Top 10 MMA Flyweight Prospects of 2013

So, after wrapping up our Top 10 Flyweights, there were some deserving fighters that just missed the cut this year. They will be eligible for next year’s report, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these fighters actually started outperforming the guys I listed. MMA is a funny sport, where just one win or loss can change the whole temperament towards a fighter’s prospect status.

Thus, without further ado, here are the guys that received consideration, but just missed the cut:

Flyweight Honorable Mentions

Pat Runez

Ht: 5'4 Age: 33
Team: Arizona Combat Sports
OVR: 3-0

Winning Streak: 3
Finishing Rate: 33%
Runez would have likely been a Top 5 guy, but his inactivity was a huge issue. Runez hinted at making a comeback in late 2012, but it remains to be seen. His last fight on record was a split decision win over UFC title contender John Dodson back in 2009. Runez used to train out of Arizona Combat Sports. Runez is an aggressive, in your face type fighter.
Shinichi Kojima
Ht: 5'4 Age: 34
Team: Reversal Gym
OVR: 13-5-5

Winning Streak: 1
Finishing Rate: 69%
Kojima is far past the "prospect" stage, but unfortunately for the vast majority of his career, the Flyweight division was in mainstream purgatory. Kojima was the former Shooto Bantamweight (123 lbs.) champion with signature wins over Mamoru Yamaguchi, Yuki Shojo, and most recently Rey Docyogen. Kojima suffered a severe knee injury in 2009 and seemed to have lost a step in his comeback bid. His recent 2013 submission win over Docyogen was probably the most impressive he has looked since undergoing surgery.
Alptekin Ozkilic
Ht: 5'7 Age: 27
Team: St.Charles MMA
OVR: 8-1

Winning Streak: 3
Finishing Rate: 38%
"Alp" was probably the last cut from this year's MMA Prospect Report 2013. He is fresh off back-to-back TKO wins over Antonio Banuelos and Josh Robinson. He trains alongside #3 prospect Josh Sampo down at St.Charles MMA. He has recently been supposedly calling out Sergio Pettis and some other big name Flyweights in hopes of raising his own profile. Ozkilic's only career loss was to current UFC Bantamweight Chico Camus.
Atsushi Yamamoto

Ht: 5'6 Age: 32
Team: Krazy Bee
OVR: 17-7-3

Winning Streak: 2
Finishing Rate: 24%
Yamamoto made his move to Flyweight in late 2012. Thus far he's 2-0 and the Krazy Bee representative is likely to make a run at capturing Pancrase gold in the near future. Yamamoto keeps a high pace with constant jabs and will also mix up his attacks with takedowns. He is a veteran of Japan's local fight scene, and is best known for his tenure in Dream where he competed in 2 of Dream's Grand Prix tournaments.
Ryuichi Miki

Ht: 5'4 Age: 30
Team: Cave
OVR: 14-6-3

Winning Streak: 4
Finishing Rate: 28%
Miki is a solid striker known for his toughness. He came up short in his attempts to capture the Shooto title. Miki is currently riding a 4-fight win streak, including recent wins over Haruo Ochi and Fumihiro Kitahara. He trains at Cave, which is home to UFC Featherweight Mizuto Hirota and Pancrase champion Shintaro Ishiwitari.
Haruo Ochi

Ht: 5'3 Age: 29
Team: Paraestra Ehime
OVR: 9-3-1

Winning Streak: 0
Finishing Rate: 67%
Ochi is little ball of power, standing only 5'3, but don't be fooled by his stature. Ochi can deliver a big punch and he was quickly rising through the Shooto ranks on the strength of a 5-fight win streak, before falling short to to Ryuchi Miki in 2012.
Kiyotaka Shimizu

Ht: 5'2 Age: 29
Team: Tribe Tokyo MMA
OVR: 13-7-3

Winning Streak: 3
Finishing Rate: 46%
Shimizu is the current Pancrase Super Flyweight (125 lbs.) Champion and comes from a sambo background. Shimizu likes to use his quickness to attack with swift leg kicks and punches. He is undersized for the division, standing only 5'2, but his quickness is a real difference maker as he's held his own against many of Japan's top Flyweight fighters.
Mitsuhisa Sunabe

Ht: 5'8 Age: 33
Team: Reversal Gym
OVR: 18-7-4

Winning Streak: 5
Finishing Rate: 50%
Sunabe is currently the Flyweight (120 lbs.) King of Pancrase. Sunabe was previously Pancrase's 125 lbs. champion before losing it to Kiyotaka Shimizu. Sunabe is very tall (5'8) for a Flyweight, especially in Japan, and has made it a habit of utilizing his quickness and length to frustrate his opponents.
Aaron Ely
"The Cyborg"
Ht: 5'8 Age: 24
OVR: 4-2

Winning Streak: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%
Ely's career record only stands at 4-2, but if you were a fan and watched either of his two losses in the RFA organization, you would quickly know that Ely should arguably be an undefeated 6-0. Ely has officially moved down to 125 lbs. after formerly competing as a Bantamweight. He recently submitted Matt Manzanares before losing a controversial decision to Dustin Ortiz. Ely has an extremely slick ground game.
Giovanni Santos
Ht: 5'6 Age: 26
Team: Hikari
OVR: 13-1

Winning Streak: 3
Finishing Rate: 61%
"Soldado" recently made his move to the Flyweight Division and seems primed to become one of the best Flyweights in Brazil. Santos may be recognizable to some fans from his brief bid to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 1. Unfortunately, "Soldado" was forced to compete at 145 lbs. and ultimately lost his preliminary round fight to Featherweight Prospect John Teixeira. Santos recently had a fight scheduled with #7 Flyweight Prospect Dileno Lopes, but Lopes came in overweight and the fight was scrapped.

Others to watch:

Lincoln de Sa (11-2)
Claudio Ledesma (7-4)
Alexandre Pantoja (12-2)
Yosuke Saruta (7-3-1)
Kentaro Watanabe (9-4)
Arinaldo Batista da Silva (4-3)
Marcos Vinicius Freire (10-1)
Bruno Menezes (11-5)
Allamurad Karayev (9-0)
Robson Souza dos Santos (5-0)
Dustin Ortiz (10-2)
Joriedson de Souza (18-3)
Pietro Menga (9-0)
Jimmy Flick (5-1)
Adriano Moraes (8-0)
Justin Scoggins (5-0)
Hector Sandoval (5-1)
Jessie Riggleman (11-2)
Giorgio Andrews (9-0)

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