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MMA Latest News’ Monthly Top 50 Prospects Outside the UFC: July ’15

Iain MacMillan



To many people who aren’t fanatics of the fight game, the terms “UFC” and “MMA” are synonymous. There are even people who think the sport itself is called “UFC”. It is pretty clear, and for good reason, that the Ultimate Fighting Championship is the largest and most recognizable fight promotion on the planet. When fans discuss who is the best of the best at any given time, they usually point towards the belt holders in the Zuffa owned UFC promotion as the fighters or are on the top of the food chain.
What many people don’t know is that there are copious amounts of athletes who are signed to other promotions who are easily skilled enough to be in the prestigious ranks of the UFC, and some who may even be good enough to fight for a UFC Title. A sport that has quickly become international in nature has talent hiding in every corner of the globe. To give these men and women some recognition for their accomplishments and skills, I have compiled my list of top 50 fighters not in the UFC.

These rankings get updated on a monthly basis. Movement in the rankings is based on results of the previous months fights, as well as signings by the UFC.

The only two criteria I use to make these rankings are;
1) The fighter has not previously fought professionally under the UFC, and
2) The fighter has competed at least 4 times as a professional.

Fighters formally on the list who are now signed by the UFC:
Fighter                                   Last Month on List (Rank #)            Date Signed by UFC
Tom Breese                            March ’15 (#19)                                   March 24th, 2015
Nicolas Dalby                         March ’15 (#17)                                   March 24th, 2015
Christiane Justino                  March ’15 (#2)                                     March, 2015
Jessica Aguilar                       May ’15 (#20)                                     June, 11th, 2015

NR = Not Ranked Last Month
– = No Movement in Rankings since Last Month
+X = Moved up in Rankings since Last Month
-X = Moved down in Rankings since Month

Number of Fighters in each promotion in Top 50:
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.23.48 PM

50) Darrell Horcher 11-1 (-)
Previous Fight: Win vs. Jordan Stiner at CFFC 45, February 7th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

49) Alex Enlund 11-2 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Nad Narimani at Cage Warriors 73, November 1st 2014
Next Fight: Not Announced

48) Jeremy Kennedy, 7-0 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Mario Pereira at Battlefield Fight League 34
Next Fight: Not Announced

47) Josh Hill, 11-1 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Josh Rettinghouse at GWFC 2: Coming Home, May 30th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

46) Blagoy Ivanov, 12-1 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Smealinho Rama at WSOF 21, June 5th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

45) Adriano Moraes 13-1 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Asuka Mikami at ONE Championship 25, on March 13th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

44) Marcin Tybura 12-1 (-)
Previous Fight: Loss (TKO) vs. Stephan Puetz at M-1 Challenge 57, on May 2nd 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

43) Bruno Menezes 15-5 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Nildo Nasciomento at Jungle Fight 77, May 9th 2015
Next Fight: vs. Ariston Franca (18-2) at Jungle Fight, August 22nd, 2015

42) Eduardo De Souza Silva 11-3 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Anderson Berlingeri dos Santos at Coliseu Extreme Fight 12, May 9th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

41) Ivan Buchinger 29-4 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Allyar Sarkerov at M-1 Challenge 56, April 10th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

40) Jonas Bilharinho 6-0-1: (-1)
Previous Fight: Win vs. Fabiano Fernandes at Jungle Fight 76, April 11th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

39) Saul Rogers 10-1 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Mine Nozomi at Real FC 2, May 2nd 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

38) Hakeem Dawodu, 5-0 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Chucka Willis at WSOF 21, June 5th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

37) Ramazan Emeev 12-3 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky at M-1 Challenge 56, April 10th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

36) Pietro Menga 12-0 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Steve McCombe at BAMMA Fight Night, August 2nd, 2014
Next Fight: Not Announced

35) Geane Herrera 8-0 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Josh Rave at RFA 25, April 10th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

34) Deanna Bennett 7-0: (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Norma Rueda Center at Invicta FC 11, February 27th 2015
Next Fight: Not Scheduled

33) Yuki Motoya 14-4 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Jong Heon Chae at Deep 72, on May 16th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

32) Toni “Dynamite” Tauru 10-2-1 (-10)
Previous Fight: vs. Bibiano Fernandes (#1) at ONE Championship 29, July 18th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

