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Stars On The Rise: MMA’s Brightest Prospects 2

By Jeff Comstock | October 12, 2007

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By Jeff Comstock

This is the second in a series of articles, where I take a look at mixed martial arts fighters on the verge of becoming MMA stars.

I’ve picked 5 fighters for this article who have all displayed superior skills in the ring or cage and who I believe have the ability to be world class, top ranked fighters.

Again reader feedback would be much appreciated. At least one or two fighters mentioned in the comments section of the first article in this series was chosen for this round.

Perhaps due to my Canadian heritage, I’ve manged to sqeeze two of my compatriots onto this edition’s list. So sticking with that Canadian theme, here’s what I like to call five for fighting:


1) Chris Horodeckichris_horodecki

Nickname: The Polish Hammer

DOB: September 24, 1987

Height: 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)

Weight: 155 lbs (70 kg)

Record: 10 – 0 – 0

Country: Canada

Association: Team Tompkins

Fighting Style: Kickboxing, Wrestling

The International Fight League’s greatest asset is this 20 year old Polish born Canadian. If you Google the phrase “Looks can be deceiving” Horodecki’s picture is the first image result. OK, that’s a total lie, but Horodecki has an amazingly deceptive look for a truly devastating fighter. Horodecki is cool and composed while both in and outside of the ring, whether talking about his career or blasting opponents with devastating strikes.

After four victories in Quebec’s TKO promotion as a teenager, the Team Tompkins prodigy exploded into the mainstream MMA scene with the IFL’s LA Anacondas. Coached by Bas Rutten and Shawn Tomkins. Horodecki has electrified crowds with his superior kickboxing and wrestling skills.

Chris Horodecki’s name soon could be seen mentioned in almost any conversation regarding the fledgling IFL amongst the hardcore MMA fans. Delivering both highlight reel knockouts and winning monumental battles against the likes of Bart Palaszewski and Shad Lierley, Horodecki gave fans plenty to talk about.

If a rival MMA promotion was thinking about making a run at IFL lightweight wunderkind Chris Horodecki, it appears they’ll have to wait until 2009. The Fight Network quoted Horodecki as saying that the IFL has exercised its option to extend his contract for the 2008 season.

Some may say that Horodecki was too easy a pick for an article such as this. that’s exactly why I had to include him before going along to far in this article series. There is no doubt in any pundits mind that this kid has a huge future in the sport. Indeed a no-brainer pick, but also a must for anyone trying to document fighters with bright futures ahead of them.

2) Matt FiordirosaMatt_Fiordirosa

Nickname: Sunshine

DOB:

Height:

Weight: 145 lbs (65k g)

Record: 11 – 1 – 0

Country: USA

Association: Team Curran

Fighting Style: Wrestling, Freestyle

I’m sure many of you were introduced to Matt Fiordirsoa via the Versus Network’s Tap Out reality TV show. A visit by the Tap Out crew to Jeff Curran’s gym while looking for a fighter to sponser, produced Matt “Sunshine” Fiordirosa.

A wrestling standout in Wisconsin-Parkside College, Fiordirosa came under the tutelege of Jeff Curran and has expanded on his strong wrestling base to become a well rounded fighter. Already holding a win over the WEC 135 lbs champion Chase Beebe, Fiordirosa would seem like a likely candidate to challenge for that title should he choose to shed the weight to fight at bantamweight.

Matt has gone 4-0 so far in 2007 versus opponents with less than stellar records. It would certainly seem like the time for Fiordirosa to take a step up in competition, perhaps by joining up with his coach in the WEC. Failing that, his options for climbing the ranks are limited, as far as getting fights against top flight competition.

“Sunshine” has all the tools needed to go far in the sport, now it’s time for him to position himself to be able to put his skills on display in a setting befitting his talent.

3) Eric Schambarieric_schambari

DOB: April 22, 1978

Height: 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)

Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)

Record: 7 – 0 – 0

Country: USA

Association: Marc Laimon’s Cobra Kai

Fighting Style: Freestyle

Eric Schambari is considered to be one of Marc Laimon’s top students and has been well known on the competitive grappling circuit for some time. So far undefeated in MMA and boxing competition, Schambari has gone 2-0 since signing with the WEC, winning unanamous decision victories over solid competition in both Art Santore and Logan Clark.

The 4 times Grappler’s Quest champion seems to have all of the tools needed to compete at the MMA’s highest levels. His submission grappling credentials are unquestionable and if he continues to improve his stand-up skills, Schambari could become a ranked middleweight fighter.

4) Yusuke Endoyusuke_endo

DOB: Feb 03, 1983

Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)

Weight: 154 lbs (70 kg)

Record: 10 – 1 – 1

Country: Japan

Association: Gokita Gym

Fighting Style: Freestyle

Yusuke Endo started the year with a bang, avenging his only professional carreer loss with a unanimous decision victory over a tough as nails Ganjo Tentsuku. It was a great way to follow up on an undefeated, four fight 2006, which included a first round victory over UFC standout Clay Guida.

