There are very few MMA fighters actively fighting out of La Isla del Encanto. Whether they still live in Puerto Rico or not, it’s important to highlight the next generation of prospects that could put PR MMA on the UFC map. Because of this, several writers from The Scrap have gotten together for a new column that aims to showcase the best fighters out of their homelands.
Thankfully for fighters in Puerto Rico, Dana White has decided to place a UFC Performance Institute on the Island, which will help mold the next crop of mixed martial artists. But until that’s built and open for business, we decided to highlight a few fighters representing the flag who are currently making a name for themselves.
Read about the three Puerto Rican MMA prospects that should be on your radar.
Having one of the greatest female boxers of all-time on this list feels like a copout. But now 2-0-1 in MMA, she’s a no-brainer pick… Amanda Serrano is the real deal. Now signed to Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions, it seems that she will finally get the spotlight she deserves. But does that mean no more MMA? We sure hope not.
In the boxing world, Amanda is the only female and Puerto Rican, to win world titles in more than four weight classes. She holds the Guinness World Record for the most boxing world championships won in different weight-classes by a female, having held 9 major world titles across seven different weight classes. In the MMA world, she’s undefeated and her two wins ironically come by way of submission.
She has so much potential to do big things in MMA. But regardless of her next steps, all eyes should be on the true GWOAT of boxing.
“Amanda is the No. 1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the world and the greatest Hispanic female athlete of all time. Amanda hasn’t had someone with a big platform really put her on. She’s so marketable and a natural born superstar.”-Jake Paul on Amanda Serrano
Step aside Bobby Roode, “The Glorious” one is starting to make waves on the regional MMA circuit. Currently fighting out of Florida but born in Iceland, Christian Esquilin reps the Puerto Rican flag every time he steps into the cage. The 21-year-old is only an amateur right now, but he has tons of potential going 4-0 thus far.
Ever since taking his first fight in 2019, Esquilin has shown improvement each time out. Recently, he fought for Rize FC, winning by way of third-round submission. Needless to say, the Boricua fighter is definitely one to keep an eye on. He’s so young and has a long career ahead of him.
Whether he goes pro next, or continues to fight at amateur, the future is bright.
“As honored as I am, my goal isn’t to be a top Puerto Rican prospect, a top prospect, or the top prospect. My goal is to be the greatest fighter that has ever walked this earth. I don’t feel as if I am a prospect yet, just a young man with a lot more work to do. But with that being said, I would keep both eyes on me. I carry the flag on my back so that the people of our country are with me going into battle. This reminds me that what I am working for goes beyond myself.”-Christian Esquilin on being featured on Homeland Prospects
It’s critical to showcase some bright up and comers, as the Puerto Rican MMA scene has suffered drastically since the pandemic. One of the standouts early in his pro career is the 28-year-old Jose Rodriguez. Born in Puerto Rico, the undefeated prospect has since moved stateside, boasting an impressive 1-0 pro MMA record, a 2-0 pro Muay Thai record, and a 5-0 amateur MMA record.
If his gameness isn’t shown in his undefeated records, not one of his fights have gone the distance. That’s right, Jose has a 100% finish rate and shows no signs of that changing anytime soon. Though he has not competed in MMA since 2019, Rodriguez was able to compete twice for Lion Fight this year, which he is under contract for another year.
We’re excited el puertorriqueño is coming back to MMA shortly after, he has a great career ahead of him and we need more Boricuas making waves in the fight game.
“I feel great [about being named a top prospect], I’ve worked too hard for this—it’s been like 16 years in the fight game. I’m grateful for taking my flag outside of Puerto Rico and representing.”-Jose Rodriguez on being featured on Homeland Prospects
What do you think of our three Puerto Rican prospects? Let us know in the comments below!