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Welcome to the UFC, Oluwale Bamgbose

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The UFC brings on an exciting new middleweight talent to fight Uriah Hall on short notice in Nashville.

Middleweight prospects are a rare thing. For a division that has built up (even recently) some shining stars, there's a lot of chaff at the bottom of 185 lbs. When big prospects do emerge, they often have a chance to shoot up the ranks quickly. It's a division that supports fighters that want to blitz their way to the top, if they can. It's also a division that sees many fighters rise too far too fast and end up with multiple setback losses. The next fighter looking to turn a hot start into a powerful UFC debut is Oluwale Bamgbose. The Nigerian-American fighter comes to the UFC on the back of an injury to Joe Riggs, and will be fighting Uriah Hall at UFC Nashville on August 8th. The UFC made the signing official, So...

Who is Oluwale Bamgbose?

The 27-year old fighting out of Class One MMA under former Pride Bushido fighter Luis Azeredo (owner of a win over Anderson Silva) comes to the UFC with a 5-0 unbeaten professional record. Oluwale appears to be the first major talent to spring out of C1, having captured the Ring of Combat MW title in just his fourth pro fight, with a win over Devon Morris. Overall, he hasn't faced any particularly surprising competition, mostly squaring up against similarly green fighters. Outside of MMA, Oluwale started TaeKwonDo at age 17 and is otherwise something of an MMA native. For a better look at his non-fighting life, you should check out Steph Haynes' interview with him from earlier this year.

What you should expect:

Oluwale looks like a complete powerhouse in the cage. He keeps a low, wide base and dips his body down, leaping forward with fast, powerful combinations. His punching isn't a marvel of technical ability, but he mixes hooks with straight shots to get around opponents defense and throws all his power into everything. Because of that last point, he really tends to put himself off balance as he's throwing punches, and patient fighters (or even fighters who can counter him) can catch him overreaching and if not hurt him, cause him to lose his balance and fall to the mat. His ground game looks really raw. He's tends to try and explode out of bad grappling positions and is mostly a blanket from top control. But, he's shown some good tendencies for transitional strikes in the clinch or as opponents are getting up. It will be interesting to see what becomes of his kicking game. He throws some hard basic kicks, but mixes in a lot of showier, less effective strikes too. It seems like the kind overall style he couldn't carry easily for multiple rounds, but to date hasn't been tested that far.

What this means for his debut:

Against Uriah Hall, I'm not at all sure. Quite frankly a fighter like Bamgbose should be cannon fodder for Hall at this point in Hall's career. There's very little structure to his game, he looks like he's got a low gas tank, and he's not a way better athlete than Hall (mostly because Hall is an exceptional athlete). But, Bamgbose is aggressive and Hall is very willing to let himself get hit by fighters who won't give him time and space to set up exactly what he wants to do. It's a massive step up in competition for Bamgbose, but he's got an opponent who will probably give him a chance to win.

To get us better acquainted, here's video of Bamgbose's January 23rd title fight against Devon Morris: