The common goal among most up-and-coming regional (or international) mixed martial arts (MMA) prospects is to one day compete for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Other major promotions such as Bellator MMA, Professional Fighter’s Leagues, and ONE Championship are not far behind. Literally, countless prospects across the globe are all working toward the same career goal, making it difficult to stand out in the sea of competition. As often as possible, MMAmania.com will highlight a different combat sports prospect to keep your eyes on.
Weight class: Welterweight
Gym: Absolute MMA & Conditioning
There is no doubt that mixed martial arts (MMA) in Australia has been exploding in the past few years. With fighters like Alexander Volkanovski, Robert Whittaker and surging prospect, Jack Della Maddalena, leading the way in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
COVID-19 slowed down and almost killed Australia’s regional MMA scene, but it is finally thriving again. One of the fighters with a ton of momentum is 31-year-old Joseph Luciano. He is the current Eternal MMA Welterweight champion and won that title by running through (and putting to sleep) one of the most exciting prospects on the planet, Kaleb Rideout.
Watch his submission finish over Rideout at Eternal MMA 74:
Luciano holds a 76 percent finish rate with five submissions and one knockout. The fact that he has more submission wins than knockouts is ironic because he was initially a Thai boxer and dissed MMA because of the grappling.
“So, I was a Thai boxer,” Luciano told MMAmania.com in a recent interview. “I loved K-1 and Dream and the Japanese fighting scene. I wanted to fight in shoot boxing or K-1 — that was my dream. I hated MMA. I thought the ground stuff was like, ‘Why would you roll around with sweaty dudes, you know, stand up and bang!”
Luciano eventually came around to the idea of fighting MMA because he felt they were more like street fights than his Thai fights. It helped that his coach kept throwing him into MMA fights, too.
The other fascinating thing about Luciano is that he had a very long amateur career (16 fights). And unlike other amateurs, he competed for the prestigious International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF).
Checkout some of his other finishes below:
Luciano vs. Tristan Murphy — Eternal MMA 64 (2022)
Luciano vs. Nelson Mayan — Rogue MMA 3 (2022)
Luciano vs. Dane Beeby — Hex Fighting Series 21 (2021)
With most Eternal MMA champions making their way to UFC, it is only a matter of time before he gets the call. Does he go through Contender Series like Maddalena? Does he get a short-notice call? Or, does he get the call to fight at UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia?
To Luciano, it doesn’t matter. He will just continue to fight — and win — until he gets called up to the big leagues.
For more regional MMA news and notes click here.