31) Luke Sanders 10-0 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Terrion Ware at RFA vs. Legacy, May 8th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

30) Tom Duquesnoy 10-1 1NC (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Krzysztof Klaczek at BAMMA 18, February 21st 2015.
Next Fight: vs. Brendan Loughnane at BAMMA 22, September 19th, 2015

29) Julio Cesar Neves Jr. (30-1): (-1)
Previous Fight: Loss vs. Jordan Parons (SUB) at Bellator 137, March 15th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

28) Henry Corrales 12-1 (-2)
Previous Fight: Loss (Sub) vs. Daniel Straus at Bellator 138, June 19th 2015.
Next Fight: Not Announced

27) Sergei Kharitonov, 23-5: (+3)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. vs. Kenny Garner at M-1 Challenge 59, July 3rd, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

26) Douglas “The Phenom” Lima 26-6 (-14)
Previous Fight: Loss (UD) vs. vs. Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 140, July 17th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

25) Stephan Puetz 13-1 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Marcin Tybura at M-1 Challenge 57, on May 2nd 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

24) Marcin Held 21-3: (-)
Last Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy at Bellator 136, April 10th 2015.
Next Fight: Not Announced

23) Timur Valiev, 9-1 (-2)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Ed West at WSOF 19, March 28th, 2014
Next Fight: Not Announced

22) Brandon Halsey 9-0 (-2)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Kendall Grove at Bellator 137, May 15th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

21) Andrey Koreshkov 18-1 (NR)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. #27 Douglas Lima at Bellator 140, July 17th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced

20) Brett Johns 12-0: (+3)
Previous Fight: Win (SD) vs. Anthony Gutierrez at Titan FC 34, July 18th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
His recent Split Decision win was enough to earn himself a spot in the Top 20, but his fight vs. Anthony Gutierrez may have raised concerns more than anything. Johns missed weight and was stripped of his Titan FC belt, which is now vacant. This is not the first time this has happened as his was stripped of his Cage Warriors belt last year for the exact same reason. Brett Johns needs to either move up in weight or figure out whats causing the cutting issues, or he may not get an opportunity from the UFC, who does not take missing weight very lightly.

19) Michael Chandler 12-3 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Derek Campos at Bellator 138, June 19th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
The former Bellator champion got back to his winning ways as he snapped his 3 fight losing streak in a BIG way vs. Derek Campos last month. After out classing Campos all over the mat, he submitted him in the 2nd round. Michael Chandler has learned from his losses and looks to be better than ever. Another impressive win could launch him even further up this list and he may even land among the top 10 where a lot of people think he belongs.

18)  Krasimir “The Wrestler” Mladenov 12-0 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Brendan Kornberger at WSOF 17, January 17th 2015.
Next Fight: Unannounced
This undefeated (13-0) Bulgarian fighter, who is currently signed with the WSOF, is an impressive grappler who has won every fight in dominate fashion. His last win came in January of this year at WSOF 17 where he picked up a unanimous decision victory over Brendan Kornberger.

17) Igor Svirid 11-1 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Leandro Ataides at ONE FC 22 – Battle of Lions, November 7th, 2014
Next Fight: Not Announced
Since losing his first professional bout, Svirid (10-1) has been on a 10 fight tear and is only hitting his peak now. The 28 year old from Kazakhstan is currently the ONE Championship Middleweight champion. His fight to claim the ONE crown back in November of last year lastest a total of 17 seconds as he defeated Leandro Ataides by TKO.

16) Alex Reyes 11-2 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Joshua Aveles at KOTC – Coming Home, March 15th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
While Reyes may not be facing the highest level of competition, this King of the Cage fighter is on a 11 fight win streak. He has dropped two spots solely to other guys that were behind him gaining momentus wins this past month.

15) Michael Page 8-0 (+15)
Previous Fight: Win (KO) vs. Rudy Bears at Bellator 140, July 17th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
“The Venom” has launched himself into the ever so prestigious Top 20 of our list. With his unorthodox but seemingly effective style, Michael Page has become one of the most watched and popular young prospects across the entire MMA Community. We have yet to see Page take on top level competition, as his given competition has been lackluster. It is time to give Page a step up in competition, and in doing so we will get a better idea for real this hype train really is.

