Lowen Tynanes – 5-0-0 - American – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 13-6, Last Fought: May ‘13
American born Lowen Tynanes is a Hawaiian native and former state wrestling champion, but he has made a name for himself on the Asian MMA scene. Tynanes burst onto the scene late in 2012 when he got an impressive 1st round upset of top Asian fighter Eduard Folayang (12-2) and followed it up with a submission victory over Vuysile Colossa (4-2) for One FC. In his most recent 2 fights he won the KOTC lightweight title by submitting Kris Armbrister (7-4) and picked up another One FC win with an impressive TKO of Felipe Enomoto (6-5). Tynanes held a 6-1 record in an amateur career that included being champion of 2 different promotions. His father was also an MMA fighter who retired with a 4-2 record.
Lukasz Sajewski – 12-0-0 - Polish – 22 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 19-9, Last Fought: Oct ‘13
Back in 2010 a 20 year old Sajewski was arguably the top European prospect out there. However, a series of major knee injuries have slowed his progress. Luckily for him he is still just 22 years old and in May 2012 returned from a hellish 2 year injury layoff. Since returning he has won 4 fights in the space of 18 months, becoming the Fight Club lightweight champion with wins over Saulius Bucius (7-6), Abi El Khalifi (5-3), Alexander Heinrich (5-6) and most recently Kamil Gnaidek (5-1). Earlier in his career he was also the first man to defeat top Bellator lightweight Marcin Held (8-0). Of his 12 wins, Sajewski has 8 finishes (6 submissions & 2 TKO’s).
Gilbert Burns – 6-0-0 - Brazilian – 27 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 14-6, Last Fought: Dec ‘13
Gilbert Burns may be a familiar name to jiu-jitsu fans as he is a jiu-jitsu World Champion and is ranked one of the best BJJ fighters in the world at 155 pounds. In 2011, Burns won the World Championships (after getting silver in 2009) by defeating Kron Gracie in the final. In addition to this he is also the 2010 World No-Gi Champion and a 2010 World Cup winner. He was also chosen by Vitor Belfort to be the head grappling coach of Team Belfort on the first series of TUF Brazil. Nicknamed ‘Durinho’, he has unsurprisingly finished all 6 of his fights in the very first round, with 4 of these submission victories. He is one of Vitor Belfort’s main training partners and among his wins invlude a 1st round KO of Paulo Suilva (19-8) and a 2 minute submission of Vinicius Bohrer (7-2).
Carlos Diego Ferreira – 9-0-0 - Brazilian – 28 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 25-8, Last Fought: Nov ‘13
American fighter Carlos Ferreira is a jiu-jitsu specialist and regularly competes in both gi and no-gi tournaments. After starting out his MMA career in 2011 with a hard fought split decision win, he went on to win 5 straight fights via submission. In his most recent 3 fights he has taken a big step up in competition winning three dominant unanimous decisions – firstly over UFC veteran Carlo Prater (31-13), then over the previously unbeaten Chris Feist (8-0), and in his most recent fight he won the Legacy FC lightweight title by stopping the 7 fight win streak of UFC & Pride veteran Jorge Patino (34-13). The 28 year old is also the lightweight champion of the STFC promotion and holds submission wins over Danny Salinas (11-4) and Hector Munoz (8-3).
Scott Holtzman – 6-0-0 - American – 30 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 14-7, Last Fought: Oct ‘13
Scott Holtzman may be known to some hardcore fans as he is the champion of regional promotion XFC. After Nick Newell pulled out of their title fight to sign for WSOF, Holtzman won the XFC lightweight title with a TKO victory over John Mahlow (13-13) last June. The 30 year old has finished 4 of his 6 fights and also holds wins over Roger Carroll (11-9), Jason Hicks (5-0) and Chris Coggins (6-3). Before turning professional Holtzman was also a champion at amateur level, ending with a perfect 4-0 record with 4 stoppages.
