Skip to main content

This week's top prospects in MMA and other notes from smaller shows around the world including debut of a 17-year-old Canadian prodigy in Japan

By Jeremy Wall


Zebaztian Kadestam (7-1, 6'0") PXC Welterweight Champion
Kadestam, of Sweden, successfully defended the PXC Welterweight title against Han Seul Kim (4-3) Friday night in Guam, stopping Kim in the second round in the card's co-main event. Kadestam had defeated Josh Calvo (8-4) to win the vacant title last June. Kadestam's seven pro wins includes a first round knockout of UFC veteran Ronald Jhun (24-25-2 at the time) and a first round knockout of Dream veteran Ross Ebanez (20-8 at the time), both in 2013. His sole loss was to Silas Maynard (1-1) via decision in July 2013. Maynard is an American who owns an MMA gym in Shanghai and previously trained with Stipe Miocic in Ohio. Even though Kadestam is from Sweden, all eight of his fights have taken place in Asia. "I came to Thailand 2010 because my grappling coach in Sweden sent me to Legacy Gym in Ubon Ratchathani to work on my Muay Thai and MMA game and I just loved it there and got accepted into the fight team and been around ever since," Kadestam told Bloody Elbow last year. "The UFC is on my mind and I'm hoping to get the call. If I do, I will be ready."

Alex Reyes (11-2, 31 years old, 5'11") KOTC Lightweight Champion
Reyes defeated Josh Aveles (20-11-1) to win the King of the Cage Junior Welterweight title (160 pounds) on March 15th in San Jacinto. Reyes was moving up five pounds after defeating Vitor Meza (13-3) to win the KOTC Lightweight title in December. Reyes now holds both titles. Reyes had also previously competed in KOTC as a welterweight. Reyes has now won eleven straight after losing the first two fights of his career back in 2007. His brother Dominick Reyes also competes in KOTC. Alex owns Cage Combat Academy in Victorville.

Nick Patterson (16-4-1, 32 years old, 5'8") Lightweight
Patterson defeated UFC veteran Ben Wall (7-2-1) in the main event of Hex Fight Series 2 in Melbourne on March 14th. It was the first MMA show to feature a cage since the ban against cages was lifted in the Australian state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located. It took place at the Melbourne Pavilion. Patterson beat Wall by majority decision after three rounds. It was Patterson's fifth win in a row since losing a Lightweight title challenge in Australian FC to Daniel Hooker (9-4) by third round TKO in August 2013. Patterson also has two submission losses and a decision loss from earlier in his career. The judges scored the fight against Wall 29-29, 30-27 and 29-28. The decision was controversial. Patterson also failed to make weight for the bout. It was Patterson's second victory against a former UFC fighter after beating Bernardo Magalhaes in February 2014.

Henry Corrales (12-0, 28 years old, 5'9") KOTC Featherweight Champion
Corrales retained the KOTC 145 pound title by stopping Aaron Neveu (9-3) at 0:43 of the second round in the co-main of KOTC's show in San Jacinto on March 15th. Corrales is undefeated in his pro career and has won eight fights in a row in KOTC. Seven of those eight wins have been against fighters with 50-50 records or better at the time of the fight. This was his fourth straight title defense after winning the vacant title in October 2013. “I started off with a jiu-jitsu base, but the school I was at was kind of limited, so the last six months I’ve been at All In MMA, which is a primarily striking school, and I’ve been evolving my game and have been keeping these recent fights standing and try to finish them on my feet,” Corrales told last August.

Andy Main (10-2-1, 25 years old, 5'11") Featherweight
Main, from New Jersey, became a top contender to the King of Pancrase Featherweight title when he became the first fighter to finish Japanese prospect Hiroyuki Oshiri (5-2-2) at Pancrase 265 on March 15th. Main submitted Oshiro with a choke in 57 seconds. Main called for a title shot against Nam Phan after the win. Main began his career in 2009 with Ring of Combat, going 4-1 in that promotion with a decision loss to Lester Caslow (5-3) in 2010. He began competing for both CFFC and Pancrase in 2013. He went to a majority draw in Pancrase with Akira Okada (7-3-2) in 2014 and lost a split-decision in CFFC to Kenny Foster (10-8) in 2014. He's now won two straight since the loss to Foster. Main was a competitor on season twelve of TUF in 2010 losing by choke too Kyle Watson in the fourth episode.  Nam Phan was also a contestant on that season, going to the semi-finals. "A lot happened quickly when I started fighting. I got on The Ultimate Fighter after fighting less than a year professionally so that threw me into veteran status," Main told "I didn’t get to have what other guys go through being considered a prospect. I went from 0 to 100 in a lot of different things. I opened my gym because I didn’t want to have to rely on the money I was making fighting. I think that now I’ve reached another level in my training and everything and I think it’s starting to show in my fights. I’m only 25 and I think I haven’t reached my peak. I’m excited for everything that happens, but I’d rather have the title shot sooner than later, but we’ll see."

