Unsigned Heavyweights - Thread Four

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by Paul L, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

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    This post is dedicated to the heavyweight prototype of the modern prospect scouting era, Guram Gugenishvili. Please see this video posted in honor of his memory. Guram's memorial video.

    For previous Unsigned Heavyweights threads, please see the following links: Thread Two | Thread Three

    Due to the overall scope of the heavyweight division and the visibility most new prospects receive as opposed to other divisions, I thought it would be interesting to post my personal list of upcoming heavyweights that could eventually make their way into a major promotion.

    I've only listed fighters who have never been signed by the UFC, Pride, Strikeforce, or Bellator, with preference to fighters under 35. Factors I've taken into account when profiling fighters are: Age, camp, record, level of opposition, dedication (fight consistency and athleticism), and skill-set.

    Please feel free to post your own prospects, and promote discussion of heavyweights outside major organizations in this thread to make it a continuing resource for fans and insiders alike.


    1. Amir Aliakbari [​IMG]

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 250 Age: 30 Reach: N/A Rec: 9-1

    Former Greco-Roman wrestler and worlds gold medal winner Amir Aliakbari holds both the potential to be one of the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artists of all time, or one of the most infamous. While Amir Aliakbari's contentious past is behind him, his long term success relies on it to never recur. As one of the greatest Greco-Roman wrestlers on the planet, Aliakbari's athletic ceiling is as massive as he is. Training at AKA Thailand with Soa Palelei and recently Mark Hunt, Aliakbari has a solid stable of training partners to advance his skill-set.

    2. Denis Goltsov [​IMG]

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 240 Age: 27 Reach: N/A Rec: 22-5

    An accomplished striker and opportunistic grappler, Goltsov had a rough start to his career, earning 3 submission losses and a TKO to fellow heavyweight Alexander Volkov. Goltsov stands at a very lean 6'5, however despite his thinner frame, he carries explosive one punch knockout power. Goltsov has recently proven his losses were simply growing pains, and has compiled an impressive resume of wins over veterans and prospects alike. A Russian combat sambo champion, with wins over the best combat sambo practitioners in the world, Goltsov's abilities as a mixed martial artist are well refined and extremely deadly. Goltsov has fluid, movement heavy striking, and can stand toe to toe with any striker in the world without ceding a disadvantage. Goltsov's submission game is strong on the top, and he often creates scrambles on the bottom to lock in a sneaky triangle or sweep. Goltsov's one weakness is in his wrestling. As a thinner fighter who relies on speed and finesse, Goltsov has problems with powerful wrestlers who seek to impose a clinch heavy, grinding style of fight. If Goltsov can acclimate to a more wrestle heavy North American scene, he can see success similar to fellow heavyweight Alexander Volkov.

    3. Dontale Mayes [​IMG]

    Height: 6'6" Weight: 250 Age: 26 Reach: 82" Rec: 5-2

    Former NCAA basketball forward Dontale Mayes brings a rare athletic pedigree to the sport. Standing at a towering 6'6" and weighing in at 250 pounds, Mayes can move like a welterweight, displaying bursts of quick and dynamic boxing mixed in with a grinding clinch game. Mayes speed is almost unique in the heavyweight landscape, bringing back memories of the raw agility and finesse of Pride sensation Mirko Cro Cop. Sporting an 8-0 amateur record and a rapidly increasing repertoire of MMA experience, Mayes eventual entry into a larger organization is only a formality.

    4. Salimgerey Rasulov

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 250 Age: 31 Reach: N/A Rec: 16-7

    An accomplished Russian hand to hand combat champion and experienced Sanda stylist, Rasulov is extremely technical and evasive on the feet. With a rough start to his early career Rasulov has put together several high profile wins, and has shown that adapting and improving are two of his greatest assets. A short heavyweight at only 6 feet, Rasulov none the less has shown he can fight larger opponents with little issue. While Rasulov's striking is his focus, his most notable secondary skills come in his wrestling and takedown defense, often frustrating powerful wrestlers by forcing the fight on the feet.

    5. Mukhomad Vakhaev

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 250 Age: 28 Reach: N/A Rec: 6-4

    The classic Russian grinder, Vakhaev is an extremely physical and tenacious fighter. Pressure, clinch fighting, and takedowns are Vakhaev's bread and butter, and despite his deceptive record, his ability to break superior fighters is almost unparalleled. With a huge upset over a top heavyweight prospect in Denis Golstov, Vakhaev has a high standard to live up to if he is to maintain his status as a prospect. Fighters who can wrestle and make opportunities to create distance will be difficult opponents for Vakhaev. In order to reach his potential, he will need to follow in the footsteps of fellow pressure fighters such as Cain Velasquez, improving his striking, conditioning, and strength to further compliment his close quarters style.

