (10-2) vs. Paul Redmond (8-3)
Since dropping 2 in a row back in 2010, Teodorczuk has reeled off eight straight victories, and has put himself on in a good position to move to a bigger promotion with 1 or 2 more wins.
Review from last week:
Iron Fight Combat - 19 Dec - Jacobina, Bahia, Brazil
Roniele Gomes (8-0) picked up a UD victory over Dymitry Damianny (1-2)
Shooto Brazil - 20 Dec - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Alexandre Pantoja Passidomo (14-2) extended his winning streak to seven with a UD victory over Lincoln da Sa (11-3).
Jungle Fights - 21 Dec - Belem, Para, Brazil
Larissa Pacheco (9-0) scored a 3rd round TKO over Irene Aldana (3-1) to be crowned the first Jungle Fights Female Bantamweight Champion. Female talent isn't in abundance in MMA, so I suspect that Pacheco will become the next in the growing line of Jungle Fights champions to make the jump to the UFC.
Douglas Andrade (22-1) needed only 25 seconds to TKO Tiago Passos (5-5). Douglas has now won 22 straight.
Rodrigo Lima (8-1-1) picked up the Jungle fights WW title with a 1st round submission over Gabriel Toussaint (7-2).
Rebel FC - 21 Dec - Singapore
Rob Lista (13-5) submitted Takeshi Inoue (21-9) in the first round. Rumors are out there that Lista needed an impressive performance here to secure a UFC deal, and he delivered on his end.
I'm not perfect, if I've missed a fight that you know of... or someone has pulled out of a fight let me know in the comments section.