The best 25 MMA prospects with five pro fights or less

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Over the last few years, Regional MMA has been consistently growing. With the IMMAF building amateurs into thriving professionals and regional fighters building their hype on platforms like UFC Fight Pass, the talent pool is deeper than it has ever been.

Read about 25 prospects with five professional fights or less that you should be following…

Corbin Howard

Pro Record: 3-0
Amateur Record: 6-0
Weight Class: Bantamweight (135)
Age: 24
Fighting out of Jefferson City, Missouri, U.S.

By the age of seven, Howard received his black belt in taekwondo. By age eight, he won his first world title. From 8 to 14-years-old, Howard won six world titles… He then went on to wrestle and was a 3x state qualifier for Missouri State, and was all-state his junior year. The taekwondo world champion may be ultra dangerous on the feet, but his collegiate wrestling is what has him undefeated as a pro and an amateur. Watch out for this young man cause all the writing is there, and all he has to do is put it on paper.

Roland Dunlap

Pro Record: 3-0
Amateur Record: 6-1
Weight Class: Middleweight (185)
Age: 29
Fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.

Dunlap trains with Roufusport alongside many of the top fighters today. A former U.S. marine, before coming into MMA Roland Dunlap was competing in wrestling at a high level. He won two state titles in high school, and had a career record of 159-9. He went on to be a three-time All-American and wrestled D3 at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Along with that wrestling upbringing, his father was a high-level karate black belt.

Josefine Lindgren Knutsson

Pro Record: 3-0
Amateur Record: 1-0
Weight Class: Strawweight (115)
Age: 26
Fighting out of Bromma, Sweden

Knutsson has an extensive kickboxing career. Her kickboxing record is 27-5 and she has beat girls like Mellony Geugjes and Kana Morimoto. She also has a background in amateur Muay Thai and was the 2018 IFMA World Championships gold medalist. This girl has looked outstanding and could be the next big thing in MMA.

Caolan Loughran

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 8-2
Weight Class: Bantamweight (135)
Age: 25
Fighting out of Tyrone, Ireland

A product out of Team Kaobon Liverpool, Loughran trains with the likes of the UFC’s Tom Aspinall, Mike Grundy, and Darren Till. Loughran won three titles as a pro and he’s currently signed to Cage Warriors. The skill level is there, and he has the swagger and personality to draw fans’ attention. He’s a wrestler first that is getting more and more comfortable striking from fight to fight.

Jacqueline Amorim

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 0-0
Weight Class: Strawweight (115)
Age: 26
Fighting out of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Amorim is a highly touted jiu-jitsu ace that made the transition to MMA in 2020. Some of her accomplishments in BJJ are IBJJF World Champion, IBJJF World No-Gi Champion, CBJJ Brasil Champion, and more. Just recently she won the LFA strawweight title, finishing a very good Loveth Young. Amorim has a 100% finish rate stopping all fights inside one round…

Lone’er Kavanagh

Pro Record: 3-0
Amateur Record: 2-2-2, 1 NC
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 22
Fighting out of London, England

From the age of eight, Kavanagh started with Korean-style martial arts and then had an extensive kickboxing career. He competed in K-1 and is a five-time world champion. He’s brought every single bit of that into his MMA career too. Kavanagh is a very skilled, and intriguing young man. Where he’s best at is unequivocally on the feet. He trains under his head coach, former UFC fighter, and U.K. MMA legend Brad Pickett.

Dakota Ditcheva

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 4-0
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 22
Fighting out of London, England

Ditcheva has an extensive Muay Thai background, and a very successful one at that. She is a British Muay Thai champion, and a member of the British team that won the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur World Championships in Jönköping, Sweden. She’s also a three-time world champion. Ditcbeva reminds me of UFC fighter Manon Fiorot, comparing the fluidity and constant attack from all angles. This young woman is the future…

Phumi Nkuta

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 5-0
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 26
Fighting out of New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.

Phumi Nkuta is the owner of the CFFC flyweight title. A title he already defended twice. Nkuta is only 5-0 in his pro career, but has performed like a seasoned veteran with twenty-plus fights. He trains out of Longo and Weidman MMA, and they have a bright star on their hands regarding “Turbo.” He was an amateur regional champion too and went 5-0 so he’s 10-0 combined.

