Josh Hill – 8-0-0 - Canadian – 25 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 15-4, Last Fought: Mar ‘12 – Aggression MMA Champion
The young Canadian has fought for a variety promotions, including Score Fighting Series and W1. He became the Aggression MMA Bantamweight champion in March of 2011 by getting a 5 round Unanimous Decision over Diego Wilson (5-0), and he has gained wins over other prospects such as Eric Wilson (5-1) and Darin Cooley (4-0). The powerful wrestler has recently become a bit of a decision specialist, as he’s gone to a decision in each of his last 4 fights. Hill is a very physical fighter - built like an ox, and a massive 135 pounder.
Aljamain Sterling – 6-0-0 - American – 22 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-7, Last Fought: Apr ‘12 – CFFC Champion
Fighting for CFFC, Sterling won their Bantamweight championship in October with an excellent upset victory over the experienced Sean Santella (8-2), which he won via a 5 round decision. He recently made the first defence of his title with a submission win over Casey Johnson (4-1). Sterling is a 2 time NCAA Division 3 All American, and has tremendous athleticism. He trains at Team Bombsquad alongside UFC vets such as Mike Massenzio & Pat Audinwood, and has finished half of his fights.
Russell Doane – 6-0-0 - American – 27 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 17-2, Last Fought: Jul ’11 – X1 Champion
Hawaiian fighter Doane is a perfect 6-0 in his pro career with 6 stoppages, 5 of which in the first round. In September of 2010 he submitted the previously unbeaten and TUF vet Bryson Hansen (5-0) in less than 3 minutes to win the X1 Bantamweight title. Predominantly a stand-up fighter, 4 of Doane’s 6 wins have come via punches. He has consistently fought solid fighters, as evidenced by his 6 opponents having a combined record of 17-2. He is one of the better-rounded 135’ers.
Joe Murphy – 6-0-0 - American – 24 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 8-8, Last Fought: Jul ’12
American submission specialist Murphy has finished 5 of his 6 fights in his young career, all by submission. He has been fighting experienced fighters, and most recently defeated Tyler Weathers (8-8) this April. A purple belt in jiu-jitsu under Cleber Luciano, Murphy regularly competes in jiu-jitsu tournaments, and within the last year he has won the advanced division in the Best of the West Championships and Grapplers Quest World Series.
Eric Kelly – 6-0-0 - Filipino – 29 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-4, Last Fought: Sep ’11 – URCC Champion
The only Bantamweight on this list from the Philippines, Kelly is the URCC Featherweight Champion, and recently signed with top Asian promotion One FC. Another submission specialist, Kelly’s record is extremely impressive as he has finished all 6 of his fights by submission, 5 of which in the first round (and 5 of which by rear-naked choke). He is also a Wushu gold medallist in the Asian games. The level of opponents he has faced has not been great, but hopefully that will improve with his One FC signing. He was scheduled to fight Bae Young Kwan in February, but had to withdraw due to injury.
Stephen Abas – 3-0-0 - American – 34 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 2-4, Last Fought: Aug ’11
The most decorated wrestler on this list, Abas won the NCAA Division 1 title in the 125 pound division in 1999, 2001 and 2002, making him a 3 time All-American. He also competed at the 2004 Olympics in freestyle wrestling, winning the silver medal. He has chosen a great camp to start his MMA career at, as he trains at The Arena alongside Roger Huerta, KJ Noons & Myles Jury, among others. He opened his MMA career with a couple of decision wins, and most recently in August gained his first TKO win over the debuting Clent Gerona.
Pedro Silveira – 4-0-0 - Brazilian – 32 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 10-7, Last Fought: Mar ’12
The first of 4 Brazilians on this Bantamweight list, submission specialist Silveira has fought sporadically so far in his MMA career, competing just 4 times in his 5 year career. He has fought twice in the last 10 months however, including a win in March of this year. A high level jiu-jitsu black belt, he has trained many MMA fighters in BJJ such as Pat Miletich, Jens Pulver & Tim Sylvia. He has finished 3 of his 4 fights, and holds an extremely impressive win over David Iberico (8-1) in 2011.
