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.