    6. Ante Delija

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 250 Age: 28 Reach: N/A Rec: 15-3

    A mainstay of the Unsigned Heavyweights thread, Delija has had a place on this list the longest out of any fighter. Initially profiled as a wild-card who's sloppy striking and aggressive finishing instinct would lead to mixed success, Delija has evolved to be a serious threat in the division. Still only in his late 20's, Delija has taken a few losses to finally work out the holes in his game. Under the direct tutelage of Mirko Cro Cop, Delija is the next generation of Croatian heavyweight, poised to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors. Delija's current skill-set consists of measured and powerful striking, and while his use of distance is still a work in progress he can easily end fights just off well placed power strikes. Not being just a striker, Delija also has an opportunistic grappling game, displaying competent takedowns and an experienced submission game. Delija's future was and continues to be bright. One day he may even graduate off this list, displaying all the improvements and changes he has made from a young prospect in his early 20's to a matured and well versed heavyweight contender.

    7. Sergey Spivak

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 240 Age: 23 Reach: N/A Rec: 8-0

    One of the youngest heavyweight prospects in the world is also one of the biggest wild cards. Fighting out of the notoriously low level Ukrainian regional scene, Spivak's impressive performances may be the heralding of a future high level fighter, or simply a result of the contrast inherent in fighting very low level opponents. Nicknamed "Polar Bear", Spivak's uncommon size and strength were a rarity even as a teenager, attributes that only seem to be increasing with age. Whether Spivak will follow in the footsteps of young East European fighters like Nikita Krylov remains to be seen, and higher level competition will be needed for future insights on his potential.

    8. Karol Bedorf

    Height: 6'2" Weight: 255 Age: 34 Reach: 78.5" Rec: 15-3

    KSW's talent at heavyweight and BJJ black belt, Bedorf makes the profiles list more-so due to his consistency than any other factor. Bedorf nullifies opponents strengths and works on their weaknesses well, as displayed in his recent fights against aging veterans and journeyman opponents. Bedorf's primary flaws lie within his strength of competition, fighting only mid level heavyweights that will not challenge him to become a better fighter.

    9. Raphael Pessoa

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 245 Age: 29 Reach: N/A Rec: 9-0

    Muay Thai expert Raphael Pessoa is another untested but highly touted prospect from Brazil. Sporting a BJJ purple belt and a strong top game, Pessoa is ready for wherever the fight goes. When Pessoa falls into his groove he finishes fights quickly and brutally. Pessoa's one downside is when his opponents keep him out of his comfort zone, he scales back offense and can often close fights out by decision.

    10. Alexander Romanov

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 260 Age: 27 Reach: N/A Rec: 9-0

    A true rarity in MMA, Alexander Romanov hails from a sumo background. A compact stocky heavyweight with excellent wrestling complimented by his sumo skills, Romanov runs through a typically wrestling weak European fight scene. Fighters rarely mount offense as Romanov throws and batters them, showcasing exceptional strength and power. Romanov's striking is still a work in progress, although he has shown natural power on the feet. Romanov will likely remain undefeated on the European circuit until he moves to a larger organization or encounters a wrestling savvy opponent on the Russian fight scene.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018 at 10:00 PM
  2. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

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    11. Jairzinho Rozenstruik [​IMG]

    Height: 6'2" Weight: 245 Age: 30 Reach: N/A Rec: 5-0

    High level kickboxer Jair Rozenstruik is one of the deadliest strikers to ever grace the ring. Already one of the fastest strikers in the division, Jair strings together combinations and utilizes explosive punches to topple opponents like a row of dominoes. Recent fights have shown Jair to have a developing ground game, however fighters with strong wrestling and BJJ will be able to take advantage of his inexperience. If matched correctly and given time to grow, Jair could end up a top 10 heavyweight based purely off his lightning fast striking and pinpoint accuracy.

    12. Ciryl Gane

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 240 Age: 28 Reach: 83" Rec: 2-0

    To be profiled shortly.

    13. Roggers Souza

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 245 Age: 28 Reach: N/A Rec: 8-0

    As a training partner for Junior Dos Santos, Roggers Souza has the experience of working with a high level UFC heavyweight to compliment his already brutally effective skill-set. A talented boxer with a good ground game, Souza is definitely not a one dimensional fighter. While his ground game is serviceable it's his striking that defines him as a fighter. Powerful accurate strikes that break down his opponents and cause quick stoppages are the highlights of Souza's fight reel. With a planned move to the Russian regional scene, Souza will find himself out of his comfort zone and into the fire as he hopes to make his name not only stand out in Brazil, but globally.

