This post is dedicated to the heavyweight prototype of the modern prospect scouting era, Guram Gugenishvili. Please see this video posted in honor of his memory. Guram's memorial video. For previous Unsigned Heavyweights threads, please see the following links: Thread Two | Thread Three Due to the overall scope of the heavyweight division and the visibility most new prospects receive as opposed to other divisions, I thought it would be interesting to post my personal list of upcoming heavyweights that could eventually make their way into a major promotion. I've only listed fighters who have never been signed by the UFC, Pride, Strikeforce, or Bellator, with preference to fighters under 35. Factors I've taken into account when profiling fighters are: Age, camp, record, level of opposition, dedication (fight consistency and athleticism), and skill-set. Please feel free to post your own prospects, and promote discussion of heavyweights outside major organizations in this thread to make it a continuing resource for fans and insiders alike. 1. Amir Aliakbari Height: 6'3" Weight: 250 Age: 30 Reach: N/A Rec: 8-1 Former Greco-Roman wrestler and worlds gold medal winner Amir Aliakbari holds both the potential to be one of the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artists of all time, or one of the most infamous. While Amir Aliakbari's contentious past is behind him, his long term success relies on it to never recur. As one of the greatest Greco-Roman wrestlers on the planet, Aliakbari's athletic ceiling is as massive as he is. Training at AKA Thailand with Soa Palelei and recently Mark Hunt, Aliakbari has a solid stable of training partners to advance his skill-set. 2. Denis Goltsov Height: 6'5" Weight: 240 Age: 27 Reach: N/A Rec: 21-5 An accomplished striker and opportunistic grappler, Goltsov had a rough start to his career, earning 3 submission losses and a TKO to fellow heavyweight Alexander Volkov. Goltsov stands at a very lean 6'5, however despite his thinner frame, he carries explosive one punch knockout power. Goltsov has recently proven his losses were simply growing pains, and has compiled an impressive resume of wins over veterans and prospects alike. A Russian combat sambo champion, with wins over the best combat sambo practitioners in the world, Goltsov's abilities as a mixed martial artist are well refined and extremely deadly. Goltsov has fluid, movement heavy striking, and can stand toe to toe with any striker in the world without ceding a disadvantage. Goltsov's submission game is strong on the top, and he often creates scrambles on the bottom to lock in a sneaky triangle or sweep. Goltsov's one weakness is in his wrestling. As a thinner fighter who relies on speed and finesse, Goltsov has problems with powerful wrestlers who seek to impose a clinch heavy, grinding style of fight. If Goltsov can acclimate to a more wrestle heavy North American scene, he can see success similar to fellow heavyweight Alexander Volkov. 3. Dontale Mayes Height: 6'6" Weight: 250 Age: 26 Reach: 82" Rec: 5-2 Former NCAA basketball forward Dontale Mayes brings a rare athletic pedigree to the sport. Standing at a towering 6'6" and weighing in at 250 pounds, Mayes can move like a welterweight, displaying bursts of quick and dynamic boxing mixed in with a grinding clinch game. Mayes speed is almost unique in the heavyweight landscape, bringing back memories of the raw agility and finesse of Pride sensation Mirko Cro Cop. Sporting an 8-0 amateur record and a rapidly increasing repertoire of MMA experience, Mayes eventual entry into a larger organization is only a formality. 4. Salimgerey Rasulov Height: 6'0" Weight: 250 Age: 31 Reach: N/A Rec: 16-7 An accomplished Russian hand to hand combat champion and experienced Sanda stylist, Rasulov is extremely technical and evasive on the feet. With a rough start to his early career Rasulov has put together several high profile wins, and has shown that adapting and improving are two of his greatest assets. A short heavyweight at only 6 feet, Rasulov none the less has shown he can fight larger opponents with little issue. While Rasulov's striking is his focus, his most notable secondary skills come in his wrestling and takedown defense, often frustrating powerful wrestlers by forcing the fight on the feet. 5. Mukhomad Vakhaev Height: 6'0" Weight: 250 Age: 28 Reach: N/A Rec: 6-4 The classic Russian grinder, Vakhaev is an extremely physical and tenacious fighter. Pressure, clinch fighting, and takedowns are Vakhaev's bread and butter, and despite his deceptive record, his ability to break superior fighters is almost unparalleled. With a huge upset over a top heavyweight prospect in Denis Golstov, Vakhaev has a high standard to live up to if he is to maintain his status as a prospect. Fighters who can wrestle and make opportunities to create distance will be difficult opponents for Vakhaev. In order to reach his potential, he will need to follow in the footsteps of fellow pressure fighters such as Cain Velasquez, improving his striking, conditioning, and strength to further compliment his close quarters style. 