TJ Laramie (1-0, 17 years old, 5'7") Featherweight
Laramie, 17, made his pro debut by stopping 36-year-old Koshi Obata (12-12-4) in 2:33 at Pancrase 265 on March 15th. Laramie is considered something of an MMA prodigy in the north among people that know who he is, sort-of Canada's version of Aaron Pico. He's already been tabbed by some as the next GSP, which is obviously premature, but gives the sense of what people are expecting. His pro debut was in Pancrase as part of a Canadian reality series called Fight Xchange that is being filmed in Canada and Japan, where three Canadian MMA fighters compete in Pancrase and three Japanese fighters compete in Canada. The show will air on SuperChannel in Canada, which is a premium channel similar to HBO or Showtime. He debuted as featherweight, but wants to compete at bantamweight. Laramie is from Windsor, Ontario, and is a former three-time Grapplers Quest winner, two-time runner up in All-Ontario Wrestling, and former Under-17 153-pound IKF Kickboxing World Champion. He trains with Maximum Training in Windsor under coach Rino Belcastro. “Boxing was a huge part of my style and how I fight,” Laramie told in 2013.  “All the old fights, Muhammad Ali is one of my greatest inspirations, I have one of his quotes tattooed on me.  The old boxing is huge, huge to me.” On Rear Naked Choke Radio, Laramie said, “I know I’m not getting to the UFC right away, and I can’t be on The Ultimate Fighter until I’m 21, so I can’t take that route and I don’t think that route is an option because I plan on being there before I’m 21. The Bellator route would be [for] the money right now, but it also gives me an opportunity to fight for GLORY. I want to fight kickboxing, too. There’s a lot of money in the tournaments there. The beginning part of my career is about getting good fights, making some money and getting some good exposure and a name. Then, when I hit 20 years old, then I can start directing my eyes to the UFC.” Laramie added, “For me, it’s all about taking the right fights and working my way up so I can get the best opportunities possible,” Laramie explained. “I think a lot of people, especially like Jordan Mein, if you look at his record, he took a lot of losses early on. I’m not looking to do that; I’m looking to build my way up. I think Rory MacDonald kind of did the same thing, taking that Carlos Condit fight so early in his UFC career — it was kind of a bad option. I just want to take the right fights and build my way up. When the opportunity comes to make my way up and fight bigger competition, it’s going to happen.” The other two Canadian fighters who fought at Pancrase 265 as part of the Fight Xchange series were Lindsay Garbett (2-0), who stopped Shiori Hori (1-2) in 1:01; Vyron Phillips (4-2, actually American), who lost a decision to Takashi Sato (7-0). The fourth fighter that is part of the show is Jesse Gross (10-4), whose bout was cancelled.

Poliana Botelho (4-1, 26 years old, 5'8") XFXI Women's Flyweight Champion
Botelho beat Antonio Silvaneide (4-1) in the finals of a four-woman tournament to wiin the vacant XFCI Women's Flyweight championship ni the co-main event of XFCI's show in Sao Paulo on March 14th. Botelho stopped Silvaneide at 1:36 of the first round to win the title. She had previously defeated Karina Rodriguez (3-1) via third-round TKO in the tournament quarterfinals in September. Botelho's sole loss was by decision to Viviane Pereira, back in June 2014 for the Bitetti Combat Flyweight title. Pereira also competed in the undercard of the XFCI event in Sao Paulo. Botelho is known for being a powerful striker, but with weak cardio.

Bruno Azevedo (13-2) XFCI Flyweight Champion
Azevedo won the vacant XFCI Flyweight title by beating Allan Nascimento (14-2) via unanimous decision after five rounds on March 14th in the main event of an XFCI show in Sao Paulo. It was Azevedo's debut with XFCI and his third win in a row after suffering a TKO loss in May 2014. The only other loss of his career was by submission in Shoot Brasil in September 2010. Azevedo has finiished 12 of his 13 career victories with only this most recent win over Nascimento coming by way of decision. Azevedo was considering a heavy underdog going into the bout against Nascimento.

Adriano Moraes (13-1, 25 years old, 5'8") One Flyweight Champion
Moraes successfully defended the One Flyweight title March 13th at One 25 in Kuala Lumpur. Moraes beat Asuka Mikami (12-3-2) by unanimous decision after five rounds. Moraes had a hard time tapping Mikami, trying to get Mikami into a choke with Mikami showing excellent submissions defense. It was Moraes' first title defense after becoming One's first Flyweight champioon by beating Geje Eustaquio (6-3) by submissiion to win the title in September. Moraes had two previous wins in One. Moraes was previously the Flyweight champion in Shooto Brasil before signing with One. His sole loss was in his One debut in November 2013, where he dropped a split-decision to Yusup Saadulaev (12-4-1) at bantamweight. