Five MMA youngsters you can’t afford to miss

The MMA is a bit of an odd sport with fighters arriving in ‘the game’ a bit later compared to other elite sports due to the various training regimes they have to go through to win and reach the necessary level. 

That doesn’t mean that young talent doesn’t exist though and here we look at five MMA youngsters that will probably escalate in the betting odds in the coming years.

Number 5. Ethan Hughes

The first name on our list of the up and coming MMA youngsters is American Ethan Hughes. His career is very much in its infancy with just the three MMA fights under his belt. That said, the 20-year-old has impressed in each and every one of his outings. 

You can make an argument over the first two – against Dennis Maldonado and Cris Mims respectively – as they both lack anything like an impressive track record, however, even with that considered, Hughes can only beat what was in front of him and dispatched both inside the first round. 

His most recent bout, which was in November versus Mahmoud Sebie, was a tougher test. The fight went into the third round but ultimately Hughes had too much as he inflicted the first defeat of Sebie’s career. It’s worth noting that Sebie had won each of his previous three fights by knockout inside two minutes as well so this was a big win for Hughes.

Number 4. Muhammad Mokaev

Flyweight British fighter Muhammad Mokaev is showing some serious signs of quality in his fledgling MMA career. Sure, it’s only seven fights old but he’s won every single bout and has showcased an array of talents within those seven fights. He has won two by knockout, three by submission and the other two through decision. 

Most of Mokaev’s fights have come against opposition in the Brave Combat Federation but his ceiling is clearly a high one; his inaugural UFC fight – in March this year – proved exactly that as he made the experienced Cody Durden submit inside one minute. It’s going to be interesting to see what comes next for Mokaev.

Number 3. Lucas Brennan

Lucas ‘Skywalker’ Brennan is proving himself to be quite the fighter right now. He’s only 22-years-old but already has two years worth of Bellator experience to his name; it’s an unbeaten two years as well. In seven fights only once has Brennan gone past the first round – against Andrew Salas – with his ability to force the submission particularly eye catching; it is how he’s won 70% of his fights to date, which happens to include each of the last three bouts. 

His most recent fight is the one that’s got fans chattering about his potential to reach the top though; his assassin choke that ended Ben Lugo isn’t something you see every day! With that level of skillset the Frisco born southpaw will not be an easy match up for anyone.

Number 2. Michael Morales

Ecuadorean fighter Michael Morales can take real issue with not sitting top of our rankings here. The reason we’ve sat him in the silver medal position is not a reflection on his ability in the Octagon but purely down to the fact he’s on the older side of ‘young’ at 23-years-old. His record though speaks for itself with 13 career fights and 13 straight wins. 

Of those 13 victories, just two have required a decision with Morales packing serious power to record 10 knockouts. Morales’ last outing came in January this year in the UFC after he’d beaten Nikolay Veretennikov in Dana White’s contender series. That January fight was his UFC debut and he impressed by KO’ing Trevin Giles inside round one. We can’t wait to see what’s next for him.

Number 1. Takeru Uchida

Rounding off our look at the MMA youngsters you can’t afford to miss is Takeru Uchida. The Japanese fighter might only be 19-years-old – and the only teenager to make our list – but he made his pro debut back some four years ago as he beat Ryosuke Ogawa by submission in the Shooto. His next outing was a submission defeat but since then he’s been in fine form racking up four straight wins with each of them also coming via submissions. 

The latest of those aforementioned victories was a blockbuster winner coming against Hayato Sasaki in just 1:36. At that point the UFC came calling with Uchida making his bow in that competition in June this year. Another submission victory took his overall MMA career record to 6-1-0. The one thing you should really look out for where Uchida is concerned is his rear naked choke!

There you have it, our five MMA youngsters you can’t afford to miss. Do you think we’ve missed anyone? Let us know below.

Severe MMA Staff