After last week’s edition of prospects to watch, the overall record for the prospects articles is 9-0. Firstly, Archie Colgan put MMA fans on notice at Bellator 265 with a first-round TKO. Secondly, Nicholas Meck picked up his first pro win with a dominant decision at APEX FC 2. Lastly, Tae Kyun Kim extended his undefeated record to 9-0 by dismantling his opponent in the BRAVE CF 53 main event.
Going into this week, we have three new prospects set to take their next step towards becoming a MMA champion in a major promotion. Let’s take a look at three prospects fighting this week that you need to see.
Joe Giannetti – Cage Titans 49
We will start with forgotten savage Joe Giannetti making his return to MMA after a nearly one-year layoff. Giannetti originally made a name for himself on The Ultimate Fighter Season 27. After going 2-0 with two first-round finishes, Giannetti found himself in the finals. Unfortunately, he lost to Mike Trizano and wasn’t offered another fight with the UFC. With that being said, Giannetti was only 23 at the time and just needed more experience.
Giannetti returned to the regional scene, building up a record of his record of 9-4-1. Although he lost his last two fights, Giannetti is still only 26 years old. He now finds himself fighting this Saturday against Darius Estell (7-3) for the Cage Titans Vacant Lightweight Championship. With a win on Saturday, Giannetti will be right back on track on his journey to dominating in the UFC. Training at American Kickboxing Academy has surely set Giannetti up for a long and successful career moving forward.
Bruno Souza – LFA 114
The next fighter on this week’s prospects to watch is Bruno Souza. Holding a pro MMA record of 9-1, Souza is a well-rounded fighter that specializes in Karate and BJJ. Souza actually lost his first pro fight before getting nine straight wins. Since signing with LFA in 2019, Souza has continued to face tougher opponents while improving along the way. Going into this weekend, the UFC or another major MMA promotion may be close to signing Souza.
At 25 years old, Souza will be fighting for the LFA Vacant Featherweight Championship against Javier Garcia (7-3). On Friday night, Souza has the opportunity to get the biggest win of his MMA career thus far. We have recently seen the direct pathway for LFA main event winners getting signed to the UFC. With an impressive performance on Friday, Souza could end up in the UFC sooner rather than later.
Sherrard Blackledge – RUF 43 (#1 Prospects to Watch)
Last but not least, Sherrard Blackledge looks to bounce back from his first pro loss. After winning on the Dana White Contender Series, the UFC did not award Blackledge a contract. Ultimately, the UFC invited Blackledge back to DWCS on the same season, where he lost to Tucker Lutz. Nine months later and Blackedge is ready to make his return this weekend.
Blackledge must be ready to go because he signed not one but two fight contracts. The first fight will be on Sunday against Drew Fickett (42-21) at RUF 43. Assuming he gets no major injuries, Blackledge will fight 15 days later against Le’Ville Simpson (10-5) at FURY FC 51. With two quick wins and an entertaining fight style, Blackledge could find himself with a shot in the UFC by next year.