14) Alexa Grasso 7-0 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Mizuki Inoue at Invicta FC 11 – Cyborg vs. Tweet, Febuary 27th, 2015
Next Fight: vs. Livia Renata Souza (8-0) at Invicta FC 14, September 12th, 2015
This young and talented mixed martial artist may be the brightest potential star for the UFC as she displayed her skill as well as her marketability in her latest win at Invicta FC 11. The 21 year old is undefeated, boasting an impressive 7-0 record that includes 4 first round KO/TKO finishes, all of which came in the first two minutes of the fight. She will have her toughest test to date when she takes on Livia Renata Souza in September.

13) Pannie Kianzad 8-0 (+5)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Jessica-Rose Clark at Invicta FC 13, July 9th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
The MMA world is searching for the woman who can potentially take down their bantamweight queen, Ronda Rousey, and Swedish fighter Pannie Kianzad may just be that woman. Kianzad is the former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion, and with an undefeated 8-0 record with 3 TKO/KO finishes to go a long with it, she is looking to be one of the top female European prospects. She won her Invicta FC debut this month with a win over Jessica-Rose Clark. I’d love to see her matched up with the winner of Grasso/Souza.

12) Patricio Freire 24-2 (+1)
Previous Fight: Win (KO) vs. Daniel Weichel at Bellator 138, June 19th 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
Bellators featherweight champ (23-2) could be a nice addition to the already electrifying 145 lbs roster of the UFC. Freire is the winner of 7 straight in which he finished 5 of his opponents inside the distance (1 SUB, 4 KO/TKO). He defended his belt against Daniel Weichel earlier this month by KO’ing him early in the 2nd round. Freire could easily be top 10 on this list.

11) Emanuel Newton 25-8 (-)
Previous Fight: Loss (UD) vs. Liam McGeary at Bellator 134, February 27th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
Before his recent loss to Liam McGeary, Emanuel Newton (25-8-1) was on the top of a lot of peoples list of talented fighter who weren’t in the UFC for a long time. Despite the loss, the former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champ still draws a lot of interest among fans who would like to see him become a part of the UFC’s roster and compete with the sports best. It has recently been announced that he will take part in a 4-man tournament which includes Phil Davis, Muhammad Lawal, and Linton Vassell. His first opponent is yet to be determined.

10) Lance Palmer 10-1: (-)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Chris Horodecki at WSOF 21, June 5th 2015.
Next Fight: Not Announced
Palmer defended his title in early June at WSOF 21 in impressive fashion, submitting Chris Horodecki in the 2nd round. The WSOF Featherweight champion proves that he is one of the top fighters in the world and deserves to compete among the elite. Fighting out of Team Alpha Male, Palmer has all the tools to be a star in the MMA world. You can check out my exclusive interview with the WSOF champion right here.

9) Marat Gafurov 11-0 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Ev Ting on May 22, 2015 at ONE Championship 28
Next Fight: Not Announced
This Russian ONE Championship fighter is undefeated (11-0) and has added yet another (6) first round submission as he defeated Ev Ting in the first round late last month. Undefeated and on fire, look for this impressive submission artist to continue his streak all the way to the top of Asias premier fight promotion.

8) Liam McGeary 10-0 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Emanuel Newton at Bellator 134, February 27th, 2015
Next Fight: vs. Tito Ortiz on September 19th, 2015
This undefeated (10-0) English fighter sky rocketed on this list when he defeated Emanuel Newton for Bellators 205 strap in an exciting 5 round contest. While a few more fights could leap frog him right in to the top of this list, his 9 finishes (5 KO/TKO’S, 4 SUBS) has more than earned his spot in the top ten. He will defend his title vs. former UFC LHW champion Tito Ortiz in September.

7) Marlon Moraes 14-4 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Josh Hill at WSOF 18, Febuary 12th, 2015
Next Fight: vs. Sheymon Da Silva Moraes at WSOF 22, August 1st, 2015
Moraes (14-4) has been hot lately, he’s on a 9 fight win streak (3 of which came via first round finishes) and is currently the WSOF bantamweight champion. The 26 year old is coming off a win vs. formerly undefeated fighter Josh Hill on February 12th of this year and has looked increasingly better each time we see him compete.