Bekzod Abdurakhmonoz – 4-0-0 - Uzbekistani – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 6-1, Last Fought: Nov ‘13
The only fighter from Uzbekistan on this year’s 230 man list, Abdurakhmonoz currently lives and trains in Pennsylvania, USA. He is arguably the best wrestler on this year’s lightweight list – he wrestled for Clarion University and was a successful Division 1 wrestler, finishing 3rd in the 165 pound division in 2012 to earn All-American status. Before turning pro he was a champion as an amateur during an amateur career that saw him go an unbeaten 5-0 with 5 stoppages. Since turning pro he has carried this form on, going a perfect 4-0 with 4 stoppages (2 TKO’s & 2 submissions). In his most recent fight he submitted Christian Leonard (5-3) for the CFFC promotion.
Mateusz Gamrot – 5-0-0 - Polish – 24 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 13-4, Last Fought: Sep ‘13
Polish fighter Mateusz Gamrot makes it to 7th spot due to his background and the strength of opposition he has faced. The 24 year old is a good grappler and his credentials include being the 2013 Polish grappling champion (at purple belt), and he was also a 3 time Polish wrestling champion as a junior. Last year he signed for the KSW promotion and in his debut for them he got an excellent TKO win over fellow prospect Mateusz Zawadzki (9-1). In his most recent fight he used takedowns to win a dominant decision over UFC veteran Andre Winner (15-7). He has finished 3 of his 5 wins, with 2 wins by TKO and the other by submission.
Charles Rosa – 6-0-0 - American – 26 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 7-12, Last Fought: Nov ‘13
Charles Rosa had an extensive amateur background before turning pro – he was an amateur champion in 4 different promotions, finished with a solid 11-2 record, and late in 2012 he was ranked the number 1 amateur in USA. He is the protégé of former UFC fighter Charles McCarthy and has come from a hard background – he has lost 2 brothers due to drugs overdoses and was a drug addict himself. The 26 year old is a well-rounded fighter - he has won several grappling competitions and holds a Muay Thai title. A former welterweight, he has won each of his first 6 fights in the very first round, with 4 submissions and 2 TKO’s. In his most recent 2 fights he has submitted Steve McCabe (6-13) and Ralph Johnson (5-8).
Rafael Nunes – 10-0-0 - Brazilian – 26 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 20-12, Last Fought: Jun ‘13
24 year old Brazilian Rafael Nunes has an impressive 10-0 record, which is the 3rd most wins on this year’s lightweight list. After starting his career in 2010 with a unanimous decision victory he has since finished each of his last 9 fights, all inside the first 2 rounds. He is a jiu-jitsu black belt and has 5 submission victories as well as 4 TKO wins. Nicknamed ‘Indio’, he has fought the majority of his career for the Brazilian Max Fight promotion and is their current lightweight Champion. He has been beating solid competition recently, including Ude Lima (16-13), Fabio Defendenti (6-1), Jose De Melo (12-9) and Claudire Freitas (7-9).
Anthony Dizy – 4-0-0 - French – 25 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 5-4, Last Fought: Sep ‘13
25 year old Anthony Dizy is arguably the hottest MMA prospect to come out of France – he is an excellent wrestler and currently ranked the #3 Greco Roman lightweight in France. On top of his wrestling game he is an amateur boxer and solid grappler - he recently beat a black belt to win the G1 grappling tournament in his home country. In his young MMA career he has finished every fight in the very first round with 3 TKO’s and 1 submission. Among his wins include Michael Bobner (4-2) and Ousmane Sidibe (4-4).
Islam Makhachev – 9-0-0 - Ukrainian – 22 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 19-5, Last Fought: Aug ‘13
Makhachev is one of two fighters from Ukraine on this lightweight list and is also one of the youngest at 22 years old. He is a former combat Sambo Champion in Russia and comes from the infamous Dagestan region, which has also produced fighters such as Rustam Khabilov, Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Ali Bagautinov. Makhachev is one of the main training partners of UFC contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is also from Dagestan. He made his MMA debut as a 19 year old and in 2011 he submitted the previously unbeaten Migel Gregoryan (5-0). After this he signed for M1 and last year he handed Mansour Barnaoui (8-0) and Rander Junio (6-0) their first defeats.
