September was a phenomenal month for Regional MMA. There were various promotions putting on quality cards with several prospects in the spotlight. Miss Katie Vega and I decided to scout the world, watch all the top prospects that competed last month, and came up with eight fighters who are “Ready 4 The Call”.
We will name four prospects each who we think are ready to make it to the big show; and are only considering the UFC and Bellator for them to go to.
Shawn Bitter’s Choices
Josh Silveira is the new LFA 205-pound champion crowned last month. He beat Tee Cummins who was undefeated at 4-0 riding a lot of momentum. It only took Silveira 49-seconds to land a head kick and follow-up punches to put Cummins away. Silveira becomes only the fifth light heavyweight champion in LFA history. The ones before him were Alex Polizzi, Julius Anglickas, Ryan Spann, and Fabio Cherant; All UFC and Bellator fighters.
Silveira trains out of American Top Team under head coach and his father, Conan Silveira. He’s currently undefeated and went 4-0 as an amateur, so he does have a good amount of experience. Silveira wrestled in college for Arizona State University and was a Florida High School state champ. With that wrestling pedigree always in his back pocket, he’s able to let loose on the feet. His shot selection is very on-point with his hands, and his left high kick is very sneaky and dangerous.
With that being said, he has two victories coming from a head kick. Not only is his wrestling legit, but so is his jiu-jitsu. The UFC should sign Silveira. LFA is the #1 feeder to the UFC and what they need most is roster depth for the bigger guys. Silveria should be a no-brainer signing for them.
Florida’s Ryan Kuse continued his dominant run last month on the Titan FC 72 event. He fought a guy that was 1-12 and the fight was completely one-sided. Truthfully, the fight probably shouldn’t have been made. The biggest takeaway is he fought a more experienced fighter though. That win made his third win this year.
Kuse is only 27-years-old with a lot of promise. On the feet, he fights at distance with kicks and long punches. He’s just as good as a wrestler as he is a striker. Kuse has been dominant once he gets top position and is smooth in transitions. His ground and pound is arguably his best weapon. Kuse is well-rounded but needs a step-up in competition. He can get that step-up in competition and development with Bellator.
Bellator is known for getting these young untested guys and building them up slowly. Kuse isn’t even a top prospect in his division yet, but one day can be. It could very well be a steal if Bellator jumps the gun and signs the “Third Street Savage”.
Vitor Petrino had a big win in September moving his record to 6-0. The Brazilian made his UAE Warriors debut and it was against Gadzhimurad Antigulov. The Russian Antigulov was an ACB champion in 2016 and was a six-fight UFC veteran. Both Antigulov and Petrino threw down in what was a scrap. Ultimately, it was Petrino that came out on top knocking out Antigulov in round two. That marked his third win this year and he now has four-straight punches.
“Icao” is a talented well-rounded fighter capable of finishing the fight anywhere and anytime. On the feet, he can fight backward countering. Going forward he throws tons of output, and is both explosive and athletic. Petrino doesn’t have a submission win as a pro or amateur but is competitive once he hits the mat. He’s exciting and if the UFC was able to pick up two light heavyweights from September, it would be big.
Petrino would be a welcomed addition to the UFC’s roster.
Ramazan Kuramagomedov fought early September for UAE Warriors 22 with a second-round submission win. He was actually signed to the UFC this year and was supposed to debut in February. The fight was on short notice and had to pull out due to illness. His contract was sadly pulled and this fight was his first fight since being let go.
The Russian is very well-rounded, being skillful no matter where the fight goes. On the feet, Kuramagomedov throws a lot of kicks. Throwing with diversity, his kicks come from all over the place. When he decides to just attack the lead leg, that’s when he’s at his best. Kuramagomedov is an even better grappler. Once he gets the fight to the mat he quickly finds dominant positions. You give him anything on the mat, he’s going to get into a better position and he has proved to be a submission threat. He was in the UFC’s sights, but it should be Bellator to make the move.
Bellator has done a good job getting guys that slipped through the UFC’s fingertips and it working out great for them so far.
Katie Vega’s Choices
Kevin Cordero came out of nowhere for me. Finally able to make his Combate Global debut this year, he took on the popular Bellator veteran, Ricky Bandejas. Fans who are familiar with Bandejas know how tough he his. Cordero made him look like he was no where near his level. He dispatched Ricky in the very last second of the first round.
There aren’t many MMA fighters from Spain in the UFC. If you’re looking for who’s likely next up, it’s definitely Kevin Cordero. Aside from his impressive win, he boast a 12-2 record with 9 finishes. The craziest part about it all? He’s only 21 years old… Let that sink in.
You’ll be seeing more of him soon, I’m sure of it.
Paris Moran has been a name that was flowing under the radar a bit. That was until this year of course, where he’s been one of the more active Texas fighters on the Fury FC roster. If fans weren’t tuned in from the beginning, they surely are now after his impressive finish over Shawn Solis. The knockout won him a bonus at the end of the night, and a step up in competition.
Then recently, Contender Series veteran Nate Smith took a fight against Moran on short notice at Fury FC 50. That turned out to be bad news as he was dominated in every aspect of the fight. Paris is one of the few technically perfect flyweights on the U.S. regional circuit. Though there is no rush, he certainly belongs in the UFC or at the very least, a spot on DWCS next season.
I cannot wait to see what’s next for him; big things seem to be on the horizon.
Cristian “Puas” Perez is one of my new favorite fighters to watch. He’s relentless in his pursuit to finish the finish and he’s extremely well rounded. Currently the new poster boy for Combate Global, he’s proven that he deserves every bit of your attention with three first-round finishes this year alone. His most recent submission win came against Dumar Roa earlier in September.
If a title shot isn’t next, then a step up in competition was surely earned. And that should be in the UFC. His submission prowess is unmatched, he has a perfect record, and his marketability is at an all-time high. It’s only a matter of time until we see the lightweight under brighter lights.
Until then, Combate is building him beautifully.
Jay Perrin finally fulfilled a prophesy he long sought after at CES 64. The bantamweight prospect became a regional belt holder in two of New England’s top promotions. Adding the CES bantamweight title to his resume along with his Cage Titans strap is quite impressive. And Perrin is doing it against solid competition…
It’s only a matter of time until the big leagues start coming after the finish he had against a tough Josh Smith. Though he can certainly compete in the UFC, Bellator would appreciate him much more. Perrin is marketable, well spoken, and fun to watch in the cage. Now training at Syndicate MMA, the level up is real and I can’t wait to see what’s next for him.
What do you think of Shawn & Katie’s selections? Let us know in the comments below.