Opinion: The top five prospects of 2018.

We are all aware that there is plenty of new talent coming through the UFC throughout all weight classes. Here are the top five that I believe will have a phenomenal year.

 

1. Brett Johns

Brett Johns is a 26-year-old, Welsh mixed martial artist, who competes in the UFC bantamweight division. Johns was the first Welshman to step inside the UFC Octagon, he is a judo black belt, BJJ purple belt and a brown belt in muay thai. Johns holds a professional MMA record of 15-0 (3-0) in the UFC. He is coming off a win over Joe Soto at The Ultimate Fighter, world champion finale on December 1st 2017, where he defeated Soto by submission in just 30 seconds of the first round. This victory secured him a performance of the night bonus. Brett Johns is the former Titan FC bantamweight champion, PPFN bantamweight champion and CWFC bantamweight champion. He is currently ranked #13 on the official UFC bantamweight rankings. I believe Johns will crack the top 10 rankings this year with a big victory over a top tier name.

 

2. Zabit Magomedsharipov

“ZaBeast” Is a 27-year-old, Russian mixed martial artist, who holds a professional MMA record of 14-1 (2-0) in the UFC. Zabit competes in the featherweight division where he made his professional UFC debut against Mike Santiago on September 2nd 2017, he won the fight by rear naked choke in 4:22 of the first round. This victory earned him the performance of the night bonus. “ZaBeast” later went on to win another performance of the night bonus when he defeated Sheymon Moraes on November 25th 2017 by anaconda choke in 4.20 of the 3rd round. Magomedsharipov is the former ACB featherweight champion. I believe Zabit will crack the top 15 rankings this year.

 

3. Tai Tuivasa

“Bam Bam” is a 24-year-old, Australian mixed martial artist who holds a professional MMA record of 7-0 (2-0) in the UFC. With all seven wins coming by knockout in the very first round. Tuivasa competes in the heavyweight division where he made his professional UFC debut against Rashad Coulter where he won the fight by a flying knee in 4:35 of the first round. This bout was featured on the preliminary card on the Fabricio Werdum Vs Marcin Tybura event on November 19th 2017, where he also secured the performance of the night bonus. Tai would later go on to defeat Cyril Asker by TKO in 2:18 of the first round at UFC 221 on February 11th 2018. “Bam Bam” is the former AFC heavyweight champion where he successfully defended his title once against James McSweeney. I believe Tai Tuivasa will crack the top 10 this year.

 

4. Sean O’Malley

“Sugar” is 23-years-old and an American mixed martial artist who holds a professional MMA record of 10-0 (2-0) in the UFC. O’Malley competes in the bantamweight division where he made his professional UFC debut against Terrion Ware. He defeated Ware by a unanimous decision on December 1st 2017 on The Ultimate Fighter: A new world champion finale. Sean O’Malley would go on to face Andre Soukhamthath where he won the fight by a unanimous decision, on March 3rd 2018 on the main card of UFC 222. This victory secured him the fight of the night bonus. O’Malley is a former amateur bantamweight in IFC, where he successfully defended his title three times.

 

5. David Teymur

The “Underwear Man” is a Swedish mixed martial artist who competes in the lightweight division. He is 28-years-old and holds a professional MMA record of 7-1 (4-0) in the UFC. Teymur made his professional UFC debut against Martin Svensson where he won the fight by TKO in 1:26 of the second round, this took place on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night: Silva Vs Bisping on February 27th 2016. David would go on to defeat Jason Novelli by KO in just 1:25 of the second round, on August 6th 2016. His next fight was against Lando Vannata where he won the fight by unanimous decision at UFC 209, on March 4th 2017. This victory secured him the fight of the night bonus and was featured on the main card. His latest victory was against Drakkar Klose at UFC 218 on December 2nd 2017, where he picked up a unanimous decision victory. Teymur also holds a professional kickboxing record of 39-2. I believe Teymur will next face a top 15 ranked opponent where if he wins it will put him in the official UFC lightweight rankings.

 

⁃ Connor

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