Time To Take A Stand Against PEDS

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There is something very wrong with our sport.

We’ve all known it for a while but by and large we’ve taken each failed PED test as an isolated incident, shaken our heads about cheats and tried not to think too hard about it.

We can’t do that anymore. With Jon Fitch, Hector Lombard and most shockingly of all… Anderson Silva, the Greatest of All Time failing drug tests, it’s clear that cheating is endemic in MMA and the sport as a whole has to do something drastic about it now, or else risk it’s very future.

It’s clear that we can’t rely on all the promotions to do it because drug testing is expensive and can cost you your star attraction, both of which can sink a lesser company. We can’t rely on the many governing bodies to do it, because as we’ve seen so often, they are directly beholden to the promotions for their funding and you don’t bite the hand that feeds.

So, is an international governing body the answer?

No. For one thing, such a body would be almost impossible to create in a meaningful fashion. For another, it’s been shown that international governing bodies tend to be far from corruption and bias free (yes FIFA and the IOC, I’m looking at you.)

In a sport which is dominated by one brand, it falls to the UFC to put their money where their mouth is and take a stand. They need to institute a broad ranging, transparent, out-of-competition testing regime, probably using one of the major independent anti-doping organisations like VADA or WADA where their fighters can be tested at any time.

These test results would be released to UFC officials and the public simultaneously, with set punishments for each drug infraction. A failure for PEDS should result in a ban of no less than a year and immediate stripping of any titles, while a failure for other drugs like painkillers or recreational drugs should receive a lesser, if still considerable penalty which includes mandatory rehabilitation treatment.

If the UFC – as the highest paying, most prestigious organization in the world – makes a stand against cheating, that you will be caught and your career will suffer considerable harm, then the use of performance enhancing drugs in the sport will diminish and at the very least, the sport will be seen to at least be trying to self police and keep itself clean.

Fighters with aspirations of UFC careers will be discouraged from juicing and promotion seeking to emulate the banner-brand’s sheen of respectability will follow suit insofar as they can.

If the UFC’s announcement today is anything less than something this far reaching, then the prospects for the sport as a whole are not pleasant.

MMA needs to be seen to be a clean, fair sport in order to maintain (let alone increase) it’s tenuous hold on mainstream acceptance. Any shirking from the contest ahead, against the sport’s inner demons could spell the end for MMA as a legitimate sport.

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BAMMA 15: Thompson vs. Selmani Preview

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BAMMA 15: Thompson vs. Selmani

April 5, 2014
The Copper Box
London, England

BAMMA return with their first card of 2014 and while the event lacks some of the star power of previous cards (no Paul Daley, Jim Wallhead, Max Nunes who headlined their three 2013 events) it’s got a lot to offer and has quite a few matches which have genuine implications for the European rankings.

With Colin ‘Freakshow’ Fletcher reduced to a supporting role following his first round submission loss to Mansour Barnaoui at BAMMA 14, the main event slot is taken by Oli Thompson (12-5) who fights on British soil for the first time in over a year riding a 2-0 streak and looking to push himself back up the British & European rankings, following middling results after his UFC release.

Standing in the way is Albania’s Gzim Selmani (3-1*) who’s pro experience all comes from contests in the Balkans with Thompson being easily the biggest name he’s faced to date.

* The 5-1 record mentioned on the BAMMA website includes amateur fights, I go by Sherdog records.

With Thompson having eleven of his wins by stoppage and Selmani never having gone past the end of the second round, the chances of this match going the distance are minimal and we are surely in for a concussive battle.

I’d say that Thompson’s experience and well rounded game should make the difference here, but Selmani has impressive kickboxing and grappling credentials along with his MMA record and remains an unknown quantity, so we could see him take a big scalp along the way to making his name.

Competing for the BAMMA World Featherweight title, we have two of Europe’s best young 145lbers in Tom Duquesnoy (8-1) and Teddy Violet (8-0), both of whom hail from France.

Duquesnoy is coming off a TKO victory over the scrappy James Saville and carries a 4-0 streak into the match while living up to his ‘Fire Kid’ nickname with half of his wins by (T)KO so far.

Violet is a grappler at heart, with his undefeated record characterised by five submission victories with a variety of chokes seeming to be a trademark.

It’s a classic match between two fighters looking to make their name and it’s a good bet for fight of the night.

I’m a bit torn for my plus one pick this week with the two British title fights and the Flyweight bout between Rany Saadeh and Mahmood Besharate well worthy of anyone’s attention.

However, the other bout that really leapt out at me was Ryan Scope (8-0) vs. Ali Arish (20-2) as two of the nation’s best Welterweights facing off.

Scope is undefeated and always entertaining with his bout against Luke Newman at BAMMA 12 sticking in the memory, while Arish is coming off a win over Jack Mason in Cage Warriors which adds to previous victories over Matt Inman and Wayne Murrie.

Both guys are well rounded, with Arish’s greater experience, especially of bouts going the distance possibly being the difference.

It’s a great card – please check www.BAMMA.com for information on tickets and how to view the event.

Full Card

Oli Thompson vs. Gzim Selmani
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Teddy Violet for BAMMA Featherweight Title
Colin Fletcher vs. Tony Hervey
Wayne Murrie vs. Leon Edwards for Lonsdale British Welterweight Title
Andy De-Vent vs. Harry McLeman for Lonsdale British Middleweight Title
Ali Arish vs. Ryan Scope
Rany Saadeh vs,. Mahmood Besharate
Jack Grant vs. Jefferson George
Andy Craven vs. Richard Edwards
Alex Montagnani vs. Nathan Jones
Benny Carr vs. Jacek Toczydlowski
Nathaniel Wood vs. Ed Arthur
Mo Lasladj vs. Josh Bangert

UFC 171 – The Welterweight Renaissance Preview

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This Saturday in Dallas is the first day of the rest of Welterweight history, zero day in the post-GSP era. The four months since the Canadian’s controversial have been like a wake for the division, even if standout performances by the likes of Dong Hyun Kim and Tarec Saffiedine has reminded us that there is still life in 170lbs.

As of right now, the division explodes back into full life with a title match, no.1 contender’s bout and two more bouts between four accomplished fighters with their eye on the fluid peak of the division.

Topping the bill, Johny Hendricks (15-2) faces off with Robbie Lawler (22-9) in a match between reliably entertaining and heavy handed fighters for the biggest prize in the game.

Hendricks has only ever been defeated by grinding, tactical displays and Lawler’s losses have tended to come at higher weight classes and his lone KO loss is almost 10 years old…

Both men prefer to swing for the fences and even when they win by decision, it tends to be because they were the more aggressive fighter, rather than a canny game plan.

If the fighter’s records and pre-fight talk are any indication this should be a balls-out war that either ends in a highlight reel knockout or an epic, close fought five round decision.

I’d give Hendricks the edge on account of his chin, apparently heavier hands and his wrestling ability but Lawler is no slouch on any of those counts…

In the co-main event Carlos Condit (29-7) and Tyron Woodley (12-2) are set to duke it out for the dubious honour of being Hendricks or Lawler’s first defence of the title.

Condit has become a star in the UFC despite ‘only’ a 6-3 record in the Octagon thanks to his explosive performances and tendency to only lose to the very elite in highly competitive matches.

A striker by preference but with a capable ground game, Condit’s weakness has come against high level grapplers who can steal rounds against him with takedowns – although Condit’s ability for a flash KO has rendered the grinding of Rory MacDonald and Dong Hyun Kim obsolete in the past.

Grinding may be Woodley’s best tactic here as Condit is by far the more cultured striker and Woodley’s most consistent run of victories came via his wrestling. His recent form has been spotty, going 2-2 in his last four (which is also true of Condit, but against better opposition) with big KOs of the fading Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron and losses to the canny Jake Shields and Nate Marquardt.

Woodley COULD knock Condit out but. I think Carlos stands the better chance of winning a gunfight.

Next up we have almost a classic grappler vs. striker match as Jake Shields (29-6-1) takes on Hector Lombard (33-4-1).

Both these fighters came into the UFC on epic winning streaks and as the highly regarded Middleweight champions of their former organisations but have found success harder to come by in the UFC.

Shields dropped his second and third outings but has gone undefeated in four fights since even if he’s not found a finish. Lombard sits on a 2-2 run in the UFC but looks a killer since his recent drop to 170lbs.

