5 Fighters That Will Breakout In 2016.



Geane”La Pulga” Herrera (9-1)-UFC Flyweight

“La Pulga” (The Flea) is the next generation of MMA fighter who excels at every aspect of the fight game. On his feet he is always looking for the finish by throwing powerful and creative strikes. On the mat he has displayed dangerous ground skills submitting five of his last ten opponents with multiple submissions. Now training at Xtreme Couture with striking guru Gil Martinez and and jiu-jitsu legend Robert Drysdale, Herrera will hone his skills with some of the best in the sport.

Herrera racked up an 8-0 record with 6 finishes before getting the short notice call to fight Ray Borg (who missed weight) at UFC Fight Night 73. Herrera attempted to engage in a stand up battle that Borg wanted no part of.  Herrera opened up some gnarly cuts on Borg, but ended in a decision favoring Borg’s smothering top game.

In his next fight (also short notice) Herrera scored a highlight reel left hook KO over Jackson/ Winkeljohn product, Joby Sanchez. At only 25 years of age, Herrera is looking to make a name for himself in a UFC Flyweight division that is hungry for new contenders.





       Darrion “The Wolf”Caldwell (8-0) – Bellator Bantamweight

Caldwell’s wrestling pedigree is about as good as it gets in MMA. A 2008 National Champion at NC state, Caldwell went 109-13 in his collegiate career. Caldwell began his MMA career after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team due to a string of injuries. Training with Arizona based Power MMA Team, Caldwell brings a high level of wrestling unmatched by any Bantamweight fighter.

28 year old Caldwell has been dominant in his young MMA career, going 5-0 in Bellator and 8-0 overall, his elite grappling and ever improving striking have scored him big wins over Rafael Silva and fellow collegiate wrestler standout Shawn Bunch. A main event match-up against former Bantamweight Champ Joe Warren on March 4th at Bellator 151 is the perfect stage to showcase his talent and may be the performance that launches him to super-stardom.




                              Mirsad Bektic (10-0) – UFC Featherweight

Bosnian native Bektic made his way to the States at age 10. He initially trained in karate before switching to MMA in 2008. Cutting his teeth in mid west promotions, Bektic caught the eye of many MMA fans and was widely recognized as the #1 prospect not signed to the UFC. Drawing comparisons to a young GSP, Bektic has displayed an extremely well rounded fighting style with little to no flaws. Training with elite partners at the Coconut Creek Florida super-gym American Top Team, the 24 year old Bektic matches up well with anyone in the UFC’s Featherweight division.

Certainly the most recognizable name on this list, Bektic has yet to achieve the success many anticipated. Despite being 3-0 in his UFC, Bektic has yet to face a marquee opponent and has been plagued with injuries, pulling out of 2 fights in the past year. If Bektic is able to stay healthy there is no doubt in my mind he can compete with the upper echelon of Featherweights.



                     Michael “Venom” Page (9-0)-Bellator Welterweight

The one and only “MVP” Michael “Venom” Page is about as close to a sure thing as you can get in combat sports. Page’s flashy and unorthodox striking aligns well with his flashy and unorthodox personality. From wild spinning kicks to playful mockery of opponents, Page’s in ring presence is part Bruce Lee and part Ric Flair.

Picking up MMA in 2011, Page began training with the likes of John Hathaway, Che Mills, and “Judo” Jim Wallhead at the London Shootfighters Gym. Page’s style has drawn many comparisons including Anderson “Spider” Siva and John “Bones” Jones, but with his championship background in Kickboxing and Karate “MVP” is looking to create his own legend in the cage.

Page has started his MMA career with a bang going 9-0 with 8 first round finishes. Page’s highlight reel performances have proving him worthy of a title shot at Bellator’s Welterweight champ, Andrey Koreshkov. With Page’s Bellator contract nearing the end, I’m sure Dana White and crew are salivating at the idea of getting Page to the UFC, I know I am.




                        Steve “Bear”Mocco (5-1) – WSOF Heavyweight

The former two-time NCAA Champion and U.S Olympian Steve Mocco began his MMA career in 2012 when American Top Team brought him in to help Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva train for Cain Velasquez. After achieving everything in wrestling one could hope to realistically do, Mocco decided to train MMA full time at ATT. His combination of olympic caliber wrestling, and flair for the controversy, seemed to make him a perfect fit for MMA.

Mocco started his career 4-0 before signing to fight with the World Series of Fighting promotion. Mocco suffered a unanimous decision loss to Smealinho Rama in his WSOF debut. Showing his inexperience in the fight game, Mocco blew his wad early and was gassed for most of the fight. Mocco made a successful return stopping Juliano Coutinho in the first with strikes. At 34, Mocco is no spring chicken, but with only 6 fights under his belt he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear. If Mocco can put it all together, he possesses the type of skills to be a dominating champ for years to come.




3 thoughts on “5 Fighters That Will Breakout In 2016.

  1. Good Call on Caldwell…I am surprised the Media is not paying much attention to this guy…How many dudes can do back flips off the top of the cage? Not counting Crazy Horse…. Kick people in the Head, Choke out Olympic Wrestlers, Pull of one of the greatest Upsets in Wrestling History and on TAM Radio when TJ found out Caldwell was fighting at 135 He was flat out concerned and admitted it live, he then told a story about not knowing who he was, but remembers cutting weight before the tournament, and he hears these 2 black guys who were brothers talking about how they got high all week, so TJ says to himself….Damn, These guys have no chance, NC State, I guess they are just here for fun….

