MMA prospect rankings update lightweight-featherweight: Saul Almeida, Dakota Cochrane, & Mark Adams debut in the ranks
ULTMMA.com has released and updated its latest set of Mixed Martial Arts prospect rankings. The rankings cover a top 20 for each of the eight major MMA weight classes heavyweight through flyweight with a total of 160 unsigned prospects rated.
When the WEC merged with the UFC an unspoken casualty of that move was the reduced roster size for the 155-135 pound weight divisions in MMA's largest organization. In 2011 prospects in these weight classes will be under more scrutiny as they attempt to work their way into a national MMA promotion.
25 year old Massachusetts lightweight Magno Almeida (9-1) makes his debut in the rankings as a five star prospect. Almeida finished all three of his 2010 opponents with first round submissions, including a four minute choke out of former WEC fighter Mike Campbell.
Nebraska lightweight Dakota Cochrane holds down the number seven spot in the 155 pound prospect ranks with a solid four star grade. The 24 year old Cochrane made his professional MMA debut in November 2009 after a 4-0 amateur career. Cochrane scored his biggest win to date when he submitted fellow Midwest prospect Marcus LeVesseur with a first round triangle choke in November 2010.
At 145 pounds another Brazilian who trains in the Northeast Saul Almeida (8-1) is the number four rated featherweight on our list. Fighting out of Massachusetts, Almeida won the Bellator Fighting Championship Boston open tryouts in May 2010. Still months away from his 22nd birthday Almeida has impressed on the local scene and has even had the opportunity to supplement his training with trips to California to work with the acclaimed Team Blackhouse fight team; home to the Nogueira brothers and UFC champ Anderson Silva.
On the UK MMA scene featherweight Mark Adams (6-0) threw his hat in the ring in 2010 as a potential breakout star from across the pond. The Team Kaobon fighter only fought once in the last 12 months, but Adams proved may prognosticators wrong with a decisive five round victory over one of Europe's top 145 pound prospects, Alan Omer.