Top Ten Prospects in MMA Not Under the ZUFFA Banner


In modern day Mixed Martial Arts, their are fans who proclaim that one fighter was and is significantly better than another at due to their organization and or affiliation.The era of MMA today is that fighters are training Wrestling, Striking & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before even competing in their first MMA fight whether it be amateur or professional.

This Top Ten list of prospects will use the criteria directed of that similar to magicmike and will consist of fighters that are under the age of 25 and not employed by ZUFFA.

Join me after the jump as I show who I believe are the top MMA prospects not under the ZUFFA banner.

10.)Jared "THE BIG SHOW" Rosholt(4-0),NCAA Divison I Wrestling/ Team Takedown/ Age 25. Heavyweight



Like his brother Jake,Jared Rosholt is a big powerful Heavyweight with high level wrestling accolades, durability, solid BJJ and Striking; he also possesses a ton of speed, strength and raw natural talent that could lead him to the "Big Show" in no time.

UPside: Rosholt's wrestling could lead him for success in MMA, especially in the lacking HW Division, if he continues to stream together solid wins he'll be plying his trade in the UFC against the top HW's in the world.

9.)Joe Soto(9-2-0),JUCO All American, Good Boxing, Equal Amount of finishes by Submission/KO/TKO. NorCAL Fight Team. Age 24. Featherweight.


Despite recent injuries, Soto still remains one of the top featherweight prospects unemployed by ZUFFA. His only losses are to Eddie Yagin-currently employed by the UFC and reigning Bellator FW Champion Joe Warren, which is nothing to be sad about.

UPside: Although he has faced problems with injuries, Joe still posses a great amount of power in both hands, solid boxing technique and top level wrestling, if he can rebound from his previous loses, Soto will be back in Bellator and may be possibly get a rematch with the man who beat him for the title, Joe Warren.

8.) Yuri Villefort(6-0-0),High level grappling background, Technical striking. Finished all but 1 of his fights. Team Imperial Athletics, American Top Team. Age 20. Welterweight


Yuri Villefort possesses technical craft in all facets of MMA in which he showcases in all of his fights. Villefort is an exciting fighter that looks for the finishes constantly and is always in an exciting fight. Villefort has shown flashes of brilliance at such a young age and expect this man to be seen in the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, DREAM, or any other top promotion that can get their hands on him first. P.S. Danillo Villefort's little brother, and teammate of top lightheavyweight contender Rashad Evans.

Upside:Yuri Villefort is a crafty young kid with the ability to become a top fighter in any organization with the right mindset and help from others, his natural talents are enough to lead him a long way in this sport with an extremely bright future

7.)Al Iaquinta(5-1-1) High Level Collegiate Wrestling, Finished all but 1 of his fights. Age 24. Team Serra-Longo.Lightweight.


Al boasts solid wrestling ability, ever improving standup and a solid submission game. Al lost his last fight to Pat Audinwood by armbar, however in the fight it showed the potential of the young Al as he got the better of the stand up exchanges and took Audinwood to the ground and got submitted possibly after getting overly confident ala Filho-Sonnen.

UPside: Despite his recent loss Iaquinta still possesses incredible wrestling, improving stand up skills and a solid submission game.If he can improve on his submission defense and continue to grow in all areas of the game he could very well be a top fighter in many MMA Promotions today like his teammates Chris Weidman & Gian Villante.

6.) Josh Hill(7-0-0)Hardcore work ethic, physical talent and technical skill. Age 24. Bantamweight.IRON Tiger Muay Thai


Josh Hill boasts a high level athletic skill set and showcases dominance in every one of his seven fights. All though his opponents aren't exactly cream of the crop, their regional opponents with skill and he's disposed of them quite easily in every fight.

UPside:The Canadian is a sponge in the gym, talented in all facets of MMA and has the potential to reach the big leagues in due time.

5.)Gunnar Nelson(8-0-1) Strong GNP, Dangerous Submissions. Age 23. Renzo Gracie Combat Team. Welterweight


Gunnar Nelson is a strong technical Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who possesses dangerous submissions, GNP and solid take downs with an ever improving stand up game. He has finished all his opponents by KO & or Submission and has had little to no trouble dominating solid regional opponents with the slightest of ease.

UPside: Nelson is a dangerous BJJ Blackbelt with the ability to finish some top welterweights by submission or swarm them with his GNP, Nelson's striking needs improvement, but if Nelson's rounds out his entire game in the near future he could be a top contender in the UFC.

4.)Eduardo "dudu" Dantas(13-2-0) Long rangy striker, Solid submission and GNP, highlight reel KO's. Age 22. Nova Uniao. Bantamweight


Eduardo Dantas is a fast rising prospect with the highlight reel KO's and submissions. He has shown technical capability in his kickboxing and great grappling from his back or while on top. Although he hasn't come from a wrestling background. Eduardo has shown improvement in his take downs and tdd in his most recent victories over Ed West and Alexis Vila

UPside: Young, fast, tenacious and flashy, DuDu possesses all the natural talents to become a top fighter in any promotion he's in, as evident in his quick rise to a title shot in the Bellator Bantamweight Tournament series.

3.)Douglas Lima(21-4-0)Dangerous Kickboxing, One Punch Ko Power, Crafty Jiu Jitsu. Age 24. American Top Team.Welterweight


Douglas has aggressive striking and dangerous power in both of his hands, his striking is incredibly dangerous and his ground game is very technical as well as a background in Judo.

UPside: Douglas throws with bad intentions and possesses the kind of style that can quickly get him into the UFC where can he put on FOTN performances with some of the bests Welterweights in the game. With his dangerous fighting IQ Lima is a tough test for any fighter in the Welterweight division today.

2.) Patricio Freire(17-1-0)Dangerous Striking, Submissions and KO Power.Age 24. Featherweight. Team Nogueira


Patricio boasts dangerous Muay Thai striking with one punch, kick and knee power along with his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Freire finishes most of his fights in brutal fashion and usually leaves his opponents sleeping on limping.

UPside: Patricio Freire is dangerous anywhere the fight goes and can KO almost any Featherweight fighter walking the planet. If Freire can improve his cardio and wrestling he can become top 5/10 in any featherweight ranking or top organization.

1.)Pat Curran(16-4-0) aka Lil Frog, Highlight reel KO's, good take downs, ever improving BJJ. Age 24. Featherweight. Team Curran


Pat Curran has incredible power, good cardio, tenacity, good submissions and wrestling. He shows promise in both his striking and grappling and in my opinion is going to dethrone Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren with ease.

UPside: Curran's reached incredible heights at already a young age, with improvements in his wrestling, tdd and Technical striking Curran can become a top ten fighter in the featherweight division or Lightweight if he ever made the return.

So Have it at Maniacs,Who did I miss?Be sure to leave comments in the section below, and don't forget to vote on the poll.

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