As we venture forth into a new decade with the coming of 2010, there’s no better time than right now to take a close look at the cream of the crop talent that is poised to make a significant impact on the landscape of mixed martial arts in the years to follow.
Come along as FiveOuncesofPain.com gives you dozens, upon dozens of reasons to get excited about the future of this passion driven sport we have come to understand and love.
So make sure to etch these names in your head and don’t say we didn’t tell you so.
Tyron Woodley: A Big 12 champion and two-time All American wrestler out of the University of Missouri, Woodley has trained with some of the best in the business at the American Kickboxing Academy and American Top Team while stringing together an unblemished record of 5-0 with 5 submissions to his credit.
Josh Grispi: With a record of 13-1, Grispi’s sole professional defeat in his still developing career could easily be chalked up to inexperience as the just eighteen year old fighter out of Plympton, Massachusetts was caught in a first round heel hook before going on a berserker rampage in his next nine bouts, stringing together consecutive wins with notable victories over the likes of Mark Hominick, Micah Miller and Jens Pulver.
Patricio Pitbull: Patricio is a 145 pound Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt known for finishing his bouts with dazzling head kicks and flying knees, much like another fellow Brazilian that currently occupies the featherweight throne in the WEC. Pitbull will put his undefeated 12-0 record to the test in 2010 when he enters the Bellator featherweight tournament.
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal: At just six wins into his still developing career, Mo has found himself in the unique position of being one prospect that has been thrust into contender status due to the lack of opposition in the paper thin Strikeforce 205 pound division, when the only fight he’s had with the promotion has been at heavyweight. A top level wrestler with a knockout punch to back it up, Lawal promises to be a force to reckon with at both heavyweight and light heavyweight for many years to come.
Mario Miranda: A four-time Brazilian Champion in both Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, the thirty year old Miranda came to the United States from his native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil a decade ago and has been working with Matt Hume at AMC in Seattle, Washington ever since. The results have been impressive as Mario has compiled an undefeated record of 9-0 in the light heavyweight division, with only two of his bouts making it to the judges.
Steve Abas: Abas is a four-time NCAA All American wrestler, along with being a three-time NCAA champion at 125 pounds. Also a silver medalist in freestyle wrestling during the 2004 Olympic Games, Abas is currently training out of The Arena in San Diego, California alongside Diego Sanchez and others, and plans to make his professional mixed martial arts debut in the near future.
Bryan Baker: Nicknamed “The Beast” for good reason, Baker currently boasts an impressive record of 11-1 with seven finishes to his credit, and his sole defeat coming at the hanbds of Chael Sonnen via hard fought unanimous decision.This Team Wildman fighter is currently under contract with the MFC.
Jacob McClintock: While extremely talented on the feet as well as on the ground, McClintock’s greatest asset is something you just can’t teach: A natural, god given fighter’s instinct. Training out of Arizona Combat Sports with a brown belt in Braziian Jiu-Jitsu, “Tick Tock” holds an unblemished record of 6-0 while finishing four of his bouts by either KO or TKO, and the other two via submission.
Karl Amoussou: The crazy thing about Amoussou is that he’s widely respected as a lethal knockout artist, and seven of his eleven wins have come by way of submission. “Pyscho” is dangerous no matter where the fight ends up, but he has been led to the hornet’s nest in his Strikeforce debut where Trevor Prangley is poised to make an example out of this up and comer with plenty of room to develop.
Jon Jones: Jones barely deserves to make this list due to his prior impressive performances in the UFC, but there’s no denying the seemingly unlimited potential of this 22 year old phenom. A win over Vera during the first UFC on Versus event would springboard “Bones” into the title picture overnight.