The next wave of potential UFC superstars is making waves
The UFC is in a period of flux. As the first generation stars exit, they need new stars in their place.
The UFC has been suffering some PPV woes in 2017 as a result of a lot of their top draws moving away from active competition. Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, Urijah Faber and others have either retired or simply pursuing other avenues. Older stars like Gina Carano, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz have retired and the sport has been feeling the growings pangs. It’s time to look at the next generation.
Young champions like Max Holloway, Robert Whittaker, Rose Namajunas, Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw and stars like Cody Garbrandt and a host of others are already in place and doing a good job. What I’m talking about is fighters just getting started who have talent and star potential that the UFC can build around and help bridge the gap to the next generation of the UFC. So, in this list, in no particular order, I am going to name some fighters who have the potential to make it big in the UFC.
Kelvin Gastelum –
This guy has some serious hands. He also has a really solid personality and could be really marketable if the UFC machine gets behind him. His recent knockout victory over Michael Bisping showed he’s got the skills, all he needs to do is settle on a weight division and start stacking up wins. The rest should take care of itself.
Shane O’Malley –
Everyone needs to get tuned to the Suga Show! This kid has all the charisma in the world. Plus, the kid can flat out fight. Before heading to The Lab in Phoenix, O’Malley cut his teeth in Montana on the scene there. Here’s the thing about being from Montana. You have a level of toughness that just exists in you as a result of living there. So when you couple that with an I don’t care attitude and top-level training, you get something special. O’Malley is special.
Eryk Anders –
The former Alabama linebacker has made a smooth transition into MMA. He’s 9-0 as a pro and in his UFC debut, he knocked out veteran Rafael Natal in the first round. He has the look, the athleticism, and the skills to make it really far in the UFC. He simply needs to embrace his fun side and allow fans to see a bit more of it. He’s a talent and is in his prime athletically.
Sage Northcutt –
Sage is the most polite and respectful people on earth. He’s all about “Yes sir”, “no sir”, “please” and “thank you.” Plus, he’s a genetic freak who even in high school had abs with abs and muscle tone that would make Adonis blush. He’s had some losses and needs time to get better but he’s talented and looked great during his last fight. Working with Team Alpha Male should push his game to the next level. Once that happens, the sky is truly the limit.
Darren is 24 years old and on his way to stardom. He has unreal power for the Welterweight division. He dismantled Donald Cerrone in his last fight and that has undoubtedly put him on the map. Till is marketable and scary in the Octagon. I’d like to see him take a couple fights before he’s considered for a title shot. Nothing wrong with bringing him along at a slower pace and that way when he’s in mega-fights, he’s a major star.
Perry is doing the marketing part right. He’s young, brash and very in your face. That’s a good way to alienate yourself from the few and draw yourself to the masses of MMA fans. That and he brings it when he steps into the cage. He has dynamite in his hands and isn’t afraid to trade with anyone. He could smooth some of the edges and if he did, he’d be a big, big star in the UFC.
He’s an absolute terror in the cage. This guy has RARE punching power and is just a mountain of a human being. He seems also to be a genuinely good person. That will draw himself to a lot of fans. You have to love a guy who is a gentleman outside of the cage and a psycho killer in it. When he’s involved, honestly, I can’t look away. He’s a superstar.