    14. Alikhan Vakhaev

    Height: 6'6" Weight: 250 Age: 25 Reach: N/A Rec: 7-2

    A lanky heavyweight from Chechnya, Vakhaev is all about utilizing reach and distance to coax stoppages from his opponents. Vakhaev keeps his distance and looks to land jabs, often rocking his opponents who charge in to get into his range. When in the clinch he uses his height well to land knees and create distance with his long limbs. Vakhaev's success has not only been tied to his physical attributes. Grappling and an exceptional ability to scramble have been an important part of the Chechen's arsenal. Vakhaev's major downside is his promotion. Akhmat rarely has warm up fights and Vakhaev may find himself fighting a murderers row of opponents in the future. If he can pass through this gauntlet of opposition, he will assuredly find himself joining fellow Akhmat fighters in the UFC's ranks.

    15. Mohammed Usman

    Height: 6'2" Weight: 255 Age: 29 Reach: N/A Rec: 3-1

    Brother to ranked UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman, Mohammed Usman looks to emulate his brothers success in the cage. A standout high school wrestler with a first place ranking in Texas, Usman eventually transitioned to football in his collegiate years as a defensive linebacker. Still an exceptional athlete, Usman would turn to MMA once his football aspirations cooled, choosing to go directly to pro instead of gaining experience in the amateur ranks. Usman's athleticism is extreme and his physical, explosive style allows him to overwhelm fighters quickly and brutally. While Usman has all the physical advantages, his skills as a mixed martial artist need refining. With a recent loss to a much more experienced opponent in Don'Tale Mayes, Usman needs to get a handful of fights under his belt before making the move to a big organization. Time and practice will be Usman's ultimate boon, and when his skills start to round out he will undoubtedly see the same success as his brother.

    16. Alton Meeks [​IMG]

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 250 Age: 24 Reach: N/A Rec: 2-0

    High school wrestling champion, D1 linebacker out of Iowa State, and ranked Greco Roman Wrestling World Team trials competitor, Alton Meeks is a high potential grappler with exceptional athleticism. Meeks fighting style is very explosive and powerful, he closes distance well and slams his opponents to the ground, raining down ground and pound as soon as the fight hits the mat. Training in Florida with the remains of the Blackzillians, Meeks has high level training partners to nurture his skills and propel him to an early entry in a big organization.

    17. Rodrigo Nascimento

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 245 Age: 25 Reach: N/A Rec: 6-0

    Another Brazillian who comes from a BJJ background, Nascimento is a scrappy striker with an opportunistic and aggressive ground game. Using his striking to setup clinches or send his opponents to the mat, Nascimento's goal is to get the fight to the floor. Not content to just keep position, Nascimento will be relentless with submission attempts, even dropping to his back to lock in a triangle or roll for an armbar. Nascimento is still young and improving and will likely encounter a large jump of opposition before he debuts in a larger organization. Being able to defeat a higher level of opposition will be Nascimento's challenge, as failure will relegate him to the ranks of the many undefeated heavyweights from Brazil before him who have not been able to make the step up.

    18. Sergey Bilostenniy

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 230 Age: 23 Reach: N/A Rec: 5-1

    Speedy striker Sergey Bilostenniy is probably best suited to 205 pounds, but at heavyweight he is a whirlwind with a massive speed advantage over his peers. Utilizing good footwork, angles, and mixing up strikes to the body and head, Bilostenniy is a headache for the typical slow, plodding heavyweight that dominates the scene. Bilostenniy is still very young at 23 and will need to use his age to spend time working on his wrestling, clinch, and submission defense. With the right learning path and the right opponents, Bilostenniy has a massive amount of potential, and could very well find himself one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world.

    19. Anton Vyazigin

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 250 Age: 26 Reach: N/A Rec: 11-2

    A powerful striker from Russia, Vyazigin also boasts a well rounded MMA game. On the feet Vyazigin is all explosion, circling his opponents and suddenly unleashing torrents of strikes. Vyazigin's wrestling is also serviceable should he find himself outgunned on the feet, utilizing his massive strength to drag opponents to the mat. Vyazigin's flaws lie in his striking defense and fitness. Often leaving holes on the feet, Vyazigin can take big shots to deal big shots. Originally a slim 240 pound heavyweight, Vyazigin has been pushing the 265 pound limit in recent fights. Cardio and overall durability has been an issue with the extra 30 pounds of fat, a massive problem he will need to fix before once again building a win streak.