Alfonso Leyva

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 0-0
Weight Class: Welterweight (175)
Age: 29
Fighting out of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Leyva is an Olympic wrestler who wrestled for the Mexican national team. He’s been wrestling ever since he was thirteen. Now, he’s retired from wrestling to fully pursue his MMA career. Even though Leyva is a superb wrestler, he’s excelled as a striker. All five of his wins have come from his hands. He’s definitely an intriguing prospect to watch out for.

Malik Lewis

Pro Record: 4-0
Amateur Record: 7-0
Weight Class: Lightweight (155)
Age: 26
Fighting out of Abilene, Texas, U.S.

It was pretty evident even early on as an amateur that Lewis oozed potential. Lewis doesn’t lack any confidence, and has a high ceiling in terms of his overall potential. While his hands have done most of his talking, he can back it up with what seems to be a competent ground game. Next month he fights for a regional title, so make sure you tune in.

Tereza Bledá

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 6-0
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 21
Fighting out of Prague, Czech Republic

Bledá is only 5-0 but prior to turning pro, she took part in the Oktagon Underground tournament. She won three fights in three months, and was crowned as the Underground winner. In that tournament, she beat good prospects in Magdaléna Šormová and Lucia Szabová, while also beating former UFC fighter Lucie Pudilová. She’s the current Okatgo flyweight champion.

Lydell Poag

Pro Record: 2-0
Amateur Record: 2-0
Weight Class: Middleweight (185)
Age: 23
Fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.

Possibly the next big thing out of Jackson Wink MMA. He’s made an impact ever since turning pro getting two big finishes under the CFFC banner. He’s a physical specimen at 185 standing at six-foot-three with a 79.5-inch reach. There is no doubt this young man is gonna be a household name in the next couple of years.

Jamey-Lyn Horth Wessels

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 3-0
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 32
Fighting out of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Among all the many top Canadian prospects, Wessels’ name is brought up a lot. That was evident when she beat a talented Jade Masson-Wong for the BFL title. She did sign with LFA, making her debut in December while headlining the card and winning the vacant LFA title. Wessel has beaten all but one fighter with a winning record. That one fighter with a losing record was Lupita Godinez when they fought as an amateur…

An Ho

Pro Record: 1-0
Amateur Record: 7-0
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 21
Fighting out of Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.

Ho was born in Vietnam, but has been living in the U.S. training out of a top team in The MMA Lab. Ho was the RUF MMA amateur champion and defended his title multiple times. He made his pro debut for LFA and impressed with a spinning backfist knockout. He’s well-rounded with a flashy fighting style that will excite the fans.

Dylan Salvador

Pro Record: 4-1
Amateur Record: 7-0
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 28
Fighting out of Atlanta, U.S.

Salvador is from France, but has being living in the U.S. out of Atlanta. Salvador competed in muay thai and kickboxing for years before he transitioned over into MMA. He’s 4-1 in MMA and 64-16-2 in kickboxing/muay thai. Salvador is a former two-weight WAKO World champion and fought five times for Glory, including winning the Glory lightweight contender tournament in 2016. Salvador has a kickboxing win over UFC contender Giga Chikadze as well…

Benjamin Bennett

Pro Record: 3-0
Amateur Record: 18-4
Weight Class: Welterweight (170)
Age: 25
Fighting out of Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.

Bennett is undefeated as a pro, and had an extensive amateur career. He fought in IMMAF and was the 2017 gold medal winner. As an amateur, he fought some studs like Will Starks, Alex Martinez, Darian Weeks, and Brendan Allen. In his last fight as a pro, he beat Elmar Umarov in his LFA debut, and Elmar was a stiff test. But Bennett is a stud himself who has a bright future.

Rinya Nakamura

Pro Record: 4-0
Amateur Record: 0-0
Weight Class: Bantamweight (135)
Age: 27
Fighting out of Saitama, Japan

Nakamura is a decorated wrestler with a lot of experience before transitioning to MMA. He won a bronze medal at the 2011 Cadet World Championship, he’s a 2016 & 2017 Meiji Cup champion, he’s the 2017 U23 World Championship, and has a 37-10 freestyle record (at least from what’s listed). No need for any amateur experience, he jumped right in as a pro and has excelled…

Clayton Carpenter

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 6-1
Weight Class: Flyweight (125)
Age: 25
Fighting out of Glendale, Arizona, U.S.

