Many believe that the best UFC fighters right now are the reigning defending division champs, but that’s not always the case. Many silent assassins lurk in the shadows and wait for a perfect opportunity to reach the promotion throne. The names below could rule their weight classes in the next few years.
Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) is a freestyle wrestling phenom from Sweden who quickly advanced up the UFC ladder by defeating John Phillips, Rhys McKee, Li Jingliang, and Gilbert Burns. Many consider him the most legitimate threat to the division champion Kamaru Usman and the great cardio machine Colby Covington.
Chimaev’s “Dagestani handcuff” technique (controlling the opponent’s legs from the top position) is still an enigma for the greatest number of UFC 170-pound warriors. He’s arguably one of the most popular MMA fighters at the moment thanks to his huge number of social media followers.
Lerone Murphy (11-0-1) is an undefeated English prospect and the former FCC champ who kicked off his UFC run with a draw against Zubaira Tukhugov, but then turned the lights out on Ricardo Lamas and Makwan Amirkhani. He’s currently riding on a three-fight winning streak.
Murphy is a very tactical fighter with an outstanding game plan and great counters. He stopped Makwan Amirkhani with a knee when the Finnish competitor tried to shoot in.
Many believe Jack Shore (16-0) is going to be the first ever Welsh UFC champion. Shore kicked off his run as a tremendous BJJ black belt and submission specialist. Yet, his fighting style evolved a lot. Nowadays, Shore can brawl for three rounds in stand-up and out wrestle the best wrestlers.
The former Cage Warriors champ outpaced high-level potentials – Hunter Azure, Liudvik Sholinian, and Timur Valiev, which speaks volumes about his cardio as well.
Tom Aspinall (12-2) is the greatest English heavyweight prospect in the history of this competition. Aspinall has completed the greatest test of his career by defeating Alexander Volkov via a straight armbar.
The decorated boxer and BJJ specialist is a legitimate threat to every single fighter on the UFC 265-pound roster. His UFC record is perfect – 5 wins and 0 losses. Tom is one of the best MMA fighters right now.
Erin Blanchfield (8-1) is a former Invicta FC fighter and a decorated striker and grappler. “The Cold Blooded” is only 23 years old, and she has already secured victories over high-level foes – Victoria Leonardo, Sarah Alpar, and Miranda Maverick.
Blanchfield’s never-ending pressure and superb cardio turn her into a legitimate threat to every single 125er. Valentina Shevchenko might soon have a dangerous title rival!
Muhammad Mokaev is a high-level 21-year-old prospect (6-0, 1 NC) who stormed Brave CF and kicked off his UFC career with a very dominant first-round win over Cody Durden. Mokaev pressures right off the bat and shoots in as soon as his opponent makes a mistake.
Mokaev’s ground game is outstanding, and it’s almost impossible to go for a sweep or attempt a triangle choke off the back because he holds his hips very low. If he beats Charles Johnson in July, the whole flyweight division should pay attention to his skills.