Top 10 MMA Heavyweight Prospects of 2013

So, after wrapping up our Top 10 Heavyweights, 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:

Heavyweight Honorable Mentions

Shamil Abdurahimov

Ht: 6'3 - Age: 31
Team: Peresvet FT
OVR: 13-2

Winning Streak: 1
Finishing Rate: 85%
Shamil Abdurahimov has been considered one of the top Heavyweight prospects in MMA ever since his 2010 win over Jeff Monson. Unfortunately, Abdurahimov has fallen off the radar as of late because of injuries and inactivity. He hasn't fought in over a year and his career has still not fully recovered from a stunning submission loss to Tony Lopez in 2011. Abdurahimov is still one of Eastern Europe's top fighters, but he will have to make up for lost time as he's already 32 years old. Abdurahimov has excellent striking and takedown defense, and has a style very similar to Andrei Arlovski's. Abdurahimov was born in Dagestan, which has produced a number of top MMA prospects in recent years.
Smealinho Rama
"The Prince"
Ht: 6'0 - Age: 21
Team: Independent MMA
OVR: 6-0

Winning Streak: 6
Finishing Rate: 100%
Canada's top Heavyweight, Smealinho Rama, has a ton of promise surrounding his career. At just 21 years old, the Albanian- born Rama, has showcased some big KO power and a capable ground game. Rama only made his debut a year ago, but he has quickly staked his claim as Canada's premier HW with six 1st round round finishes, and a recent win over fellow prospect Mike Hackert. Rama was one of my final cuts from the Top 10 and was mainly excluded due to his propensity to drop his hands and whether his conditioning is up to par. He has a very aggressive style that is very taxing on any Heavyweight, the fact that Rama looks to be carrying around some extra weight, had me cautious with ranking him above anyone in my Top 10.
Jan Jorgensen
"The Saint"
Ht: 6'3 - Age: 28
Team: The Pit Elevated
OVR: 6-0

Winning Streak: 6
Finishing Rate: 83%
I previously thought Jorgensen was a lock for my Top 10, but after watching what limited tape was available, I started to get the feeling that his wrestling and overall lack of technical skills may hold him back from winning fights at the UFC level. Jorgensen trains out of one of the top camps in the USA, Pit Elevated, which is also home to Josh Burkman, Court McGee, and Steven Siler. He is one of Utah's fan favorites due to his former football career at BYU. Jorgensen has great size (6'4, 260 lbs.), athleticism, and KO power. One of the main things holding Jorgensen back from making the list was unfortunately the lack of tape on him. The only fights I could find were from 2011, which ultimately made it too difficult to see if John Hackleman has been able to work his magic on Jorgensen like he has for Burkman, McGee, and Siler.
Chris Barnett
"Beast Boy"
Ht: 5'9 - Age: 27
Team: Hardcore Gym
OVR: 7-1

Winning Streak: 2
Finishing Rate: 71%
Barnett has not fought since 2011 due to a variety of issues that have some questioning his commitment towards being a legitimate fighter in the HW division. Barnett usually walks around above 300 lbs. despite being just 5'9. Don't let Barnett's bowling ball physique fool you though, he's extremely athletic and showcases that with spinning strikes, superman punches, and his post-fight backflips. Barnett has recently been competing in boxing, but he is scheduled to make his MMA return later this year. If Barnett is in better physical shape, he has a chance at making it in the UFC because he truly is a talented fighter and certainly one of the most entertaining. As of now though, he's only able to fight in short spurts due to his lack of conditioning. It's pretty impressive that for all his weight issues, he was still able to rack up wins over Walt Harris and Kenny Garner.
Kenny Garner
Ht: 6'1 - Age: 38
Team: American Top Team
OVR: 12-4

Winning Streak: 0
Finishing Rate: 83%
Kenny Garner is the current M-1 Heavyweight champion, likely much to the chagrin of M-1 officials. Garner has gone out and beat M-1's prized Heavyweight prospects Guram Gugeneshvili and Magomed Malikov, both of whom were ranked as Top 10 prospects here on RankingMMA. So, why is Garner not being given his due? Garner is a very capable fighter, but he's already 38 years old and there's just not much upside at this point in his career. He's a good wrestler with decent hands, but what has set Garner apart is his toughness and durability. Garner just keeps coming and grinding away. Unfortunately for Garner, M-1 has not given him an opportunity to defend his title and curiously entered him in its 2013 HW tournament. Garner lost his opening round matchup in a very close decision to Konstantin Gluhov in what was a non-title fight.
Karol Bedorf
Ht: 6'2 - Age: 29
Team: Berserkers Team
OVR: 9-2