Bagama Nikabagamaev – 13-0-0 - Russian – 28 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 22-5, Last Fought: May ‘13
28 year old Nikabagamaev is the lightweight champion of the Russian FEFoMP promotion and has the best record on this year’s lightweight list at 13-0. The Russian fighter is a small lightweight at 5’7” but has not let that stop him as he has finished 11 of his 13 fights, with all the stoppages coming by submission and 10 of these in the very first round. The jiu-jitsu specialist loves going for chokes with and 10 of his 11 submission wins coming by some sort of choke. After building up his record with wins over inexperienced opponents, in his most recent few fights he has successfully stepped up in competition and beaten Sergei Tsekunov (6-1), Evgeniy Zlivko (5-0) and Mamour Fall (12-8).
Guilherme Sarafian – 6-0-0 - Brazilian – ?? Years Old - Opponent W/L: 5-4, Last Fought: Aug ‘13
Guilherme Sarafian is the brother of TUF Brazil star and UFC middleweight Daniel Sarafian. His brother Daniel made a 7-2 MMA record before going on The Ultimate Fighter, so a chance for Guilherme to do the same is a real possibility. He is a large lightweight and has also fought at welterweight earlier in his career. Sarafian has a great stand up game and has also dabbled in boxing in Brazil. He has won all 6 fights so far in his MMA career, finishing 4 of them (2 TKO & 2 submissions). In June last year he got his best win to date when he needed just 35 seconds to TKO Tiago Silva (6-1).
Jake Lindsay – 6-0-0 - American – 27 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 15-7, Last Fought: Jun ‘13
27 year old Jake Lindsey was an amateur star before turning pro, finishing his amateur career with a perfect 7-0 record with all wins coming via stoppage. He made his professional debut in 2010 and has since won all 6 fights, finishing 4 of them inside the distance. Last year he signed for the Titan FC promotion, beating Jordan Johnson (6-2) in his debut for them, and followed it up with an impressive 1st round knockout of the previously unbeaten Zach Freeman (7-0) in June last year. The American trains out of Combative Sports Centre - an up and coming gym in America, and is nicknamed ‘The Librarian’ because he works in a library.
Felipe Nilo – 6-0-0 - Brazilian – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 8-4 Last Fought: Dec ‘13
Brazilian fighter Felipe Nilo trains out of one of the best camps in the world at Team Nogueira. As you would expect out of a Team Nogueira pupil, Nilo has an excellent ground game and is a black belt in jiu-jitsu – a belt he was awarded 2 years ago when he was just 21 years old. Now 23 years old, he has comfortably won the first 6 fights of his MMA career, submitting 4 of them inside the distance and knocking out another. He recently made the drop down to lightweight after fighting most of his career at welterweight and in his last fight he beat Oseias Viana (3-0).
Martin Delaney – 8-0-0 - English – 33 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 14-5, Last Fought: Jun ‘13
33 year old grappler Martin Delaney was 6-0 as an amateur and has made an even better 8-0 start to his professional career. The Englishman brings an interesting judo style to the cage, and is a judo black belt. The grappler has finished 5 of his 8 fights, with 3 wins by Submission and 2 by TKO. In February last year, he won the On Top lightweight title and ended the 7 fight winning streak of the experienced Mamour Fall (10-6), winning a tough split decision. He followed this up by winning the Made 4 The Cage lightweight title with the best win of his career - a unanimous decision victory over Paul Cook (11-3).
Michael Karkula – 6-0-0 - Canadian – 25 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 14-8, Last Fought: Oct ‘13
Surprisingly the only Canadian fighter on the lightweight list this year, Karkula has been fighting as a professional since 2009 and has fought for a variety of Canadian promotions, including Instinct MMA and Ringside MMA. After submitting each of his first 5 opponents in the very 1st round he went to a decision in his most recent fight, beating Bellator veteran Jesse Gross (8-3). He trains at Tap Star, which is also home to UFC fighter Sean Pierson, and holds a win over the experienced Brad Cardinal (17-8). He was invited by Jose Aldo to train with him for his fight with Frankie Edgar last February.