    He then goes back to his hotel to recover from his tough day after getting eliminated on last day, turns on ESPN for the Brett Metcalf Show with Gable in the booth to cover his protege on a 100+ winning streak, most pins in a year, it was the 149lb show and everyone was waiting for Metcalf to come out and just brutalize someone….As the Match Starts, TJ turns to his buddies and says “That guy wrestling Metcalf in the finals is the guy who was partying all week, doesn’t even cut weight, how is he in the finals? Easy Work for Metcalf…Until the #7 Seed went all Jon Jones and forgot about pedigree, forgot it was the Metcalf Tournament on ESPN, He didn’t get the memo that even though he was dominated by Metcalf earlier in the year, that he was supposed to roll over….

    Long story short….He Jumped out to a crazy 8-10 point lead, the booth doesn’t know what to say, Caldwell sticks him on his back, let’s him up, scores at will, and coasts to a major decision after taking his soul…He did his famous Back Flip with 10 seconds left and Metcalf Shoved him mid air, and the Fighter was born….He is undefeated and making it look easy…

    We have a Tall 6′ 135lb Black Guy who is a top notch athlete, but also has that Mean streak guys like DC don’t have. Cocaine is the Demon that is haunting Jon Jones who reminds many of a young Jon Jones, but Caldwell has some “Injury and Work Ethic Issues”…So only he can beat himself…The UFC has been dropping the ball on new prospects and missing the next Chad Mendes, Hendricks, Miocic, Cain, Koscheck, TJ, but Bellator and WSOF have not…

    ED Ruth and Pico Signed long term after Olympics, Ruth was the only guy Jones invited to camp before DC to work on wresting for a week. Pico is potentially the greatest Ever at his age, ahead of Cejudo….Add in Bubba jenkins, Branch, and a bunch more, and soon the market will catch up to the UFC with Reebok tying their hands since they can’t truly match clauses anymore and they will lose in court if they try to match a contract but a fighter can show that the Reebock money is lower than what his potential could be…Rizin is looking to spend money again, they want to bring back Pride, it only takes a few stars and good fights….People turned in to see Kimbo vs. Shamrock more than any other MMA event in last 2 years on free TV, so UFC better keep guys like Sterling and Bendo since they have tons of cards to fill with Fox, and hype trains are dying…

    I say feed Sage Northcutt and his “yes Sir, Gosh golly Gee this is so much fun, I can bend a spoon…I make 40k/40k and Nate Diaz makes 20/20…Lets book that fight, the pre fight trash talk would be much more entertaining than Conor vs. Diaz…The UFC and Reebock will need to make the kid Ear Muffs with all those curse words..But for real, he is 2 fights deep, would Abel Trujillo vs. Sage Northcut not make every fighter on the Roster fired up since Sage is helpless on the ground? Book It….But Caldwell is a stud, He is fighting TJ in 2 years, Cruz will no longer be fighting, the wheels will fall off by then for sure, and both baby hands will be broken…Has he ever finished a fight before Mizu vs. 125lbers? And why do people all of a sudden like him and are fans? I remember a guy peope hated, loved Faber, didn’t like his point fighting Herky jerky Stye, but TJ puts it on him…take that Pick to the bank..Cruz is only talking to himself right now, they can’t put any of TJ’s Responses on TV since all he can say to Cruz is “I will Fuck you up and Knock your Frail as out.” Cruz should have seen what happened to DC and his fan base after the 100 takedowns he still owes us, and the 2 rematches he woud grant Jones….Just because you are smarter, understand fighting better, does not mean you are the toughest guy…TJ also happens to be the Toughest and the Best…Like Jones is the Toughest and the Best….It is rare you get both in a Champion, Jones never thought about tapping to Belfort, TJ is the same way, Conor has done great things, but let’s not forget the Chad fight and his limited takedown skills and motion….His BFF Artem just got off 4 punches in 3 rounds on Fox after he called out Faber and bragged how bad ass he was, and lost to a guy 2 weight classes below…Then Gunnar gets Raped by Maia….Anyone picking Conor vs. Edgar or RDA is not being honest with themselves, do you think Frankie would go for the same TAM Choke they all do from top? Why create a scramble when you can Rape Cub Swanson who was in line for a Title shot and BJJ Black belt for 5 rounds and Sub him at the end….When Has Frankie been hit in the last 5 years? When he lost 2 controversial spits to top 10 Welterweight Bendo, then faced The pre Usada WEC Aldo who killed Mike Browne, used to finish people and could use the IV, mean, never been taken down etc…Frankie lost a spit to him as well….Many felt he won after scoring 3 takedowns to be first to put it on Aldo and he took 0 damage…Edgar Beats Conor, no doubt in my mind, He is a media creation who has come through with fortunate situations..Chad filming a hunting show, he picked Chad not Frankie, never has said one bad word about Frankie, has insulted everyone else on roster? Why is that? Thats my rant….Good picks for prospects, fighters are all getting old in most divisions so with this lawsuit and Overeem, Bendo, Sterling free Agents, you think Rizin is not paying Overeem to fight Fedor? Big loss for UFC….


  2. Pingback: UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson – Punch-Face.com

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