6) Will Brooks 16-1 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Dave Jensen at Bellator 136, April 10th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
Will Brooks is the owner of the biggest jump in the rankings from last month as he had a convincing win over Dave Jensen at Bellator 136. He has been improving each fight, and continues to impress with each performance. He may very well hold on to Bellators 155 pound strap for as long as he’s signed with the organization. Personally, I dream of one day seeing a fight between Brooks and #5 ranked Gaethje who is the current WSOF champ of the same weight class. At UFC 188 we witnessed former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez take on former Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez. Brooks vs. Gaethje would have a striking resemblance as they are two of the most prominent young champions in the two most competitive promotions next to the UFC.

5) Justin Gaethje 14-0 (-)
Previous Fight: Win (TKO) vs. Luis Palomino at WSOF 19, March 28th, 2015
Next Fight: vs. Luis Palmomino at WSOF 23, September 23rd, 2015
Nobody can say this guy doesn’t put on a show for the fans, as Gaethje defended his WSOF lightweight strap once again in a potential FOTY candidate against Luis Palmomino at WSOF 19 last month. This slugger with no fear showed some vicious strikes with an iron jaw to back it up. With a win against former UFC standout Melvin Guillard already under his belt, Gaethje will be looking for an opportunity to fight the sports best in his near future. WSOF has decided to grant Palmomino a rematch, which will happen in late September of this year at WSOF 23.

4) Mamed Khalidov 30-4 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Brett Cooper at KSW 29, December 6th, 2014
Next Fight: Not Announced
This Polish fighter has been dominating KSW for a long time, as he;s won 10 straight with the organization. Khadilov (30-4) holds impressive wins over high level mixed martial artists such as Melvin Manhoef and Kendall Grove. Unfortunately, the 34 year old’s time to compete in the UFC may be running out as his biggest opportunity passed come and passed him by when the premier promotion came to his home country a few months back.

3)Ben “Funky” Askren 14-0 1NC (-1)
Previous Fight: No Contest vs. Luis Santos (61-9-1) at ONE Championship 26, April 24th, 2015
Next Fight: Not Announced
While keeping his undefeated record in tact due to an eye poke vs. Luis Santos in April, Askren looked very beatable and was losing the fight up until the doctor stoppage. The rematch vs. Santos will be one to watch as he will try to regain his aura of wrestling invincibility.

2)Vitaly Minakov 14-0 (-1)
Previous Fight: Win (UD) vs. Cheick Kongo at Bellator 115, April 4th, 2014
Next Fight: Not Announced
This undefeated (14-0) Russian heavyweight is Bellators current champion who’s most recent title defense came against former UFC fighter Cheick Kongo. His 12 finishes (8 KO/TKO’s, 4 SUB’s) is exactly the kind of excitement and skill that the UFC’s heavyweight division desperately needs. He will need to fight soon in order to regain his top spot on our list as he hasn’t fought for over 15 months.

1) Bibiano Fernandes 18-3 (+3)
Previous Fight: Win (SUB) vs. Dae Hwan Kim at ONE FC 23 – Warrior’s Way, December 5th, 2014
Next Fight: vs. Toni Tauru #22 at ONE Championship 29, July 18th 2015
Fernandes (17-3) is the former Dream champion as well as currently the ONE championship bantamweight champ has been crowned the new champion of our list! He’s been on a 10 fight win streak which included 5 finishes, with his earliest win being one of his most impressive as he KO’d former Cage Warrior champ, Toni Tauru who was ranked 22nd on this list before the fight. One of Fernandes’ three losses came to future UFC HOFer Urijah Faber back in 2006 with King of the Cage.

We would love to hear your opinion about our list, so please tweet to us at @MMAlatestnws, or at me directly at @IainMMac to let us know who we left off, who should be on next time, and who doesn’t deserve to be on our list!

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Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking

Harry Davies



We spoke to the recently crowned BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore, as he prepares to defend his title against Richard Kiely at BAMMA 32 in Dublin.

Lohore (13-1) won the vacant BAMMA welterweight title last month at BAMMA 31 in London. Fighting his longtime rival Nathan Jones on the night, Lohore knocked out “Mr Bag & Tag” with a knee in the first round.

Q: Obviously the rivalry between you and Jones had been going on for years, but you finished it in brutal fashion. Did you to speak to him after the fight?

