MMA prospects, Ivan Shtyrkov, Askar Askarov, Jesse Arnett,

Three MMA prospects to watch this weekend

With thousands of competitors entering the sports of mixed martial arts annually there is no shortage of up and coming talent. Here are three MMA prospects to watch this weekend.

3 MMA Prospects With Fights This Weekend

Jesse Arnett

This Friday, May 4, Jesse Arnett will defend his TKO Bantamweight title against Peru native, Sebastian Ruiz. The opponent stepping into enemy territory,  Ruiz is only 1-0 as a professional but has an impressive knockout via head kick in the first round. You look at this match-up and you see no way Arnett will not impress with a winning performance as he has beat guys like Johnny Bedford, Mike Hernandez, Roland Delorme, and Vince Murdock.  Arnett is a very talented fighter who may be the best Canadian pro outside the UFC and Bellator.  His striking is very crisp, as he has good power and is terrific at finding openings from tricky angles. He lands the uppercut regularly, and his head movement really compliments his striking as he can stand in the pocket and outstrike his opponents with straight punches, uppercuts, and plenty of knees. His takedown defense is good enough for the top level of the regional scene, his wrestling is decent, and his scrambling is smooth.  When he does get on top, he moves very well and immediately hunts for (and usually finds) the submission. Arnett has won four regional titles in Canada and with a win here look for him to be on the UFC Calgary card. Watch TKO 43 exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

Watch his breakout performance against former UFC fighter Roland Delorme.

Watch his performance against another former UFC fighter Johnny Bedford.

Ivan Shtyrkov

If you look at his record of 14-0 you are already drawn in but if you look even harder and find the fighters he has beaten it’s quite impressive. “Ural Hulk” has beat many former UFC fighters like Jeff Monson, Rodney Wallace, Phil De Fries, Ricco Rodriguez, and Antonio Silva as other big names such as Marcin Lazarz, Christian M’Pumbu, and Satoshi Ishii. The biggest downside of Shtyrkov is that he fought so much at heavyweight and yes he was still winning his body build suited 205 much better. Ivan did take his last two fights at light-heavyweight but in his next bout coming up he made the move back up. Shtyrkov has the power on his feet to drop anyone but tends to get hit a lot. Luckily he has shown a good chin and is able to take one to give one. Shtyrkov does have better wrestling though with a wide variety of takedowns including body-lock takedowns, to double-leg takedowns, to trip takedowns, showing both power and athleticism. On top, he is actually a submission threat with five of his wins ending with a submission with four of them by an armbar. Brazilian Geronimo Dos Santos will stand across Shtyrkov this Friday for the Russian Cagefighting Championship (RCC) promotion. Dos Santos is another big name but with a lot of mileage, he holds twenty losses and eighteen times he’s lost have been by the opponent stopping him. Shtyrkov has received an offer from the UFC in July of last year but would turn it down for simply the reason being he doesn’t think he’s ready. Since that offer, he has won two more fights and possibly three this weekend so maybe he will be ready for UFC Russia sometimes this year.

Here is his breakout performance against former UFC fighter Antonio Silva.

Here is his crushing performance against former UFC fighter Phil De Fries.

Askar Askarov

This undefeated Russian native sits at 9-0 and is a top prospect in the Flyweight division. He is very explosive he moves in and out with amazing head movement and he utilizes the jab with his right and left hands and has a lot of power behind them. He’s also very good on the mat and gets the back often and is very tough to shake off. He is always going for the submission, and he really can do it all he has 6 wins by submission and 3 by TKO and even has a win via a twister. He will be making his return after a year lay-off against fellow Russian Rasul Albaskhanov for ACB 86 this Saturday. Rasul is 7-2 and has five submissions so he will look to take the talented Askarov to the mat. It has been reported that this is the last fight on Askarov’s ACB contract and is already in talks with the UFC.

Here is his performance over former UFC fighter Jose Maria Tome.

Here is his beautiful twister submission win against former WEC/Bellator vet Anthony Leone.

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Shawn Bitter