With MMA continuing to grow worldwide, we have a new set of prospects to watch this week. Major promotions like the UFC and Bellator have the week off, giving extra attention to the regional scene. Although the regional scene can be tough to navigate, you can find hidden gems at nearly any event.
The three prospects to watch this week are Oscar Herrera, Igeu Kabesa, and Sherrard Blackledge.
Oscar Herrera – Fury FC 51
Firstly, prospects with under five fights are hard to judge but offer insight into their raw talent. Oscar Herrera is set for his third pro fight on Sunday at Fury FC 51. Training out of FactoryX Muay Thai, Herrera has looked a lot better than most fighters with only two pro fights. Before turning pro, Herrera had 15 amateur fights to improve on his weaknesses. Going into his third fight, his ability to go to a decision will benefit him in the long run. At 25 years old, Herrera has time to gain more experience before joining a major promotion.
Herrera will fight Angelo Trujillo (0-0) on the main card of Fury FC 51. Surprisingly, Herrera and Trujillo fought on the amateur scene back in 2016. Herrera came out victorious due to a split decision, leaving the matchup unsettled. With a win against Trujillo, Herrera will continue to build up his undefeated record. Despite Trujillo making his pro debut, his amateur experience and knowledge of Herrera offer a solid test. The journey has just begun, but Herrera may find himself in a major promotion sooner rather than later.
Igeu Kabesa – EFC 89
The next prospect to watch is Igeu Kabesa, who is set to fight at EFC 89. At 27 years old, Kabesa is 12-2 with seven wins by finish. Kabesa has fought his entire career with EFC while he continued to evolve as a fighter. With outstanding athleticism and a killer instinct, Kabesa has assembled quite the highlight reel. After a two-year layoff, Kabesa lost his returning fight three months ago. Kabesa is now set to get back on track with a win on Saturday.
Kabesa will be fighting Anicet Kanyeba (13-10) in the co-main event of EFC 89. Although Kanyeba has a salty record, he comes into this fight with a 5-1 record in his last six fights. With that being said, Kabesa needs a finish to bounce back from his loss last time out. Luckily, he is a fan-friendly fighter due to his aggression and striking-heavy approach that leads to exciting finishes. Therefore, his potential for marketability matches his dangerous skills.
Sherrard Blackledge makes his second appearance on Prospects to Watch
Lastly, Sherrard Blackledge returns to the prospects to watch list for the second time in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, Blackledge’s last fight at RUF 43 did not go through. Luckily, Blackledge had a new opportunity emerge with Fury FC only days later. Holding a record of 5-1, Blackledge recently competed on the Contender Series twice. Although he did not get the UFC contract, the platform showed his talents to a wider audience. He now returns to the regional scene with the hope of racking up more wins to his record.
Blackledge will be fighting Le’Ville Simpson (10-5) for the lightweight championship in the main event at Fury FC 51. Simpson tends to be willing to strike with his opponents, which plays into Blackledge’s favor. Training out of Syndicate MMA, Blackledge has surely improved since his last fight nearly one year ago. At 28 years old, Blackledge’s abilities are not far off of UFC-worthy. With a few more wins in the future, Blackledge will surely get another chance in the UFC, and it all starts on Sunday night.