Yuta Kaneko – 7-0-2 - Japanese – ?? Years Old - Opponent W/L: 4-11, Last Fought: Dec ‘13
Japanese fighter Yuta Kaneko is unbeaten in 9 fights, with 7 wins and 2 draws. Unlike many Japanese fighters, Kaneko is extremely aggressive and has finished 6 of his 7 wins by TKO, with all 6 stoppages coming in the 1st round. He has fought mainly for the Brave organisation, one of the smaller promotions in Japan, and last year he needed just 85 seconds to stop Hidehiko Hasegawa (19-18). He also holds a win over Genki Osako (5-4) and in his most recent fight he got a decent draw with Yasuhiro Kawasaki (9-4).
Joe Fye – 5-0-0 - American – 28 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-6, Last Fought: Dec ‘13
28 year old Joe Fye is a marine and has served 2 tours of duty in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan, holding the position of infantry squad leader. He was introduced to MMA by UFC fighter Jimmy Hettes and had a decent 4-1 record at amateur. Since turning pro Fye has won all 5 fights and finished 4 of them via TKO. In December he put his name on the map when he won a dominant decision over UFC veteran Corey Hill (6-5). He is a former welterweight having dropped down to lightweight in his most recent fight, and he also holds a victory over Kevin Horowitz (5-4).
Magomed Alhasov – 9-0-0 - Ukrainian – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 9-3, Last Fought: Mar ‘13
The second Ukrainian fighter on the lightweight list, Alhasov has fought for a variety of European promotions but mainly for Russia’s Pro FC organisation. Alhasov started his MMA career when he was a teenager and the grappling specialist is now 23 years old and has a 9-0 record. At just 5’6” Alhasov is an extremely small lightweight, so a drop down to 145 pounds would seem likely in the future. His first 8 wins were over inexperienced opponents but he stepped up in competition slightly in his most recent fight to beat Erdi Karatas (4-1). Outside from MMA he competes in combat Sambo and trains alongside CWFC fighter Pavel Kusch.
Fernando Dos Santos – 6-0-0 - Brazilian – 26 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 15-7, Last Fought: Sep ‘13
Brazilian lightweight Fernando Dos Santos trains at top Brazilian camp Nova Uniao where he gets in training with the likes of Renan Barao, Jose Aldo and Marlon Sandro. The 26 year old has fought for a variety of top Brazilian promotions including Shooto Brazil, Bitetti Combat and WOCS. He has fought very good opposition so far – his wins include Douglas Dias (6-2), Raush Manfio (4-0), Hallan Hertel (4-0) and Kelles Santos (12-14). However he is not a finisher and has finished just 2 of his 6 fights (both by submission).
Patryk Rogoz – 7-0-0 - Polish – 18 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 3-6, Last Fought: Oct ‘13
The youngest fighter on the 2014 lightweight list, Rogoz is an 18 year Polish fighter who has already built up an impressive 7-0 record. He has been fighting regularly since making his debut mid way through 2012 and has won every fight in the very first round, with 5 submission and 3 TKO wins. Before turning professional he had a 24 fight amateur career when he was 15/16 years old, during which he held a 18-6 record.
Justin Harrington – 6-0-0 - American – 29 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 7-5, Last Fought: Oct ‘13
American fighter Justin Harrington fights out of Washington and has fought 3 times in each of 2012 and 2013, winning each fight. He is yet to go to the judges’ scorecards, winning his first 2 fights by TKO and his most recent 4 by submission. In addition to this he has 4 wins in the very first round, including 25 and 57 second wins. In his most recent fight he beat Harrison Bevens (7-1) to win the Cagesport lightweight title. He also held a 5-2 record as an amateur.
