This time for some of the lesser known prospects in the sport. Most know who the bigger up and coming fighters are (Lawal, Woodley, P. Davis, J. Jones, Duffee etc.), but who are the best of the lesser knowns? Here's my list:
Chris Weidman:Chris Weidman - Prospect Info
Two time NCAA All-American wrestler who has picked up the BJJ game very quickly and had a decent turnout at the past ADCC. Currently training with the Serra-Longo fight team and appears to be very serious about his career as a mixed martial artist.
Karlos VemolaKarlos Vemola - Prospect Info
Big, strong heavyweight who was a former bodybuilder (I believe). Very aggressive and has run through all the opponents he's faced in his early career including Stav Economou.
Mike RicciMike Ricci - Prospect Info
Trains out of the Tristar gym and has been compared in terms of skill and potential to Georges St. Pierre. Also trains with the Canadian wrestling team apparently.
Mohamed KhachaMohamed Khacha - Prospect Info
Has been fighting for a very long time and is still young. Incredibly talented, yet very injury prone.
Hacran DiasHacran Dias - Prospect Info
Nova Unaio product who shows good potential in both his wrestling and BJJ game. Has an excellent camp and may be ready for one of the bigger shows.
Simeon ThoresenSimeon Thoresen - Prospect Info
Trains with Joachim Hansen and displays excellent potential in his grappling abilities. Has been lighting it up in Europe and is probably ready to showcase his talent with one of the bigger promotions in the sport.
Mike ChandlerMichael Chandler - Prospect Info
A really, really aggressive amateur wrestler who was Tyron Woodley's college teammate and also an All-American. Has been spending time with ATT and despite being very raw is also quite talented.
Marcin HeldMarcin Held - Prospect Info
Polish BJJ whiz-kid who is undefeated in his pro career - and he's only 17 years old. Obviously talented but far from a sure thing.
Ryan FordRyan Ford - Prospect Info
Incredibly talented, great set of raw tools, but his training just isn't there and it's questionable if he'll ever put it all together. Not entirely unknown either.
Dragan TesanovicDragan Tesanovic - Prospect Info
Well rounded Serbian fighter who has a had a very successful start to his career. Originally a submission grappler, his best quality right now might be his rapidly developing standup game.
Yancy MedeirosYancy Medeiros - Prospect Info
Might need to drop down to middleweight, but the Hawaiian has a decent wrestling base and has shown potential in his standup and ground and pound. Would have been really interesting to see him on the upcoming ultimate fighter but I don't believe he's on it.
Another Nova Uniao guy who is a very gifted grappler (duh). Has been very active over the last year or so and is definitely ready for step up in competition.