While Shields tendency for decision and submission wins shows his ‘American juijitsu’ style and Lombard’s 19 KO victories pay testament to his reputation as a striker, it’s worth remembering that Shields trains with the Diaz brothers and uses solid striking to set up his takedowns and trips, while Lombard is a Olympic level judoka who also has considerable submission and grappling skills.

This is a very significant fight, with the winner joining Dong Hyun Kim and Rory McDonald in the pool of fighters just outside immediate title contention, and as much as I want to see a Lombard KO win, I’ve learned not to bet against Jake Shields. Close one.

Once upon a time, Rick Story (16-7) was on a six fight winning streak and probably one win away from a title shot. Back to back losses followed by a period of win one, lose one has seen Story mired in the midcard and in order to put together his first back to back wins in three and a half years he has to stop the rise of TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum (7-0.)

Gastelum was the quiet man in his season of TUF, coming in from the dark to confidently dispose of more vocal and celebrated fighters like Bubba McDaniel, Josh Samman and Uriah Hall. He looked an absolute beast in his second UFC bout against Brian Melancon and then actively asked for a fight against the notoriously difficult story.

So, does the comeback continue for the veteran or does the new star continue to rise? I guess we’ll find out on Saturday.

Full Card

MAIN CARD
Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler for vacant welterweight title
Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley
Myles Jury vs. Diego Sanchez
Hector Lombard vs. Jake Shields
Nikita Krylov vs. Ovince St. Preux

PRELIMINARY CARD
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Rick Story
Jessica Andrade vs. Raquel Pennington
Dennis Bermudez vs. Jimy Hettes
Alex Garcia vs. Sean Spencer

FIGHT PASS CARD
Renee Forte vs. Frank Trevino
Will Campuzano vs. Justin Scoggins
Robert McDaniel vs. Sean Strickland
Daniel Pineda vs. Robert Whiteford

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – UFC Fight Night 36 Edition

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New format for news and event recaps, trying to make them snappier for you and if I’m honest, more fun to write. Here goes…

The Good

The crowd – as usual in Brasil, the venue was packed from the start and vocal throughout. This always adds a sense of occasion to an event, especially when compared to the empty seats and evident apathy we see from some American venues.

Technique – it was a night where subtle technique shone over flashy finishes and the likes of Lyoto Machida, Jacare Souza and Charles Oliveira put on some clinics throughout the night, while Erick Silva’s brief demolition of Takanori Sato contained some beautiful striking, especially the body kick which backed the Japanese up.

Niko Musoke – Despite being knocked down right at the start by Viscardi Andrade, Musoke dug deep and pulled out the decision victory. I love a good comeback.

The Bad

Decisions – while there were no bad decisions (despite a high number of splits, they all went the right way) there were an awful lot of them – 10/12 fights going the distance. As much as there was a stack of good technique on show, that gets pretty wearing on the spectator after a while – especially coming up for 6am, UK time.

Traditional sports can have dull games, but they’re usually over within 2 hours or so – a decision laden UFC card lasts SIX hours. That’s almost a work-day…

Matchmaking – the top two matches were well made and showed it but a few fights seemed unbalanced.

Andy Ogle ranked #47 in the UFC (on Fightmatrix) and coming off a loss to Cole Miller, now ranked #21 faced Charles Oliveira, ranked #25 most recently lost to #3 ranked Frankie Edgar.

It’s seemed to me that Ogle has been booked to fail in his last three fights, set against larger, more experienced opponents and he’s still acquitted himself well, beating Josh Grispi and gamely taking the fight to Oliveira and Cole Miller.

Also Erick Silva, ranked #20 in the world and who’s losses in the UFC have come to a pair of top 5 ranked talents and a DQ was paired with a promotional newcomer, with a worse record and who has travelled the most notoriously difficult journey in MMA to fight. Takanori Sato, ranked 100 places below Silva, makes his UFC debut in distinctly hostile territory. That’s lopsided as hell and it showed on fight night.

You could even argue that someone ranked #120 in any division, shouldn’t be in the UFC, especially when they’re passing on Ben Askren.

However, that’s a rant all it’s own…

The Ugly

The crowd – there is such a thing as being TOO partisan.

Last of all, I’ll award honorary, KUMITE ‘of the Night’ honours.