Vladimir Sikic – 10-0-1 - Croatian – 23 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 12-12, Last Fought: Apr ‘13
Sikic is a Croatian fighter that fights out of Berlin, Germany, where he has lived for the last 6 years. He does not come from any traditional martial arts background, having trained in general MMA since a teenager, so he’s very well rounded. The 23 year old is unbeaten in his first 11 fights, winning 10 of them and drawing one, with 9 finishes among them (6 TKO’s & 3 submissions). Among his best wins include TKO victories over experienced fighters Igor Montes (8-12) and Ric Schreiter (9-6). After fighting his first 10 fights at welterweight he recently dropped to lightweight in his most recent fight in September.
Ernest Chavez – 5-0-0 - American – 30 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 11-5, Last Fought: May ‘13
A former welterweight, Ernest Chavez debuted as a lightweight in his most recent fight where he won the BAMMA USA lightweight title with a 3rd round TKO of Jorge Valdez (2-1). In addition to this victory, Chavez also holds a knockout win over Tom Gloudeman (6-3) and decision wins over Josh Smith (8-5) and Stephen Martinez (4-1). 3 of his 6 wins have come via knockout, with 3 decision victories.
Paul Felder – 6-0-0 - American – 28 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 8-5, Last Fought: Oct ‘13
28 year old Paul Felder fights for top regional promotion CFFC where he is 4-0 for them. He has made a perfect 6-0 start in his whole MMA career and after destroying his first 4 opponents by TKO he’s gone to a decision for in his most recent 2 fights. He trains out of Brazen boxing and he held a 3-1 record as an amateur before turning pro. After winning his first 5 fights against inexperienced opponents, he stepped up in competition in October and beat TUF veteran Julian Lane (5-2).
Rick Reger – 6-0-0 - American – 26 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 6-9, Last Fought: Nov ‘13
American fighter Rick Reger won the Gladiator Challenge title in 2012 with a victory over Mike Sandez (7-7) and has since defended it three times. He spends part of his training at Cesar Gracie’s gym, where he gets in training alongside fighters such as the Diaz brothers and Jake Shields. The 26 year old was 4-1 as an amateur before turning pro and among his 6 wins include three 1st round submissions. He holds wins over Mike Quaintancr (4-1) and Mike Sandez (7-7).
Frankie Perez – 7-0-0 - American – 24 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 5-5, Last Fought: Sep ‘13
24 year old American Perez had an extensive amateur career before turning professional, finishing with a 7-2 record which included being the champion of 2 promotions. As a professional he has fought exclusively for the Ring of Combat promotion, where he has won all 7 fights and finished 5 of them inside the distance, 4 of which coming by submission. The down side to his record however is that he has fought relatively inexperienced opponents, with his best wins over Rafael Machado (4-9) and Alfred Walker (3-2). He trains at a great camp at Ricardo Almeida Jiu-jitsu, where training partners include Frankie Edgar and Tom DeBlass.
Lucas Zanchet – 8-0-0 - Brazilian – ?? Years Old - Opponent W/L: 1-1, Last Fought: Apr ‘13
The 6th and final Brazilian fighter on the 2014 lightweight list, Lucas Zanchet has quietly put together an extremely solid 8-0 record on the regional circuits in Brazil. He has blasted through each of his opponents so far, finishing 6 of his 8 fights with an even mix of TKO’s and submissions. However, his record is dampened when you look at his opponents – of his 8 wins, 7 of his opponents have been making their debut, with Moses Monteiro (1-1) being his only opponent with any sort of experience. Zanchet trains out of Renovacao Fight Team, a great camp in Brazil, which also houses Luiz Dutra Jr, Jose Maria Tome and Luis Nogueira.
Maxim Divnich – 7-0-0 - Russian – 25 Years Old - Opponent W/L: 3-2, Last Fought: Nov ‘13
Russian fighter Maxim Divnich made his debut in September 2012 and incredibly won 4 fights in one night. Last year he continued his progression by signing for the M1 organisation, where he has won both fights by TKO. He has finished 4 of his 7 fights, with all 4 stoppages coming via TKO. Overall he has not fought a great level of opposition, though he does hold a win over the previously unbeaten Zulfikar Usmanov (3-0).