The young flyweight trains out of a top camp in the MMA Lab under head coach John Crouch. Carpenter has not only had success in MMA; he’s gotten some nice accomplishments in a bundle of disciplines. He was the USA Junior National Muay Thai champion, a four-time Muay Thai National Champion, a Junior Golden Gloves Boxing Champion, World Junior Grappling and Pankration medalist, and an IBJJF World Champion in gi and no-gi. Carpenter actually has a win over one of the sport’s biggest young superstars in Bellator star Aaron Pico, defeating the top prospect in a 2009 Pankration tournament. Carpenter has been killing it in LFA as of late, and could be in the UFC soon.

Murtaza Talha Ali

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 12-0
Weight Class: Light-Heavyweight (205)
Age: 24
Fighting out of Al-Muharraq, Bahrain

Young as a pro, Ali is one of the highest-level light heavyweight amateurs in a long time. Ali is a two-time IMMAF world champion, which is the biggest accomplishment out there as an amateur. Now, Ali is 5-0 as a pro and has looked outstanding fighting mainly for Brave CF. He has never lost in his career, and he’s so good I don’t see him losing anytime soon…

Damian Piwowarczyk

Pro Record: 5-0
Amateur Record: 5-0
Weight Class: Light-Heavyweight (205)
Age: 24
Fighting out of Białogard, Poland

Piwowarczyk is an interesting young man, standing tall at six-foot-six. Obviously, his size is the first thing that stands out. He’s currently signed to KSW, and is 2-0 for the promotion. Talent-wise, he’s still young, has a good frame, and has shown vast improvements with each fight. The potential is there for Piwowarczyk.

Archie Colgan

Pro Record: 4-0
Amateur Record: 3-0
Weight Class: Welterweight (170)
Age: 26
Fighting out of Denver, Colorado, U.S.

Colgan wrestled in college for the University of Wyoming and did really well. You can see all his accomplishments and his record here. Colgan lastly fought for Eagle FC, but prior to that fought in Bellator. Before Bellator, he went 2-0 under the LFA banner. Young in his career, Colgan has already fought under some bright lights. He is someone I know for sure will develop into a top guy one day…

Miles Lee

Pro Record: 3-0
Amateur Record: 5-0
Weight Class: Middleweight (185)
Age: 24
Fighting out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Before obtaining an undefeated record, Lee was a 5-0 amateur and the CFFC amateur middleweight champion. Now fighting as a pro in CFFC, he has proven that his level beating a tough Earl Small. He trains along with Sean Brady and Pat Sabatini, along with many others at Renzo Gracie Philly. He’s been a dominant fighter that’s gonna be tough to beat.

Damon Wilson

Pro Record: 4-0
Amateur Record: 2-0
Weight Class: Featherweight (145)
Age: 29
Fighting out of San Diego, California, U.S.

Wilson has burst onto the scene over the last year, fighting and performing well for Cage Warriors. Although his pro debut went to the scorecards, he responded with three knockouts consecutively. After his pro debut, he took over a three-year layoff, and ever since, he’s made his comeback and has looked great.

Luke Riley

Pro Record: 3-0
Amateur Record: 4-0
Weight Class: Bantamweight (135)
Age: 22
Fighting out of Liverpool, England

Even compared to some of the more established UK prospects, Luke Riley has a lot of hype. He’s never lost a fight between his pro and amateur career, being 7-0 combined. When watching Riley fight for the first time, his fighting style will draw anyone in. He’s currently fighting for Cage Warriors and his ceiling is super high to be a future champion in the promotion.

Amun Cosme

Pro Record: 4-0
Amateur Record: 6-0
Weight Class: Bantamweight (135)
Age: 30
Fighting out of Milledgeville, Georgia, U.S.

Cosme is highly underrated, and at anytime could sign to a big promotion and compete at a higher level. He hasn’t fought many high-level opposition, but he has fought a few decent fighters. With every fight, he’s improved vastly. If he can be more active, more people will know who Cosme is within the next few years.

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