Pedro Munhoz – 6-0-0 - Brazilian – 25 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 10-4, Last Fought: Jul ’11 – RITC Champion
25 year old Munhoz has competed twice a year since 2009, winning all 6 of his professional fights. Another BJJ black belt, Munhoz is a no-gi specialist who has competed in numerous jiu-jitsu tournaments. He has not competed since July 2011 where he won the Respect in the Cage Bantamweight championship with a Submission victory over Camilo Gonzalez (3-0).
Cornelius Godfrey – 4-0-0 - Brazilian – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-5, Last Fought: Jan ’12
Just 23 years old, Godfrey was the Spartan FC Lightweight champion as an amateur, and has since dropped to 135 pounds. A tall Bantamweight at 5’10”, he has kept busy since making his pro debut just 11 months ago, winning all 4 fights. He has finished every fight, 2 by submission and 2 by TKO. In just his 3rd pro fight last September he ended the unbeaten streak of Chris Wright (5-0), when he submitted him in the 2nd round.
Tuerxun Jumabieke – 12-0-0 - Chinese – 26 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 8-3, Last Fought: Mar ’12 – LFC Champion
Jumabieke trains out of China’s top MMA gym Xian Sports alongside fighters such as Guan Wang (8-0). He is one of the most active fighters on the list and has fought 8 times in the last 10 months, but is not naturally a finisher as 7 of his 12 wins have come via Decision. He has squeaked through his last 2 fights via split decision, and he recently defeated Honggang Yao (6-2) to win the Legend Fighting Championship’s Bantamweight title in his first fight for the organisation.
Angel Huerta – 5-0-0 - American – ?? Years Old - Opponent W/L: 4-7, Last Fought: Feb ’12
A stand up fighter, Huerta fights for top regional promotion Legend Fighting Championship. He has finished 4 of his 5 fights via punches, and has a tendency to finish fights early. Huerta is a karate black belt, and has even won national championships in karate. He trains at Gracie Barra Texas where coaches include 4x Pan American jiu-jitsu champion Draculino. The karate mans next fight is scheduled to be against Nelson Salas (3-0) in May.
David Aranda – 7-0-0 - Spanish – 35 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 11-6, Last Fought: Sep ’11 – OT Champion & Cage Champion
The oldest fighter on this list, Aranda was a late starter and had his first fight at 32 years old. Now 35, he is in fact the champion for 2 regional European promotions. Firstly he won the Cage Bantamweight Championship with a first round submission of fellow prospect Mathias Klockars (5-0). In his most recent fight in September he submitted top European fighter James Doolan (15-6) with 5 seconds to go in their 5 round fight. A great submission fighter, Aranda has submitted all 7 of his opponents, 6 of them in the first round.
Claudir Dutkevis – 9-0-0 - Brazilian – 28 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 8-12, Last Fought: Dec ’11
Dutkevis has kept busy, fighting 7 times since 2010. He trains out of Tata MMA, a well respected Brazilian gym, and is primarily a stand up fighter holding Muay Thai black belt (some gyms offer belt ranking in Muay Thai). 5 of his 9 victories have come by decision along with 3 TKO’s and a submission. The level of competition he has faced has been very weak however, with his best victory coming over a fighter with a 3-1 record. He is a small Bantamweight, and could even make the move to Flyweight.
Jeff Hatton – 6-0-0 - American – 25 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 12-5, Last Fought: Feb ’12
American Hatton is a high school wrestler who loves to work submissions, and he’s finished all 6 of his MMA fights to date 5 of which by submission. All his 6 pro fights have been since 2011 so he likes to keep busy, and his average fight time of 2 minutes 30 seconds shows he likes to finish fights early. His next fight is due to take place this weekend with a step up in competition against Brandon Hempleman (6-1) which will be for the Cagesport Bantamweight Championship.
Patrick Holohan – 7-0-1 - Irish – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 7-6, Last Fought: Aug ’11
Holohan is the only Irishman on this list, and at the young age of 23 he has built up an impressive record. He has finished 6 of his 7 wins by submission, and 5 of those in the first round. As evidenced by his record, Holohan is a jiu-jitsu specialist and finished runner up in the 2010 Irish BJJ Open. His most impressive win came over BAMMA & CWFC veteran Steve McCombe (13-14).