6. Ante Delija Height: 6'5" Weight: 250 Age: 28 Reach: N/A Rec: 15-3 A mainstay of the Unsigned Heavyweights thread, Delija has had a place on this list the longest out of any fighter. Initially profiled as a wild-card who's sloppy striking and aggressive finishing instinct would lead to mixed success, Delija has evolved to be a serious threat in the division. Still only in his late 20's, Delija has taken a few losses to finally work out the holes in his game. Under the direct tutelage of Mirko Cro Cop, Delija is the next generation of Croatian heavyweight, poised to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors. Delija's current skill-set consists of measured and powerful striking, and while his use of distance is still a work in progress he can easily end fights just off well placed power strikes. Not being just a striker, Delija also has an opportunistic grappling game, displaying competent takedowns and an experienced submission game. Delija's future was and continues to be bright. One day he may even graduate off this list, displaying all the improvements and changes he has made from a young prospect in his early 20's to a matured and well versed heavyweight contender. 7. Sergey Spivak Height: 6'3" Weight: 240 Age: 23 Reach: N/A Rec: 8-0 One of the youngest heavyweight prospects in the world is also one of the biggest wild cards. Fighting out of the notoriously low level Ukrainian regional scene, Spivak's impressive performances may be the heralding of a future high level fighter, or simply a result of the contrast inherent in fighting very low level opponents. Nicknamed "Polar Bear", Spivak's uncommon size and strength were a rarity even as a teenager, attributes that only seem to be increasing with age. Whether Spivak will follow in the footsteps of young East European fighters like Nikita Krylov remains to be seen, and higher level competition will be needed for future insights on his potential. 8. Karol Bedorf Height: 6'2" Weight: 255 Age: 34 Reach: 78.5" Rec: 15-3 KSW's talent at heavyweight and BJJ black belt, Bedorf makes the profiles list more-so due to his consistency than any other factor. Bedorf nullifies opponents strengths and works on their weaknesses well, as displayed in his recent fights against aging veterans and journeyman opponents. Bedorf's primary flaws lie within his strength of competition, fighting only mid level heavyweights that will not challenge him to become a better fighter. 9. Calyn Hull Height: 6'5" Weight: 240 Age: 31 Reach: N/A Rec: 5-0 NCAA D1 wrestler out of UW and son to multiple time All American wrestler Mitch Hull, Calyn has been on the wrestling mats since he was a child. A prodigy who has the sport running through his veins; Calyn's ground game is unquestioned. Unlike powerful explosive wrestlers such as Brock Lesnar and Curtis Blaydes, Calyn utilizes speed and technique to get fights to the ground. One of the fastest heavyweights, Calyn's movement when on top is tenacious and unrelenting, often leading to quick submission finishes. On the feet Calyn's speed carries over, however much like most wrestlers transitioning to MMA, his striking is still in its infancy. A late starter who is now in his early 30's, Calyn's path may be shorter than most, and he will need to speed his way into the UFC within a few years if he has any hopes to climb the ranks of the elite. 10. Raphael Pessoa Height: 6'3" Weight: 245 Age: 29 Reach: N/A Rec: 8-0 Muay Thai expert Raphael Pessoa is another untested but highly touted prospect from Brazil. Sporting a BJJ purple belt and a strong top game, Pessoa is ready for wherever the fight goes. When Pessoa falls into his groove he finishes fights quickly and brutally. Pessoa's one downside is when his opponents keep him out of his comfort zone, he scales back offense and can often close fights out by decision. Recently signed to TKO, a fight against fellow prospect Adam Dyczka is surely in Pessoa's future.