Light Heavyweight Prospects the UFC Should Sign

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2012

Light Heavyweight Prospects the UFC Should Sign

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    We continue on the "Prospects the UFC Should Sign" series, which will take us division by division, looking the top prospects that should be signed by the UFC. 

    Although the UFC's light heavyweight division is one of the most talent-filled divisions, it is also one of the least-occupied. Many of the top stars of yesterday are in their decline and toward the end of their careers.

    With that, new faces will need to step up and carry the torch.

    There are many good prospects available for the UFC, but here are five prospects the UFC should snag to fill up the division. These men not only bring skill to the Octagon but also potential.

    NOTE: Bellator and Strikeforce fighters will not be included.

Wagner Prado

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    Brazilian Wagner Prado is a prospect to watch out for, and he should be in the UFC sooner than later.

    Prado has lethal striking, which his record proves; he is undefeated at 6-0, only going to decision once. Five of his wins were by knockout, utilizing his knees, kicks and punches to end fights. 

    With the UFC's recent commitment to expanding into Brazil, this guy would be perfect to sign and put on one of the cards heading there soon.

Jan Blachowicz

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    Jan Blachowicz is not only one of Poland's top rising stars, he is also one of the best light heavyweight prospects in general. 

    Blachowicz, a veteran of KSW in Poland, is the promotion's light heavyweight champion. At 15-3, he has won 12 of his last 13, including wins over UFC veterans Mario Miranda, Rameau Sokoudjou and Bellator champion, Christian M'Pumbu. Blachowicz is very well-rounded, as he has submitted seven and knocked out four.

    This is another guy the UFC can sign with continued expansion into Europe.

Roy Boughton

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    Roy Boughton is a very intriguing American light heavyweight prospect who is on the rise.

    The IFC and Shark Fights veteran is 8-2, finishing six by submission or knockout. He has notably defeated Murilo Rua by decision, which is a testament of his abilities. Boughton's only losses are to Rameau Sokoudjou and Sang Soo Lee, both of whom are regarded as veterans. 

Jimi Manuwa

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    Top British prospect Jimi Manuwa was actually already offered a contract by the UFC, but chose to turn it down to further develop his skills. A smart move, which has seen him continue to win.

    But Manuwa is ready now, so the UFC needs to grab him.

    With a record standing at 11-0, the BAMMA veteran has defeated notables such as Antony Rea and Shaun Lomas. He has finished all of his fights, 10 of which were finished by knockout.

    Manuwa has a very bright future, so hopefully he can begin his journey in the UFC soon.

Tom DeBlass

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    Tom DeBlass is a big, tough light heavyweight who has spent his entire career in Ring of Combat. The big man trains with Ricardo Almeida, so you know his ground game is going to be top-notch.

    At 7-0, DeBlass has finished four of his fights by knockout or submission. He has notably beaten Mike Stewart, Sean Salmon and Mitch Whitesel. DeBlass has a lot of upside, so signing him could only benefit the light heavyweight division.