Fight of the Night

Charles Oliveira vs. Andy Ogle

The story that played out here was the best all night, with Oliveira’s activity and talent almost constantly threatening to overwhelm Ogle’s sheer heart. Despite that, Ogle arguably won the second round and looked capable of stealing the third before being caught in the triangle.

Drama and narrative tend to engage me more than cold technique.

Performance of the Night

Erick Silva – for making his dispatch of Takanori Sato as entertaining as possible, with his sick body kick and skippy heel kick thing while Sato held into his leg being easily the two most memorable moves all night.

Jacare Souza – For overcoming the sheer size and strength if Francis Carmont with his impeccable takedowns and beautiful ground game.

Full Results (c/o MMA Junkie)

MAIN
• Lyoto Machida def. Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
• Ronaldo Souza def. Francis Carmont via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
• Erick Silva def. Takenori Sato via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:52
• Nicholas Musoke def. Viscardi Andrade via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Charles Oliveira def. Andy Ogle via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 2:40

PRELIMINARY
• Joe Proctor def. Cristiano Marcello via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
• Rodrigo Damm def. Ivan Jorge via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Francisco Trinaldo def. Jesse Ronson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
• Yuri Alcantara def. Wilson Reis via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
• Felipe Arantes def. Maximo Blanco via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
• Ildemar Alcantara def. Albert Tumenov via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
• Zubaira Tukhugov def. Douglas de Andrade via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

KUMITE European MMA Rankings, January 2014

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The first few weeks of the year are usually quite quiet so we’ve not had too much movement with the most significant event easily being Cage Warriors year-end show with some moves occurring on more regional shows and the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye end of year show.  So for the most part, these are the rankings as would have been if I’d done them in the first week of January after all the Hogmanay shows.  Ho-hum, let’s see where we stand as it all starts moving again…

Let’s get into it…

Heavyweight

1- Vitaly Minakov (Russia) 13-0, Bellator
2- Andrei Arlovski (Belarus) 21-10, WSOF
3- Stefan Struve (Netherlands) 25-6, UFC
4- Cheick Kongo (France) 20-8-2, Bellator
5- Alistair Overeem (netherlands) 36-13
6- Damian Grabowski (Poland) 19-1, IND
7- Alexander Volkov (Russia) 19-4, Bellator
8- Sergei Kharitonov (Russia) 21-6, IND
9- Alexey Oleinik (Ukraine) 53-9-1, IND
10- Magomed Malikov (Russia) 7-2, M-1

No movement due to inaction, but Phil DeFries and Konstantin Erokhin both moved closer to the top ten with late December wins over Brett Rogers and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou respectively.

Light Heavyweight

1- Alexander Gustafsson (Sweden) 15-2, UFC
2- Jimi Manuwa (England) 14-0, UFC
3- Attila Vegh (Slovakia) 29-4-2, Bellator
4- Mikhail Zayats (Russia) 22-7, Bellator
5- Gegard Mousasi (Armenia) 34-3-2, UFC (*returning to Middleweight in February)
6- Jan Blachowicz (Poland) 17-3, KSW
7- Victor Nemkov (Russia) 19-4, M-1
8- Linton Vassell (England) 12-3, Bellator
9- Jason Jones (Netherlands) 20-10, BAMMA
10- Cyrille Diabate (France) 19-9, UFC

No movement due to inaction, although February and March already have five of our ranked fighters booked to compete in UFC events.

Middleweight

1- Michael Bisping (England) 24-5, UFC
2- Mamed Khalidov (Poland) 28-4-2, KSW
3- Frances Carmont (France) 22-7, UFC
4- Alexander Shlemenko (Russia) 49-7 IND
5 – Luke Barnatt (England) 7-0 UFC
6 – Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (Russia) 23-2 M-1
7 – Michal Materla (Poland) 19-4 KSW
8 – Tom Watson (England) 16-6 UFC
9 – Ramazan Emeev (Azerbaijan) 11-2 M-1
10 – Faycal Hucin (France) 10-3 Cage Warriors NR

Several ranked fighters set to compete in February & March, while Andrey Koreshokov is removed due to his entry in the upcoming Bellator Welterweight tournament, proving his middleweight tenure was a one-off. He is replaced by Faycal Hucin.

