As we turn the page to a new decade with the coming of 2010, there’s no better time than the present to take an insiders look at the top of the food chain talent that is poised to make a significant impact on the landscape of mixed martial arts in the years to follow.
Come along as FiveOuncesofPain.com gives you dozens, upon dozens of reasons to get excited about the future of this passion driven sport we have come to understand and love.
So make sure to etch these names in your head and don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
Todd Duffee: Five fights, five wins, five knockouts and the fastest recorded KO in UFC history; How can you not get excited about this 6’3″, 250+ pound wrecking machine? Duffee used Tim Hague’s face as a springboard into the limelight with the UFC after a seven second knockout at UFC 102 served to put the entire heavyweight division on notice.
Mike Ricci: At just twenty-three years of age, this undefeated Bellator lightweight is a main training partner to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at the TriStar gym in Montreal. Rocking an untarnished record of 5-0 with three TKO’s and one submission to his credit, Ricci is already touted as one of the fastest rising prospects to come out of Canada in recent years.
Aaron Simpson: With a combined high school wrestling record of 142-1, Simpson went on to become a two-time NCAA All American for Arizona State University before joining the illustrious wrestling program as a coach upon graduation. As a professional in mixed martial arts “A-Train” has clearly established himself as a force to be reckoned with at 185 pounds, combining a top level wrestling foundation with a huge punch to mount an undefeated record of 7-0 , with three consecutive victories in the UFC.
Constantinos Philippou: Training out of Team Serra Longo in New York, Philippou has put together an impressive record of 5-1 up until this point in his quickly developing career, with the sole defeat on his resume coming in Constantinos’ fighting debut at the hands of the highly regarded Ricardo Romero. Fighting at middleweight, Philippou’s most recent outing was an impressive decision victory over the 8-1 Victor O’Donnell, who FiveOuncesofPain.com recently confirmed as a cast member on the upcoming eleventh season of the Ultimate Fighter.
Bobby Lashley: With a background in collegiate and professional wrestling much like current UFC heavyweight title holder Brock Lesnar, Lashley has strung together an unblemished record of 5-0. Bobby is almost too high profile currently to consider a prospect, but with his biggest victories coming over the likes of Wes Sims and Bob Sapp, Lashley definitely falls into this category. The hulking powerhouse recently stepped away from his professional wrestling obligations to TNA to focus solely on his training in mixed martial arts.
Billy Evangelista: Undefeated at eleven fights into his professional fighting career and training out of both Team Buhawe and the American Kickboxing Academy, Evangelista has clearly established himself as a top flight up and comer in the Strikeforce lightweight division. Evangelista holds notable victories over the likes of Marlon Sims, Nam Phan, and most recently, Jorge Gurgel.
Kris McCray: Just one of a handful of fighters that FiveOuncesofPain.com recently revealed as cast members for the upcoming eleventh installment of The Ultimate Fighter, McCray shines bright among the TUF 11 hopefuls with a completely unblemished career in MMA that includes five victories as a professional and four as an amateur. Training out of Gold Medal Grappling in Woodbridge, Virginia, not once has McCray allowed one of his victims the benefit of making it to the judges scorecards.
Lyle Beerbohm: Saved through MMA after being released from prison due to an addiction to crystal methamphetamine, “Fancy Pants” is a walking, talking redemption story in progress, having never suffered a defeat as either an amateur or professional during his 25 scraps in the sport. Fighting in the Strikeforce lightweight division with an untarnished professional record of 12-0, Lyle recently submitted UFC veteran Duane “Bang” Ludwig in the very first round with a hybrid “Beer Naked Choke”.
Nick Ring: Fighting out of the middleweight division, Ring is an Intercontinental Muay Thai champion, and one of just four finalists during the PRIDE FC United States tryouts that were held several year ago. Nick currently boasts an unblemished record of 10-0 while securing seven finishes in his ten outings.
Roger Bowling: Bowling is one of the highest regarded welterweight prospects that few have heard of until now. At twenty-seven years of age, “Relentless” recently inked an exclusive contract with Strikeforce and sports an undefeated professional record of 6-0, with not a single one of his victims making it to the judges.
To check out Volume One, CLICK HERE
Volume two, CLICK HERE
Think you know of a prospect that needs to be on this list? Put it in writing in the comment section below and he or she could turn up in “Top MMA Prospects 2010 Vol. IV”…. coming soon.