Unfortunately, the 2004 Shooto Rookie Champion at 154 lbs hasn’t seen action since his February revenge match. Hopefully he will fight again before the end of the year, perhaps on the next Shooto “Back To Our Roots” card.

Endo is known for his crisp boxing and a solid ground game based on the sambo of his trainer Masaru Gokita. His quick submission over Clay Guida shocked many fans, as it was Endo’s first pro submission win and against what many considered his most difficult test to date.

If Endo becomes more active, I would be interested to see how far he could rise in the ranks of the lightweight division. His all around game allows him to excel against a variety of opponents. Hopefully fans will get to see Endo fight some good competition soon.

5) Roger Hollettroger_hollett

Nick Name: Hulk

DOB: May 18, 1978

Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)

Weight: 205 lbs (93 kg)

Record: 7 – 0 – 0

Country: Canada

Association: Titans MMA

Fighting Style: Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu

Roger Hollett is considered by many to be Canada’s next great fighter. His recent win over Victor Valimaki saw his stock rise to true prospect status. A victory in his upcoming fight against undefeated ATT fighter Lew Polley on October 20th, in his hometown of Halifax could attract the attention of the larger promotions to the heavy hitting Hollett.

Hollett has fighting in his blood as the son of Halifax boxing icon Ralph Hollett, who was Canadian middleweight boxing champion in the 1980s. Roger has inherited his father’s boxing skills and fighting instincts.

The buzz around Hollett in the Canadian MMA scene over the past year has seem justified. The man is built like a tank and has torn through his opposition like a buzzsaw. His superlative boxing skills are supplemented with a jiu-jitsu blue belt and an ever improving ground game.

Update on fighters from the first article:

Dong Hyun Kim failed in his attempt to become DEEP’s 167 lbs champion. His title fight was scored a draw and thus Hidehiko Hasegawa keeps his belt. I would imagine that a third fight between the fighters will be booked sooner than later.

Andre Gusmao has pulled out of the IFL Grand Prix due to injury.

Muhsin Corbbrey is scheduled to face Bobby McMasters (7-0-0) on SHOXC: October 26th live on Showtime.

Topics: Jeff Comstock, MMA | 12 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

12 Responses to “Stars On The Rise: MMA’s Brightest Prospects 2”

  1. Zack says:

    PAUL DALEY

  2. At 16-6-2 in 5 years as a pro, fighting regularly on TV, I consider Daley a cut above the prospect status. I know that it’s a blurry line.

    I just think of Paul Daley as a legitimate contender at this point, particularly after his win over Duane Ludwig.

    Not a bad suggestion, but that’s my explanation for why you won’t see him in this article series.

  3. Zack says:

    Gotcha. More American viewers know who Horodecki is than Daley since he is one of the few people who the IFL has made recognizable.

  4. Jordan Breen says:

    Jeff, Endo is fighting Nakakura for the 154-pound P-Rim on Nov. 8. Also, he is a rad noodle chef.

  5. Andrej says:

    What can you tell me about Manny Tapia who fights in the WEC. Is this fighter the real deal ?

  6. Sweet news Jordan, I was trying to get in touch for just such juicy info before I published but couldn’t get you on msn.

    Endo vs. Nakakura sounds great!

  7. Andrej: Manny “the Mangler” Tapia would definitely qualify for this article series. He was the KOTC Jr Bantamweight Title holder, has a superb ground game and has really improved his striking this past year to become a very well rounded fighter.

  8. James says:

    Nice… Since a lot of guys are chipping in, why don’t you just make an article about brightest stars from brazil, mexico, philippines, japan, canada, america (west, east and central)

    Don’t forget to just limit it to 5 coz i don’t want to read long rants like Jordan Breen’s articles… LOL πŸ™‚

  9. Jordan Breen says:

    It’s hard to say Tapia is a prospect just because he’s one of North America’s most established 135’ers, but very few of North America’s 135’ers have fought anyone yet. Nonetheless, hopefully he can get a big fight soon.

    Also, real men want to read 3000 words at a time.

  10. I’ll stick to five at a time, because it’s easy to sit down and crank one of these out pretty fast. Besides I’d hate to lose my hockey reference “five for fighting”

    If I had Jordan’s encyclopedic knowledge I might wax more poetically and in greater length on each fighter. On the other hand many of the readers seem to enjoy the brief and to the point nature of these articles.

  11. James says:

    “real men want to read 3000 words at a time”

    Dude, if your trying to do that in your articles you might as well right a BOOK! πŸ™‚ πŸ™ πŸ™‚ I read your articles but I don’t finish reading them because I don’t have a background with those guys and its kind of useless information to me…

  12. Tiago Okamura says:

    No love for Rodrigo Damm?
    He is on a 7 fight win streak with 6 of those being by either submission or KO. With wins over Heros veteran Black Mamba, former Shooto n1 ranked Ryan Bow and Pride veteran Johil de Oliveira I think Rodrigo should be in this list.

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