The Beaten Path: 5 MMA Prospects to Watch in September
The UFC seems to be a daily staple at the moment, as Bellator's next season cranks up this Thursday. In any event, there is plenty of MMA action across the cable and Internet landscapes.
We know you can't catch it all. We know your time is valuable. But if you can catch some of the minor-league action, you could be a leg up on the rest of the room when a new name steps under the big lights.
That's where we here at The Beaten Path come in. Think of us as a smart DVR for MMA fans.
Here are five prospects you shouldn't miss in the month of September.
5. Mark Striegl
Next Fight: Jang Yong Kim, Sept. 14, Pacific Xtreme Combat 39
See It: www.facebook.com/pxcmma
As noted in the video cap, the Filipino featherweight is a submissions ace, with 10 of his 12 wins coming by tapout. What's more, he has employed four different methods to secure these submissions. Most recently, he has garnered two wins in a row by way of an armbar from scarf hold position.
4. Georgi Karakhanyan
Next Fight: Waylon Lowe, Sept. 14, World Series of Fighting 5
See It: NBC Sports
Go ahead, make your cellphone jokes. No, seriously, go ahead. They were funny.
But World Series of Fighting has a doggone deep talent stable, especially in the lower weight classes. Georgi Karakhanyan is right there, as the young Russian now holds a seven-fight win streak over the likes of Micah Miller and Din Thomas.
We'll see if Georgi's well-rounded style wins the day over the hard-charging, hard-hitting Lowe.
3. Jim Alers
Next Fight: Martin Svensson, Sept. 14, Cage Warriors 59
See It: MMAJunkie.com
It's tricky to call an active belt holder a prospect, but I'll go ahead and do it.
Alers won his title in April, after it was vacated by one Conor McGregor. Submission is Alers' game, but he's capable of hurting an opponent with strikes as well.
2. Bubba Jenkins
Next Fight: LaRue Burley, September 20, Bellator 100
See It: Spike TV
If you don't know Bubba Jenkins by now, it's about time you started to correct that state of affairs.
The national college wrestling champion has for years caused drool to bubble involuntarily from the mouths of prospect observers. And it's not just because he's a wrestling champion—it's because he's a wrestling champion with a taste for blood.
And I feel bad for LaRue Burley come September 20. Bad indeed.
1. Elvis Mutapcic
Next Fight: Jesse Taylor, Sept. 14, WSOF 5
See It: NBC Sports
Though Jenkins may be the prospect with the higher ceiling, Mutapcic may be the most polished and most UFC-ready of those in action this month.
The Bosnian-American enjoyed a head-turning run in Canada's Maximum Fighting Championship before making his way to WSOF. This will be his debut for the promotion, and if he can get past a UFC veteran in Jesse Taylor, he may be making another promotional debut very soon.
The Beaten Path is a regular series highlighting top prospects for Bleacher Report MMA. Follow Scott Harris on Twitter.