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2015 Bloody Elbow MMA Scouting Report #3 Featherweight: Felipe Froes

T.P. Grant and Zane Simon reveal their #3 prospect out of Brazilian powerhouse camp Nova Uniao.

The Featherweight list is underway and it might very well be the most prospect rich division in the entire sport. Together Zane and I  scouted around 130 fighters and narrowed it down to around 30 outstanding prospects. From them we selected out our Top 10 prospects, the rest will be covered in two EXTRA pieces.

So let's continue on with the list!

#3 - Felipe Froes

Record: 10-2 Height: 5'9" Age: 23 Years Pro: 4

Country: Brazil Team: Nova Uniao Base: MMA

Froes is from Ananindeua in Northern Brazil and began fighting in 2011 with Nova Uniao. As expected for a Nova Uniao fighter he has spent a good amount in the Shooto Brazil promotion and has been fighting since he was a teenager. Froes has the usual run of utter cans, but his two losses and draw come to very good, highly talented, far more experienced Brazilian fighters. He is still looking for his breakout win on the regional scene, but the indicators are all there that he is an elite fighter in the making.

Strengths

T.P. Grant: Froes is a fairly developed fighter at this point, and brings a three dimensional skill set into the cage. Froes has a great, pressure striking game and works very well coming forward with punches and kicks. While he will occasionally over commit to a strike, his footwork is actually quite good and he stays in solid position to chain strikes together. Froes hands are the centerpiece of his striking but he mixes in strong kicks and check knees, and punishes opponents who retreat in the face of his charges.

Froes' Nova Uniao roots really show themselves in his grappling, he has great hips and a punishing top game. He has good wrestling, solid passing game, heavy hips in dominant position, and strikes well on the ground. Froes has a submission game, though he prefers to finish with strikes once on the mat.

Zane Simon: If you've followed us as we go through our hunt for top prospects, you'll know that one of the big things we look for in developing fighters is consistent pressure striking. Froes has that in spades, with his excellently developed arsenal of Muay Thai and boxing, particular to Nova Uniao Fighters. And like many of the best products of his famed camp, Froes isn't just technical and aggressive, but he's big too. Even standing at 5' 9" (not unusual for featherweight) he has shown a lot of power in his ability to keep the fights exactly where he wants them.

This physicality means that, unlike his co-prospect of Nova Uniao, Nikolas Motta (who we highlighted), Froes has a very strong, grinding, and active clinch game. Whether it's outside, inside, or against the fence, when Froes is standing upright he's in control of the fight. And, while it may not be technically gorgeous, his physicality also translates well to his takedown and top control games.

Points of Development

T.P. Grant: Froes doesn't break the bank athletically and his fights against more experienced competitors that has been a factor in his struggles. Now Froes is still in his young twenties and not yet in his athletic prime, so this is a problem that will become less of an issue. Also Brazilian prospects have a history of improving once they hit the big time because the increase in purse size allows them to eat and train more like a professional athlete. Besides that Froes' wrestling needs work, but the fact that he is at Nova Uniao, one of the very best camps at helping create anti-wrestler strikers, that also is likely to improve.

Zane Simon: For someone who strikes as much as he does, Froes still has some problems defending strikes. He likes to swing wide early in exchanges before tightening up and sometimes those wide swings lead to him getting hit. Otherwise, his wrestling is solid but could use some refining, and his grappling would benefit from increased aggression, but those are minor things that tend to develop with time.

Overall Projection

Froes game is very similar to Jose Aldo's, but he is clearly not on the phenom, all-time great path that Aldo was on coming up. Froes simply doesn't have the dynamism or explosion in his striking game that Aldo has, but that isn't to say he is a poor striker. Froes has the makings of a savvy and technical striker, with a solid wrestling and ground game. As is, Froes would be good fodder for UFC Brazi event undercards. With a bit of development and growth he could be Featherweight Martin Kampmann, technical and crafty in all phases. The high end for Froes is as a title contender in the mold of a Jose Aldo or Renan Barao, with less explosive athleticism.

Stay tuned for a special double feature for the #2 Featherweight prospect! And to look up other articles in this series check out the table below. 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

Flyweight Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight Welterweight
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#3. Froes
#4. Jordan
#5. Motta
#6. Vitruk
#7. Askhabov
#8. Grundy
#9. Matmuratov
#10. Azhiev
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#1. Usman
#2. Mustafaev
#3. Nurmagomedov
#4. Khaliev
#5. Scope
#6. Vartanyan
#7. Kadestam
#8. Piraev
#9. Amosov
#10. Tokov
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#2. Martell
#3. Kurbanismailov
#4. Astakhov
#5. Ankalaev
#6. Edilov
#7. Prochazka
#8. Albrektsson
#9. Moore
#10. Gamzatov
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