Unsigned Heavyweights - Thread Four

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by Paul L, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    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. Anatoly Malykhin

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 260 Age: 32 Reach: N/A Rec: 7-0

    To be profiled shortly.

    2. Denis Goltsov

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 240 Age: 29 Reach: N/A Rec: 25-6

    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. Salimgerey Rasulov

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 250 Age: 32 Reach: N/A Rec: 18-7

    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.

    4. Mukhomad Vakhaev

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 250 Age: 30 Reach: N/A Rec: 7-4

    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.

    5. Mohammed Usman

    Height: 6'2" Weight: 260 Age: 30 Reach: N/A Rec: 6-1

    Brother to ranked UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman, Mohammed Usman looks to emulate his brothers success in the cage. A standout high school wrestler with a first place ranking in Texas, Usman eventually transitioned to football in his collegiate years as a defensive linebacker. Still an exceptional athlete, Usman would turn to MMA once his football aspirations cooled, choosing to go directly to pro instead of gaining experience in the amateur ranks. Usman's athleticism is extreme and his physical, explosive style allows him to overwhelm fighters quickly and brutally. While Usman has all the physical advantages, his skills as a mixed martial artist need refining. With a recent loss to a much more experienced opponent in Don'Tale Mayes, Usman needs to get a handful of fights under his belt before making the move to a big organization. Time and practice will be Usman's ultimate boon, and when his skills start to round out he will undoubtedly see the same success as his brother.

    6. Hugo Cunha

    Height: 6'2" Weight: 260 Age: 26 Reach: N/A Rec: 5-0

    To be profiled shortly.

    7. Renan Ferreira

    Height: 6'10" Weight: 250 Age: 30 Reach: 83.5" Rec: 6-2

    To be profiled shortly.

    8. Ante Delija

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 250 Age: 29 Reach: N/A Rec: 17-3

    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.

    9. Alikhan Vakhaev

    Height: 6'6" Weight: 240 Age: 26 Reach: N/A Rec: 9-2

    A lanky heavyweight from Chechnya, Vakhaev is all about utilizing reach and distance to coax stoppages from his opponents. Vakhaev keeps his distance and looks to land jabs, often rocking his opponents who charge in to get into his range. When in the clinch he uses his height well to land knees and create distance with his long limbs. Vakhaev's success has not only been tied to his physical attributes. Grappling and an exceptional ability to scramble have been an important part of the Chechen's arsenal. Vakhaev's major downside is his promotion. Akhmat rarely has warm up fights and Vakhaev may find himself fighting a murderers row of opponents in the future. If he can pass through this gauntlet of opposition, he will assuredly find himself joining fellow Akhmat fighters in the UFC's ranks.

    10. Evgeniy Goncharov

    Height: 6'1" Weight: 250 Age: 33 Reach: N/A Rec: 15-2

    Another fighter from the seemingly endless pool of heavyweights from Russia, Evgeniy Goncharov is a well rounded, smaller heavyweight who could probably hit the 205 mark in time. While Goncharov's strengths are in his all around abilities, his defining trait is his aggression. Goncharov is usually a kill or be killed fighter who lives for up close and personal fights. Whether it's on the ground or slinging leather in the pocket, Goncharov wants to be in his opponents face at all times. With a recent win streak containing some big name regional fighters, Goncharov could be fielding contracts from a variety of larger promotions both at home and abroad.

    11. Sergey Bilostenniy

    Height: 6'0" Weight: 230 Age: 24 Reach: N/A Rec: 6-2

    Speedy striker Sergey Bilostenniy is probably best suited to 205 pounds, but at heavyweight he is a whirlwind with a massive speed advantage over his peers. Utilizing good footwork, angles, and mixing up strikes to the body and head, Bilostenniy is a headache for the typical slow, plodding heavyweight that dominates the scene. Bilostenniy is still very young at 23 and will need to use his age to spend time working on his wrestling, clinch, and submission defense. With the right learning path and the right opponents, Bilostenniy has a massive amount of potential, and could very well find himself one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world.

    12. Rizvan Kuniev

    Height: 6'4" Weight: 250 Age: 27 Reach: N/A Rec: 7-2

    To be profiled shortly.

    13. Anton Vyazigin

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 260 Age: 25 Reach: N/A Rec: 14-3

    To be profiled shortly.

    14. Viacheslav Riabov

    Height: 6'6" Weight: 245 Age: 24 Reach: N/A Rec: 5-0

    To be profiled shortly.

    15. Oleg Popov

    Height: 6'1" Weight: 245 Age: 26 Reach: N/A Rec: 6-1

    To be profiled shortly.

    16. Kevin Szaflarski

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 260 Age: 25 Reach: N/A Rec: 8-1

    To be profiled shortly.

    17. Oumar Kane

    Height: 6'4" Weight: 265 Age: 27 Reach: N/A Rec: 1-0

    To be profiled shortly.

    18. Martin Buday

    Height: 6'5" Weight: 265 Age: 28 Reach: N/A Rec: 7-1

    To be profiled shortly.

