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Hot Prospects: UFC Vegas 40 Prelim Fighters to Watch

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Last night’s UFC Vegas 40 card was packed with electric fights all over, and the prelims had some of the most exciting fighters on the entire card. There were several impressive finishes and fantastic fights, and it did not disappoint, despite being called one of the weaker cards of the year.

Best Finishes on the Card

Danaa Batgerel (10-2-0 3-1-0 UFC): He went up against Brandon Davis (14-9-0 2-6-0 UFC) and came out on fire, connecting with several clean right hands and impressive combinations that dropped Davis twice. Davis is no slouch, either: he fought in the featherweight division and took top-10 featherweight Giga Chikadze to a split-decision, a fight many thought he won.

Batgerel proved to be the better fighter that day, knocking Davis down and following up with an impressive flurry of knees, elbows, and punches. All of Batgerel’s three straight wins have come in the first round via knockout, and he seems to be a bantamweight fighter that could stick around for a while. His power sets him apart amongst the 135-ers, and he seems to be confident and calculated with his striking. Expect to see him in the top 15 soon because he has entered the division on fire.

Ariane Carnelossi (14-2-0 2-1-0 UFC): She had a rocky start to her time in the UFC, dropping her promotional debut, but she looked solid in her strawweight bout against Istela Nunes. Carnelossi began striking with Nunes early and went to the ground in the second to give herself a better chance. This is where she shined, as the Brazillian showcased excellent wrestling and jiu-jitsu, along with her brute strength, dominating Nunes against the fence for the better part of the second round. The third round continued the same way, with Carnelossi showcasing slick transitions en route to a tight squeeze for a third-round rear-naked choke win.

Bruno Silva (21-6-0 2-0-0 UFC): Silva has been on a six-fight win streak, and had an interesting route to his second straight win. He came out swinging early, hurting his opponent Andrew Sanchez. However, Sanchez (13-7-0 5-5-0 UFC) took him down in the first and landed several accidental low blows in the fight, with each one pausing the action. Silva landed several clean elbows off his back, but Sanchez largely dominated those two rounds. Down potentially two rounds to none, Silva started strong with a flurry of strikes against the fence, picking apart Sanchez for the knockout win.

Silva’s resilience makes him a unique middleweight prospect: he was down on the scorecards and suffered several painful low blows but could make his way to a stoppage win. He has work to do in takedown defence and wrestling, but his striking looked clean and crisp. Being that he has only had two fights in the UFC, he has time to improve before he sees top contenders; even though he is on a tear: his striking can keep him going until he sees those top 15 fights, and his ground game is not such a hole that it would compromise him. Give Silva a few years, and we are likely to see him among the best.

Lupita Godinez: Record-Breaker

Lupita “Loopy” Godinez (6-2-0 1-2-0 UFC) may have not picked up the win this weekend, but she proved to be one of the toughest in the division after her one-week turnaround between fights. Her two losses came by unanimous decision and split decision, respectively, and an argument could be made that she won both those fights. She showcased a quality ground game in all three, controlling her opponent’s movements and even winning her second UFC fight by quick armbar.

Even though she lost, Godinez showed great heart and desire to be the best at what she does. Many fighters claim this, but her decision to take the shortest gap between fights in UFC history proved she meant it, and it was even more impressive how the fight went. She was close to winning and had several moments where she looked to turn the tide of the fight. Godinez could stick around for a long time, and her ground prowess and desire to win every fight she takes could soon catapult her to championship contender status.

All of these fighters are ones to look out for in the next few years and continue to look to make names for themselves in the UFC: they should all be on main cards very soon.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Cooper_Burke9 for more sports news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all your sporting needs and @OTHeroicsMMA for all things mixed martial arts!

Featured Image credits to Embed from Getty Images

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I’m a freshman at the University of Georgia who is a massive sports fan, and I have a passion for writing about the things I love, including MMA.