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2015 Bloody Elbow MMA Scouting Report #2 Light Heavyweight: Iain Martell

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T.P. Grant and Zane Simon bring you the world's #2 light heavyweight prospect.

The Bloody Elbow Scouting Report continues on looking at the top 10 Light Heavyweight prospects in MMA for 2015. Myself and Zane Simon have scoured the MMA world looking for 205-pound fighters worthy of mention. While the division is often portrayed as being talented starved, after looking at over 100 fighters we found about 30 fighters who were contenders for our Top 10 list.

#2 - Iain Martell

Record: 10-1 Height: 6'0" Age: 24 Years Pro: 3.8

Country: England Team: Team Kaobon Base: Boxing

Martell hails out of one of England's major camps, Team Kaobon which produced UFC veterans like Terry Etim, Paul Kelly, Paul Sass, and Andy Ogle. Martell is a developing striking talent, and has spent much of his career fighting in the UK, but he does have some overseas experience with a few low level fights in Brazil. Interwoven with his MMA career, Martell has spent time fighting under UCMMA, which does MMA in addition to some odd MMA-kickboxing hybrid matches and, of course, Ultimate Ball. For all it's weirdness though, UCMMA has produced talented fighters like Jimi Manuwa, Linton Vassell, and Brad Pickett.

Strengths

T.P. Grant: Martell has a good offensive MMA striking game, with good punches, decent kicks, and good knees both in the clinch and at range. He has power to finish fights and has a good killer instinct, once he has a fighter hurt he stays on the attack. He stands tall in the clinch and creates good striking opportunities that he is learning to take advantage of as he progresses.

On the ground Martell is aggressive on the top, throwing strikes with good power and has solid base. He is an outstanding athlete and has great explosion to his game on the feet and on the ground.

Zane Simon: Martell is one of the only fighters we found in the list who combines an aggressive technical striking game with a power takedown game as well. He has good combination boxing inside, as well as a strong clinch game. Just the fact that he strikes well in combination without getting lost in the pocket speaks well to his potential in a division where striking is often done in big, one-off punches and kicks from the outside.

While Martell's ground game can be pretty static, he at least shows the ability to not only get, but maintain top control. he strikes with power and, when the opportunity arises, aggression. But, most importantly, he doesn't let his base go to search out sloppy submissions. His grappling game may not be a huge asset, but it's not a huge detriment either.

Points of Development

T.P. Grant: Martell's grappling is aggressive but sloppy. He ends up fighting a lot of submission attempts during takedowns and on the ground that could be easily avoided. His wrestling is not very developed at this point, he tends to try to power through everything and doesn't have much in the way of finishing game to his takedowns. On the feet Martell has some work to do as well. He has a tendency rest on the feet and defend strikes with raised forearms only, and will rely on his toughness in exchanges.

Zane Simon: Martell's striking on the outside is still pretty basic. He over-reaches his base, looking for looping hooks, to bring himself into range. Defensively, he can be a bit static, relying on a forearm guard rather than movement based striking defense. His wrestling is certainly basic, and he'd probably benefit a lot from spending some extra time in the states, getting on the mats with some real top end training partners, but he's at least breaking the mold of the UK striker that can't wrestle, and even has some reasonable takedown defense, and scrambling ability off his back.

Overall Projection

Martell  is a good athlete and good striker, and in the striking focused Light Heavyweight division he could do very well. Considering his camps strong ties to the UFC it seems likely he if continues to win that he will get a shot in the Octagon at some point. In his current state, Martell's success will come down to toughness, can he weather the damage his style puts him at risk of in order to land damaging strikes of his own. His striking style draws comparisons to Alistair Overeem for both its strengths and weaknesses. He'd be a mid-level Light Heavyweight now and an interesting striker for the division. If he shores up his holes, he might develop into a Top 10 talent.

Stay tuned for #1 and to look up other articles in this series check out the table below. We are almost done with Light Heavyweight and next up is Featherweight. For comments, questions, or suggestions head down to the comment line or reach out to T.P. and Zane on Twitter: @TP_Grant and @TheZaneSimon

2015 Bloody Elbow Scouting Report

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#2. Mustafaev
#3. Nurmagomedov
#4. Khaliev
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#6. Vartanyan
#7. Kadestam
#8. Piraev
#9. Amosov
#10. Tokov
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#4. Astakhov
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#8. Albrektsson
#9. Moore
#10. Gamzatov
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