Winning Streak: 3
Finishing Rate: 44%
Bedorf's career has recently caught fire, winning his last 3 fights in Poland's KSW promotion. Bedorf has career wins over UFC veterans Oli Thompson and Francis Carmont, and trains alongside Michal Materla and Maciej Jewtuszko in his native Poland. Bedorf is an undersized Heavyweight, but he does possess some decent athletcism, excellent kicks, and a solid lead left hand. Yet, Bedorf's greatest strength is his Jiu-Jitsu, where he's a 2-time European champ and former Abu Dhabi qualifier.
Marcin Tybura
Ht: 6'3 - Age: 27
Team: United Team
OVR: 8-0

Winning Streak: 8
Finishing Rate: 75%
Tybura recently upset Chaban Ka in the M-1 Heavyweight tournament and with an 8-0 overall record, he's suddenly become one of the top prospects to watch in the Heavyweight division. Tybura has excellent size, standing 6'3 and coming in around 250 lbs. He has good takedowns and a capable grappling game, which has allowed him to win most of his fights from top position either via submission or ground 'n' pound.
Cody East
"The Freight Train"
Ht: 6'3 - Age: 24
Team: N/A
OVR: 7-1

Winning Streak: 4
Finishing Rate: 86%
Cody East and his brother, Tyler, have proven to be two of the most promising brother combinations in the sport of MMA. Yet, both East brothers have been in their fair share of trouble with the law, which ultimately brings into question their overall makeup as a future big show fighter. Cody is only 24 years old and has already fought for King of the Cage's Heavyweight title against 40-fight veteran Tony Lopez. East held his own in the fight, showcasing some solid striking, but his conditioning could not hold up for 5 rounds. He has since rebounded by winning his last 4 fights, including victories over Strikeforce veterans Lolohea Mahe and Nick Rossborough.
Maro Perak
"Mean Machine"
Ht: 6'0 - Age: 30
Team:Gladiator Team
OVR: 23-3-1

Winning Streak: 3
Finishing Rate: 83%
At 23-3-1, Maro Perak has one of the most impressive records of any prospect. Unfortunately, most of Perak's wins are against less than stellar competition, and all 3 of his losses have come to the only notable names he has faced. It should be noted that Perak just beat Bellator veteran Travis Wiuff, but it was a very close decision that arguably could have gone either way. Perak used to fight at 205 lbs., and he's likely better suited for that weight class should he ever sign with a major promotion.
Raphael Butler
"The Silencer"
Ht: 6'3 - Age: 29
Team: N/A
OVR: 6-0

Winning Streak: 6
Finishing Rate: 100%
If rumors are true, Raphael Butler may have recently signed an exclusive contract with Bellator. Butler has excellent hands from his former pro boxing career where he was 35-12 overall. Butler's still young at 29 and has flashed some submission skills, but ultimately his career will come down to whether he is able to stay off his back. He's got good size, and as we know, his hands are some of the best in the division.

Others to watch:
Chaban Ka (6-2-1)
Peter Graham (8-5)
Richard Odoms (8-1)
Nick Gaston (5-1)
Dave Huckaba (21-5)
Jim Yorke (15-5)
Michal Kita (14-7)
Lew Polley (12-4)
Konstantin Gluhov (26-12)
Stav Economou (14-3-1)
Caio Alencar (6-0)
Robert Neal (2-0)
Volkan Oezdemir (9-0)
Mike Hackert (6-2)
Anthony Hamilton (10-2)
David Olivia (6-1)
Pat Bennett (4-3)
Levan Razmandze (5-0)
Tyler King (6-1)
Deniss Smoldarev (5-0)
Ewerton Teixeira (3-0)
Justin Frazier (6-1)
Gerald Turek (12-2)
Michal Wlodarek (5-0)
Brett Murphy (6-1)
Bobby Brents (13-3)
Marcos Oliveira (6-3)
John Brown (10-5)
William Richey (10-1)
Brendan Barrett (8-6-1)
Arsen Abdulkerimov (5-2)
Ajlin Ahmic (8-1)
Josh Appelt (10-2)
Magomed Abdurahimov (3-0)
Konstantin Erokhin (3-1)
Evgeny Erohin (5-3)
Ty Lee (8-1)
Viktor Pesta (8-0)
Dan Charles (6-0)
Andrew Van Zyl (7-1)
Karl Etherington (9-0)

Top 10 Lists