Welterweight

1- Tarec Saffiedine (Belgium) 15-3, UFC def. Huyn Gyu Lim 1/4
2- Martin Kampmann (Denmark) 20-7, UFC
3- Gunnar Nelson (Iceland) 11-0-1, UFC
4- Cathal Pendred (Ireland) 13-2-1, Cage Warriors
5- Adlan Amagov (Russia) 13-2-1, UFC
6- Gael Grimaud (France) 19-6, Cage Warriors
7- Nicolas Dalby (Denmark) 11-0 Cage Warriors
8 – Paul Daley (England) 34-12-2 BAMMA
9 – Jim Wallhead (England) 25-8, BAMMA
10 – Aslambek Saidov (Poland) 15-3 KSW

Win for John Maguire at Cage Warriors on 12/31 moves him back towards to rankings contention following his losing streak and UFC release.

Lightweight

1- Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russia) 21-0, UFC
2- Rustam Khabilov (Russia) 17-1, UFC
3- Alexander Sarnavskiy (Russia) 26-2 Bellator def. Alexander Butenko 21/12
4- Ross Pearson (England) 15-6, UFC
5- Musa Khamanaev (Russia) 13-3, M-1
6- Norman Parke (Norther Ireland) 19-2 UFC
7- Ivan Buchinger (slovakia) 25-4 Cage Warriors (c) def. Steven Ray 12/21 UP 2
8- Piotr Hallmann (Poland) 14-2 UFC UP 1
9- Mansour Barnaoui (France) 11-2 BAMMA UP 1
10- Ramazan Esenbaev (Russia) 6-1 IND NE def. Satoru Kitaoka at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye on 31/12

Steven Ray drops out from #7 with his title loss to Buchinger, but given that he beat him up for three rounds only to fall into a submission, he’s a solid #11 and only held out of the rankings by Esenbaev’s win over Kitaoka in Japan.

Featherweight

1- Dennis Siver (Germany) 22-9, UFC – UP 2 def. Manny Gamburyan 28/12
2- Conor McGregor (Ireland) 14-2, 10-1 UFC DOWN 1
3 – Tom Niinimaki (Finland) 21-5-1 UFC DOWN 1
4- Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (Russia) 21-5, Bellator
5- Shabulat Shamhalaev (Russia) 12-2-1, Bellator
6- Joni Salovaara (Finland) 14-7 IND
7- Sergei Greicho (Lithuania) 15-5-1 OC
8- Chris Fishgold (England) 10-0 Cage Warriors
9- Akira Corassani (Sweden) 12-3, UFC
10– Marat Gafurov (Ukraine) 8-0 IND NE

Dennis Siver’s win on the undercard of UFC boosts him back to the top spot at the expense of injured Conor McGregor and Tom Niinimaki. Graham Turner’s loss to Jim Alers drops him from the rankings, bumping everyone below him and allowing Marat Gafurov into the #10 slot.

Bantamweight

1- Brad Pickett (England) 23-8, UFC
2- Brett Johns (Wales) 8-0, Cage Warriors ©
3- James Brum (England) 14-2, Cage Warriors
4- Ronnie Mann (England) 23-6-1 Cage Warriors
5- Timo-Juhan Hirbokangas (Finland) 8-2 Cage FC
6- James Pennington (England) 9-1 Cage Warriors
7- Martin McDonough (Wales) 11-4, Cage Warriors
8- Sirwan Kakai (sweden) 9-2, IND
9- David Haggstrom (Sweden) 7-2-1 IND
10 Ruslan Abiltarov (Ukraine) 15-4-1 IND

No movement due to inactivity of ranked and near-to-ranked fighters.

Flyweight

1- Ali Bagautinov (Russia) 12-2 UFC
2- Neil Seery (Ireland) 13-9 Cage Warriors ©
3- Phil Harris (England) 22-11 UFC
4- Pietro Menga (England) 10-0 FCC ©
7- Paul Marin (Romania) 7-3, Cage Warriors
8- Shaj Haque (England) 4-1 Cage Warriors
5- Mikael Silander (Finaland) 8-3 IND
6- Paul McVeigh (Northern Ireland) 19-8 Cage Warriors
9- Chris Miah (England) 5-0 IND
10- Rany Saadeh (Germany) 5-1 BAMMA

No movement due to inactivity of ranked and nearly ranked fighters.