Michinori Tanaka – 5-0-0 - Japanese – 21 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 7-5, Last Fought: Mar ’12 – Shooto Rookie Prize Winner
Young Japanese prospect Michinori Tanaka is coming fresh off winning a reasonably stacked Shooto Rookie Tournament in December, where he dominated Akihito Ishihara (3-0) in the final to win the prize. Tanaka likes to work takedowns and submissions, and has won 3 of his 5 fights by submission. Tanaka trains out of a good Japanese gym, and at just 21 years old is one to look out for.
Thomas Soto – 4-0-0 - American – 29 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 6-3, Last Fought: Jul ’11
American fighter Soto is also known as Sgt. Thomas Joshua Soto, as he is a 6 year army veteran who has fought in Iraq among other places. He placed 4th overall representing Team Bliss at the last All-Army Combatives Tournament in October and took home a gold medal at the Fort Bliss Open Combatives Championships. Soto kept busy in 2011, fighting 3 times and winning each fight by decision. He has fought for a variety of promotions, including KOTC. In his most recent fight, he earned an impressive and hard fought split decision over once beaten Isiah Reyes (5-1). He is scheduled to face a debuting Joey Miolla in May.
Jody Collins – 4-0-0 - English – 24 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-5, Last Fought: Mar ’12 – CFC Champion
The first of 3 Englishmen on the list, Collins is also the least experienced of them. He has not let it hold him back, and has finished 3 of the 4 fights in fewer than 3 minutes, all for the Cage Fighters Championship promotion. In just his 2nd fight he gained an extremely impressive win over the previously unbeaten Spencer Hewitt (5-0). Since then he has won the CFC Bantamweight Championship. At just 24 he has plenty of time to improve.
Chris Kelades – 5-0-0 - Canadian – 31 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-7, Last Fought: Oct ’11
Kelades trains alongside UFC fighter TJ Grant at top Canadian camp Fit Plus. He has finished 4 of his 5 fights, with 2 coming by submission and 2 by TKO. He won his most recent fight via split decision over Dimitri Waardenburg (7-5). Kelades is predominantly a ground fighter, though he has been improving his stand up recently. He is one of Canada’s top prospects.
Mike Wooten – 4-0-0 - English – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 7-8, Last Fought: Mar ’12
Wooten fights for British promotion OMMAC where he has won all 4 fights, 3 of which by TKO in the first round. The stand up specialist trains at the Liverpool based MMA Academy under the tutelage of UFC vet Jason Tan. Tall for a Bantamweight, the young Brit is a Muay Thai specialist and gained his best win in September when he beat Mark Connor (5-7).
Mark Nuique – 8-0-0 - American – 21 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 7-9, Last Fought: Apr ’12 – Trench Warz Champion
21 year old Nuique is from Saipan and has the impressive record of having finished all of his 8 fights. Nuique doesn’t hang about, as 5 of his 8 wins have come in the first round, with the other 3 coming in the second. He has 5 submissions to his name and 3 TKO’s. His record is dampened a bit by the strength of it – his best and most experienced win is over a 3-0 fighter; and most of his wins have come over either debutants or fighters with records in the 1-5, 2-10 range. He recently won the Trench Warz Bantamweight Championship earlier this month when he submitted Joe Duenas in under 2 minutes.
Coro Coro – 4-0-1 - Japanese – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 8-5, Last Fought: Jan ’12
The second of 4 Japanese fighters on the Bantamweight list, the man that goes by the name ‘Coro Coro’ has made an unbeaten start to his career. ‘So good they names him twice’, he’s been fighting exclusively for the Pancrase organisation, Coro has finished 3 of his 4 victories by submission. The level of competition he has been fighting isn’t amazing, but he got a half decent win in his most recent bout over Kenichi Tosa (4-2). He is due to fight Taichi Nakashima (2-2) this coming weekend.
