Don’t sleep on these 5 fighters

Elvin Espinoza/PFL (6-0): The PFL has a new contender for its 1 million dollar tournament. An undefeated fighter who trains/lives in Miami, Elvin has been putting in the work since turning pro in 2018 finishing ALL of his opponents (5 of 6 in the 1st round). As a fighter, he has shown the ability to take the fight wherever he pleases no matter the situation his stand-up is sharp and unforgiving and can put you to sleep if he pleases (scored a 19 second KO at IKON). In his PFL debut, the Nicaraguan fighter once again rag-dolled his opponent before securing a 1st round RNC, as a fighter Elvin lets his skills and victories do the talking for him, but we could very soon see him paired with the upper echelon of the PFL’s 155-pound division. A fight against Showtime Pettis or even champion Raush Manfio would be electric.   

Pat Sabatini/UFC (16-3): The waters in the UFC’s featherweight division are swimming with sharks and Pat Sabatini is quickly evolving into a future contender. With a perfect 3-0 record in the UFC, the Daniel Gracie BJJ black belt has shown that he is no one-trick pony but don’t sleep on his ground game (just ask Jamall Emmers), a fighter of 10 career submission wins Pat has shown fans and the UFC that he is still evolving and getting better after 19 fights. He has shown massive composure when facing adversity in a fight but also shows that killer instinct when needed, it is clear the time and dedication that Pat has put into his career and we are seeing the fruits of his labour. The Pennsylvania born fighter is scheduled to fight Gavin Tucker in April.

Justin Gonzales/Bellator (12-1): Few fighters are as game as J-Train, while some fighters get criticized for cherry-picking opponents to pad their record Justin has NEVER fought an opponent that had a losing record. As an amateur he began his career with 9 consecutive victories before going 12-0 as a pro, he most recently experienced his first loss in ever against Aaron Pico, but as the saying goes “pressure makes diamonds” and Justin is the type of fighter that can not only overcome this speed bump but come back a better version of himself. At just 30 years old Justin is one of the most explosive athletes in his division, he has a relentless pace and grappling ability that suffocates his opponents while imposing his will. The fact is Justin has only had 2 fights under Bellator but from what he has shown the future is bright with more to come. 

Juancamilo Ronderos/UFC (4-1): Colombian flyweight training out of  Las Vegas, made his UFC debut last May when he took on David Dvorak with only 1 days notice, only 4 pro fights, and coming off a 1-year layoff during Covid. If that’s not the type of fighter every promoter and fans dream of then I don’t know who is. JCR has been dealing with an injury that saw his comeback delayed but best believe that when he returns he is coming back just as his nickname says 100! The former WXC standout has unbelievable speed and precision but also hits like someone 2 weight classes above him but his ground game is also a key factor that sets him apart from his competition, at only 26 years of age Juancamilo is a rising star in the making. Given the time to develop and hone his abilities are going to make him a future star of his division.   

Michael Morales/UFC (13-0): When you see a fighter with 13 pro victories many will assume that you are talking about a fighter in his early 30s maybe late 20’s. At only 22 years of age Ecuadorian fighter Michael Morales exploded on the main circuit and continues to showcase that his skills and ability have not even come close to peaking. After a successful debut in DWCS he proceeded to flat line his next opponent in the 1st round at UFC 270. The sky is the limit and we have just began to see where his trajectory takes him. 

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