    20. Michal Martinek

    Height: 6'2" Weight: 230 Age: 27 Reach: N/A Rec: 7-0

    Martinek may not be a pick for a future top 10 heavyweight, however his winning streak and success in the cage speaks for itself. An ultra strong grinder, Martinek prefers the clinch and taking his opponents to the ground, peppering them with ground and pound while maintaining dominant positions. Martinek has decent cardio, decent strength, and decent wrestling. These three characteristics get him by the regional level of European competition, however when going against higher level regional fighters he may find himself out-classed in all of the above.

    20. Evgeniy Goncharov

    Height: 6'1" Weight: 250 Age: 32 Reach: N/A Rec: 14-2

    Another fighter from the seemingly endless pool of heavyweights from Russia, Evgeniy Goncharov is a well rounded, smaller heavyweight who could probably hit the 205 mark in time. While Goncharov's strengths are in his all around abilities, his defining trait is his aggression. Goncharov is usually a kill or be killed fighter who lives for up close and personal fights. Whether it's on the ground or slinging leather in the pocket, Goncharov wants to be in his opponents face at all times. With a recent win streak containing some big name regional fighters, Goncharov could be fielding contracts from a variety of larger promotions both at home and abroad.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018 at 9:16 PM
  3. mattandbenny

    mattandbenny Purple Belt Platinum Member

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    That top 10 is quality, imagine if those guys were all in the UFC... Would turn HW into one of the stronger divisions.
     
  4. covenant

    covenant Brown Belt

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    Unsure why the ufc has let so many of these hw prospects from eastern europe slip through their grasp whilst signing krylov or that chechen.

    Your really sold on curtis blaydes perhaps the ufc should make the call.
     
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  5. Devilboy86

    Devilboy86 Green Belt

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    It seems like the ufc doesn't sign heavyweights with limited experience as often as they used to . Maybe it's because they have a small heavyweight roster so it's harder to build guys up?
     
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  6. Devilboy86

    Devilboy86 Green Belt

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    They'd probably be more willing to sign bedorf or erokhin before the top 3
     
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  7. Tyrannosaurus rex

    Tyrannosaurus rex GrizzlyTitan

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    Damn, I hope the UFC picks up some of those top 10 guys soon. Especially the top 2.

    Aliakbari has great potential, bus they may not want him due to his drug test history and the USADA thing. Maybe the risk of him popping is too big for the UFC right now, but if he keeps winning they may have to sign him anyway. For now, the UFC has Makhov, who I understand is an even better wrestler.

    Not sure why the UFC doesn't sign any of these guys though. The HW roster is already tiny, with a shitload of aging guys and lower level guys.
     
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  8. qw3rty

    qw3rty WAMMA Belt

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    From the heavies
     
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  9. Nathanli

    Nathanli Green Belt

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    Wow. Congrats to Blaydes. I feel like Paul L definitely had a role in putting him on the map.
     
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  10. beefcake180

    beefcake180 Aces Wild

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    Time to strike number one off the list!
     
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  11. DarkfireBoy

    DarkfireBoy Black Belt

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    Holy shit! Blaydes vs ngannou in ufc! Sucks that one of them has to lose though.
     
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  12. green ribbon

    green ribbon Orange Belt

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    Thought of this thread as soon as I seen the Blaydes news. Nice one Paul
     
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  13. mattandbenny

    mattandbenny Purple Belt Platinum Member

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    Bit dissappointed he's fighting Ngannou, they are both solid prospects. Great signing for UFC though.
     
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  14. Blobtheblobfish

    Blobtheblobfish Chimichanga

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    Thank you for making the list, it's amazing how much work you put into this.
     
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  15. CC27

    CC27 Gold Belt

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    Great to see Blaydes get picked up.
     
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  16. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

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    :D;)
     
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  17. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

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    The best heavyweight in a long time is now in the UFC, congrats to Curtis!

    That makes Sergey Pavlovich the best heavyweight not signed by a major promotion as of now. Hopefully we'll see him make the move soon as well. I'll compare Pavlovich to JDS and Blaydes to Cain, although they are both very different fighters, but the signing of those two would be similar to when they picked up JDS and Cain.
     
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  18. qw3rty

    qw3rty WAMMA Belt

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    Pavlovich has shown some interest on signing with UFC?

    I ask that because I could think M-1 could be behind him for obvious reasons
     
  19. Thesnake101

    Thesnake101 This builder can fix your face real quick

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    Really sucks that one of them has to lose since they're two of the best HW prospects the UFC has right now.
     
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  20. under_t

    under_t Brown Belt

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    It was rumored Pavlovich signed with UFC and would fight at Zagreb card.
    And he won't go to M-1 cause he is Fight Nights fighter.
     
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