Giorgio Andrews – 8-0-0 - English – 35 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 5-15, Last Fought: Mar ’11 – UCMMA Champion
Andrews trains out of top English gym London Shootfighters alongside several UFC fighters including John Hathaway and Karlos Vemola. A professional since 2007, he has the extremely impressive record of having finished all 8 fights in the first round. He is a kickboxer, and has previously won the UK national Kickboxing Championship. In his most recent fight he defeated James Lutman (4-5) to become the UCMMA Bantamweight Champion. He also may be known to some for beating Ken Shamrock’s son Ryan Shamrock in 2008. He’s scheduled to defend his UCMMA title in August against Spencer Hewitt (8-2).
Mateus Matos – 4-0-0 - Brazilian – ?? Years Old - Opponent W/L: 3-3, Last Fought: Dec ’11
Matos is an Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira protégé who trains out of Team Nogueira alongside the likes of the Nogueira bro’s and the Pitbull Freire bro’s. He turned professional at the beginning of 2011 and has since racked up 4 straight wins, all by stoppage. As you would expect fighting out of Nogueira’s camp, he is well rounded with 2 submission wins and 2 TKO wins, though he does prefer grappling.
Jack Gooderham – 5-0-0 - Australian – ?? Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-4, Last Fought: Nov ’11
Gooderham fights for top Australian promotion Fight World Cup and he’s made an excellent start to his career, winning all 5 fights. He trains out of well-respected Australian gym Shindo MMA, and has seen 3 of his 5 fights go to a decision. He finished 2nd in the adult novice category in the Queensland grappling Championships. His next fight is scheduled for early May where he steps up in class against Shannon McClellan (5-1).
Tye Brown – 4-0-0 - Australian – 20 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 5-3, Last Fought: Aug ’11
The youngest fighter on this Bantamweight list at just 20 years old, Brown is a grappling specialist who has won all 4 fights since making his pro debut in December 2010. Brown fights out of Five Rings Dojo, which is one of Australia’s best MMA camps. A powerful wrestler who likes to works submissions, Brown has finished 3 of his 4 fights by submission. He is yet to fight any great fighters, but it is what would be expected of a 4-0 20 year old.
Jun Doi – 4-0-0 - Japanese – 25 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 3-3, Last Fought: Feb ’12
The young Japanese fighter has fought for a variety of promotions, including Pancrase and Shooto. He is a submission expert who has submitted 3 of his 4 opponents, and in just his 3rd fight he defeated the experienced Takayoshi Ono (8-12). His next fight is scheduled for June when he fights the inexperienced Yuta Sato (1-1).
Greg Penaloza – 4-0-0 - Australian – 28 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 5-8, Last Fought: Mar ’12
The 3rd and final Australian on this list, Penaloza trains out of arguably Australia’s top gym Integrated MMA, where he trains alongside fighters such as Kyle Noke, Michael Mortimer & Adrian Pang. Penaloza has finished 3 of his 4 fights – 2 by submission and the other by TKO. Primarily a stand up fighter, he originally started with karate, and more recently he’s become more of a kickboxer.
Yuta Yamashiro – 4-0-0 - Japanese – ?? Years Old - Opponent W/L: 4-3, Last Fought: Feb ’12
Yamashiro has fought exclusively for Japanese promotion Tenkaichi Super Fight, where he has tore through opposition winning all 4 fights by submission. The down side to this record however is that the 4 opponents have just 4 wins between them. The submission specialist has fought 4 times since 2011, and most recently submitted Yoshiyuki in 2 minutes.
Rijirigala Amu – 4-0-0 - Chinese – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 0-2, Last Fought: Dec ’11
The final fighter on this list is at the foot for a reason, as his opponents don’t have a win yet between them! Fighting out of China Top Team alongside UFC fighter Tiequan Zhang, Amu returned in 2011 after a 4 year hiatus and won 2 fights in 2011. A reasonably big Bantamweight, Amu has finished 3 of his 4 fights, with 2 by Submission and the other by TKO. Amu is a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, and hopefully he will get a much needed step up in competition soon. He was due to fight this month but unfortunately suffered a staph infection.