Best European MMA Prospects by Division
Europe is beginning to become a hotbed for MMA talent.
The United Kingdom, Sweden and other MMA markets are also beginning to evolve and produce fighters of a high caliber.
In the past, several European stars have made it big in the UFC, such as Michael Bisping, Cheick Kongo and Martin Kampmann. These men are at the upper part of the division now, but started off as promising prospects.
Here are the best prospects in Europe by weight class.
Flyweight: Phil Harris
Origin: United Kingdom
Record: 21-9 (1 NC)
It's tough to call recently-signed Phil Harris a prospect, considering he has had over 30 pro fights, but, the Brit is one of the most promising Europeans in the under-populated flyweight division.
Harris is a submission artist, as he owns 13 wins by submission. He holds notable wins over The Ultimate Fighter alum Casey Dyer and Neil Seery.
He has an opportunity to make a splash in the UFC as he debuts against Darren Uyenoyama on UFC on FX. A win would propel him toward the top of the ladder.
Runners-up: Giorgio Andrews (United Kingdom) and Kris Edwards (United Kingdom)
Bantamweight: James Brum
Origin: United Kingdom
Many will say that Brad Pickett is the best prospect in Europe at bantamweight, but to be honest, he is definitely past that. Therefore, countryman James Brum has the honor of being the best bantamweight prospect in Europe.
Brum owns five knockout wins while fighting in the English circuit. He has stepped in the cage with such notables as Erik Perez and Kris Edwards.
He is a promising 135er and could make the big time when the UFC returns to England.
Runners-up: Sirwan Kakai (Sweden) and Patrick Holohan (Ireland)
Featherweight: Ronnie Mann
Origin: United Kingdom
Currently in Bellator, the well-rounded Ronnie Mann has been a big-show veteran for a while. He just needs to take a step up to further his career.
He is the owner of 11 career submission wins, including a triangle choke of Kenny Foster. He has knockout power in his hands, which usually transitions to the ground, where he can finish the fight.
Runners-up: Conor McGregor (Ireland) and Akira Corassani (Sweden)
Lightweight: Alexander Sarnavskiy
Current Bellator lightweight tournament participant Alexander Sarnavskiy may be one of the most promising MMA prospects in the world.
The undefeated Russian owns six wins by knockout and 11 wins by submission. He is only 23 years old, so his potential to get even better is scary.
He is set to meet UFC veteran Rich Clementi in the opening round of the Bellator tournament. This tournament will allow him to really establish his name in America.
Runners-up: Paul Sass (United Kingdom) and Reza Madadi (Sweden)
Welterweight: Gunnar Nelson
We recently saw Icelandic prodigy Gunnar Nelson show how promising he is against DaMarques Johnson of the UFC. The sky is the limit for Nelson, whose ground game is top notch.
Nelson has finished every fight he has won. Seven of his wins are by submission, while he owns three knockouts.
He looks to be the future of the 170-lb. division.
Runners-up: Karl Amoussou (France) and Tarec Saffiedine (Belgium)
Middleweight: Mamed Khalidov
We have been hearing about Mamed Khalidov for a long time, and for good reason. Khalidov has won impressively against some stiff competition.
He is well-rounded, as he owns 11 wins by knockout and 13 by submission. He holds wins over UFC veterans Rodney Wallace (knockout), Jesse Taylor (kneebar), Matt Lindland (guillotine choke), James Irvin (armbar) and Jorge Santiago (knockout).
There is a good chance that Khalidov could take the next step and become a top fighter with the UFC.
Runners-up: Francis Carmont (France) and Tor Troeng (Sweden)
Light Heavyweight: Jan Blachowicz
Jan Blachowicz has been extremely underrated for a while now, but he is a legitimate prospect.
He is the owner of four career knockouts and seven submissions. His resume includes wins over UFC veterans Houston Alexander, Mario Miranda and Rameau Sokoudjou.
Runners-up: Attila Vegh (Slovakia) and Moise Rimbon (France)
Heavyweight: Damian Grabowski
Among Poland's untapped talent and potential lies heavyweight Damian Grabowski. He has Bellator experience, but he has a chance to step out of his prospect shell with a call from the UFC.
Grabowski has five knockouts and nine submissions to his name. He owns notable wins over Eddie Sanchez, Joaquim Ferreira and Dave Huckaba.
Given the opportunity, he could step up from a prospect to a potential star.
Runners-up: Vitaly Minakov (Russia) and Blagoi Ivanov (Bulgaria)