Women’s P4P

(Due to the less developed state of Women’s MMA we’re ranking our top ten female fighters from across the weight classes – we hope to expand this section in future.)

1- Joanne Calderwood (Scotland) 8-0 Invicta FC
2 – Marloes Coenen (Netherlands) 21-6 Invicta FC
3 – Katja Kankaanpaa (Finland) 8-1-1 Invicta FC
4- Rosi Sexton (England) 13-4 IND
5- Aisling Daly (Ireland) 12-5 Cage Warriors – UP 4 def. Karla Benitez 13/12
6- Milana Dudieva (Russia) 8-3 ProFC DOWN 1
7- Maria Hoegaard Djursa (Denmark) 5-4 IND DOWN 1
8- Shiela Gaff (Germany) 10-6-1 UFC DOWN 1
9- Pannie Kianzad (Sweden) 4-0 IND DOWN 1
10- Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Poland) 4-0 IND

European National Rankings
(Each ranked fighter scores points for their nation, with a no.1 ranking earning 10 points, down to a 10 ranking earning 1 point. This is just for fun.)

1 – Russia – 109 pts
2 – England – 105 pts
3= Finland – 31 pts
4= Ireland – 31 pts
5 – Poland – 28 pts
6 – Netherlands – 25 pts
7 – France – 24 pts
8 – Sweden – 19 pts
9 – Denmark – 17 pts
10 – Germany – 14 pts

 

Five Fighters To Watch in 2014

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January is always a time where MMA journalists, bloggers and forum trolls opine as to who they think will make waves in the upcoming year and we’re no different, so here’s our selections.

Amanda Kelly (1-0)

There’s already one female, Scottish kickboxing champion in the UFC but another could easily be on the fast track to follow.

Despite a limited MMA record, Amanda showed her quality with a first round knockout win on her pro debut and her striking credentials are second to none.

A leading contender for CWFC’s breakthrough fighter of the year and sure to be a big part of that promotion’s expanding women’s diviions, the sky is the limit.

Next fight – vs. Laura Howarth, CWFC 64, Feb 15th

Follow @AmandaKellyMT on Twitter.

Emil Weber Meek (5-1)

Recommended to us by our good friend Anneli, Meek had a stunning 2013, going 4-0 and all via TKO finishing up with a win over Per Franklin on Scandinavia’s biggest show, Superior Challenge in November.

With the UFC seemingly committed to regular visits to nearby Sweden, Cage Warriors also expanding into Scandinavia not to mention the fact that his native Norway finally seems to be moving towards legalising combat sports, the future seems bright for ‘Hulk’.

Meek was named as MMA Viking’s Prospect of the Year for 2013 and we’re only to happy to agree with them.

Connect with Emil on Facebook.

Mike ‘Biggie’ Rhodes (6-1)

Recently signed by the UFC as the reigning RFA Welterweight champion, Rhodes is following in the footsteps of a production line of exciting talent to take the same path.

A well rounded fighter training out of Roufusport, Rhodes has already shown an ability to win via knockout, submission or grinding out a five round decision.

Like the rest of the RFA graduates, I can’t see him freezing on the top stage and if any debutant looks capable of swimming in the UFC’s insanely deep Welterweight division, it’s him.

Next fight – vs. George Sullivan, UFC on FOX 10, January 25th

Tweet Mike @TeamRocBiggie

Mizuki Inoue (7-1)

19 years old with eight pro fights under her belt, a successful Invicta FC debut over a fighter who is now signed to the UFC and currently sitting on a 5-0 win streak, it seems Inoue is destined for stardom.

The fact that she is one of the few top ranked Straw-weights not hoovered up the UFC almost makes her prop sects more interesting.

Not destined for the Ultimate Fighter house, she could just as easily be competing for the now-vacant Invicta belt or being called over to World Series of Fights to face the likes of Jessica Aguilar or Ailda Gray in 2014. Interesting times.

Keep up with Mizuki’s fight announcements on Facebook.

Toni Tauru (7-1-1)

The pick of Cage Warrior’s latest batch of signings, submission specialist Tauru looks to extend his seven fight win streak on a bigger stage, entering a stacked division with the prospect of compelling bouts against the likes of David Haggstrom, James Pennington, James Brum and Ronnie Mann all very possible.

Give Toni a follow on Twitter.