Yeah I did have a chat with him. I was telling him that it was a great fight and we should train together sometime, but he was he wasn’t really keen on it. I guess he was still a bit sore about the defeat.

Q: In the cage after your win, you called out Richard Kiely, now you’re fighting him. Are you happy you got the opponent you asked for?

Everyone keeps saying I called him out, I didn’t call him out, he called me out! I didn’t even address his name, I said ‘this Irish kid has been running his mouth we’re going to go out there and shut him up.’ I didn’t even know who he was. He’s been mentioning my name and talking a lot of rubbish on my social media disturbing me and my fans.

Q: The finish against Jones was picture perfect. From the elbow, to the right hand, to the knee, was it the best of your career?

Yeah I think it is, by far! It was perfect technique. I knew as he was going he back he would try to duck in for the takedown. Because I was throwing the head kick anyway all I needed to do was just switch it to a knee. I couldn’t ask for any better.

Q: Given it’s in Dublin and Richard is Irish, How do you feel about going into enemy territory at BAMMA 32?

That’s great, that’s why I’m doing it! I need to be comfortable in every environment, so going out there will test. I wanted to be on the Dublin card, now I can teach him a little lesson too, I can’t wait.

Q: As you know the Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers has brought a lot of attention to BAMMA recently, what are your thoughts on him? 

He’s good man. For someone who doesn’t come from a fighting background and does reality TV stuff, he’s doing good. How can people say he should fight someone more experienced, because he is taking  guys that are on his level and he’s doing good.

He’s helping MMA fighters because he has got a big following so more people are going to be watching MMA and learning about MMA so it’s a good thing having him on board.

BAMMA32 will take place at the 3Arena in Dublin on November 10th. Tickets are now on sale at The card will air live on both UNILAD’s Facebook page, and Dave.

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BAMMA 31: Alex Lohore Knocks Out Nathan Jones with a Knee

Harry Davies



In the main event of BAMMA 31, Alex Lohore knocked out Nathan Jones with a vicious knee to become the new BAMMA welterweight champion.

Jones (11-6) returned to BAMMA after fighting at Bellator 179 in May, where he submitted Umer Kayani in the first round. It was his first title fight under the promotion, as he stepped into the BAMMA cage for the sixth time in his professional career.

The self-proclaimed “future of French MMA” Lohore (13-1) was riding a 9-fight winning streak as he made his BAMMA debut on the night. Like Jones, “Da Kid” last fought at Bellator 179 stopping Dan Vinni, who was scheduled to face Walter Gahadza tonight, but the fight was cancelled.

Round One:

Lohore backed up Jones to the fence and landed some good knees to the midsection. It was evident pre-fight animosity was carried into the cage as both men swung with bad intentions in the first. Jones secured a takedown and looked to wrap up a guillotine choke but Lohore defended well.

After Jones and Lohore broke from a clinching position, Lohore landed a beautiful step-in knee and sent Jones crashing to the canvas unconscious.

Official Result: Alex Lohore def. Nathan Jones via KO (Knee) Round One 4:13

You can stay updated with the official results of BAMMA 31 here, and also over at our Twitter page @mmalatestnews.

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BAMMA 31: Aaron Chalmers Wins by Knockout in 30 Seconds

Harry Davies



In the second fight of his career, Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers knocked out Alex Thompson in just 30-seconds at BAMMA 31.

Chalmers (2-0) made his pro debut back in April at BAMMA 29, when he submitted Greg Jenkins in the first round. “The Joker” had spent his training camp at UTC in Birmingham for this fight, alongside the likes of Yannick Bahati and UFC welterweight Leon Edwards.

Thompson (0-1) had previously fought at BAMMA before facing Chalmers, but on the amateur circuit. Making his pro MMA debut on the night, “The Iron Born” was riding a 4-fight losing streak coming into BAMMA 31, and had taken almost a full year away from the cage.

Round One:

As the round opened up, Chalmers and Thompson began to exchange on the feet. A left uppercut from “The Joker” had already knocked Thompson out on the feet, and as he was falling to the canvas Chalmers landed a right hand to finish the job.

Official Result: Aaron Chalmers def. Alex Thompson via KO (Uppercut) Round One: 0:30

You can stay updated with the official results of BAMMA 31 here, and also over at our Twitter page @mmalatestnews.

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