    19. Alexander Maslov

    Height: 6'2" Weight: 235 Age: 26 Reach: N/A Rec: 3-0

    To be profiled shortly.

    20. Jose Azevedo

    Height: 6'3" Weight: 250 Age: 28 Reach: N/A Rec: 6-2

    To be profiled shortly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  2. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Condensed into first post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  3. mattandbenny

    mattandbenny Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,917
    Likes Received:
    1,384
    Location:
    England
    That top 10 is quality, imagine if those guys were all in the UFC... Would turn HW into one of the stronger divisions.
     
  4. covenant

    covenant Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    6,213
    Likes Received:
    3,590
    Location:
    beijing
    Unsure why the ufc has let so many of these hw prospects from eastern europe slip through their grasp whilst signing krylov or that chechen.

    Your really sold on curtis blaydes perhaps the ufc should make the call.
     
    NicholasJBasile and Paul L like this.
  5. Devilboy86

    Devilboy86 Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    284
    It seems like the ufc doesn't sign heavyweights with limited experience as often as they used to . Maybe it's because they have a small heavyweight roster so it's harder to build guys up?
     
    David Street likes this.
  6. Devilboy86

    Devilboy86 Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    284
    They'd probably be more willing to sign bedorf or erokhin before the top 3
     
    David Street likes this.
  7. Tyrannosaurus rex

    Tyrannosaurus rex GrizzlyTitan

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    8,785
    Likes Received:
    5,619
    Damn, I hope the UFC picks up some of those top 10 guys soon. Especially the top 2.

    Aliakbari has great potential, bus they may not want him due to his drug test history and the USADA thing. Maybe the risk of him popping is too big for the UFC right now, but if he keeps winning they may have to sign him anyway. For now, the UFC has Makhov, who I understand is an even better wrestler.

    Not sure why the UFC doesn't sign any of these guys though. The HW roster is already tiny, with a shitload of aging guys and lower level guys.
     
    Allingtonskates and Paul L like this.
  8. qw3rty

    qw3rty PM me for free filler-room uppercuts

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    10,458
    Likes Received:
    13,726
    Location:
    .AR


    From the heavies
     
    cheese32165 and Paul L like this.
  9. Nathanli

    Nathanli Green Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    752
    Wow. Congrats to Blaydes. I feel like Paul L definitely had a role in putting him on the map.
     
    Aranha21, Paul L and beefcake180 like this.
  10. beefcake180

    beefcake180 Aces Wild

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    13,888
    Likes Received:
    11,197
    Location:
    Spanaway, Washington
    Time to strike number one off the list!
     
    FatMoiMoi and Paul L like this.
  11. DarkfireBoy

    DarkfireBoy Black Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    7,289
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Holy shit! Blaydes vs ngannou in ufc! Sucks that one of them has to lose though.
     
    Aranha21, beefcake180 and Paul L like this.
  12. green ribbon

    green ribbon Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Dirty Dublin City
    Thought of this thread as soon as I seen the Blaydes news. Nice one Paul
     
    FatMoiMoi and Paul L like this.
  13. mattandbenny

    mattandbenny Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,917
    Likes Received:
    1,384
    Location:
    England
    Bit dissappointed he's fighting Ngannou, they are both solid prospects. Great signing for UFC though.
     
    Allingtonskates, DrGlaze and Paul L like this.
  14. Blobtheblobfish

    Blobtheblobfish Chimichanga

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    340
    Thank you for making the list, it's amazing how much work you put into this.
     
  15. CC27

    CC27 Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    19,036
    Likes Received:
    4,128
    Location:
    NJ
    Great to see Blaydes get picked up.
     
    Paul L likes this.
  16. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    :D;)
     
    The Blue Bird and FatMoiMoi like this.
  17. Paul L

    Paul L Gassed Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    The best heavyweight in a long time is now in the UFC, congrats to Curtis!

    That makes Sergey Pavlovich the best heavyweight not signed by a major promotion as of now. Hopefully we'll see him make the move soon as well. I'll compare Pavlovich to JDS and Blaydes to Cain, although they are both very different fighters, but the signing of those two would be similar to when they picked up JDS and Cain.
     
    beefcake180, FatMoiMoi and CC27 like this.
  18. qw3rty

    qw3rty PM me for free filler-room uppercuts

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    10,458
    Likes Received:
    13,726
    Location:
    .AR
    Pavlovich has shown some interest on signing with UFC?

    I ask that because I could think M-1 could be behind him for obvious reasons
     
  19. Thesnake101

    Thesnake101 Think about it, it worth it.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    Messages:
    11,409
    Likes Received:
    24,128
    Location:
    Having Fun
    Really sucks that one of them has to lose since they're two of the best HW prospects the UFC has right now.
     
    DarkfireBoy, Paul L and DrGlaze like this.
  20. under_t

    under_t Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,489
    Likes Received:
    978
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    It was rumored Pavlovich signed with UFC and would fight at Zagreb card.
    And he won't go to M-1 cause he is Fight Nights fighter.
     
    David Street, qw3rty and Paul L like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.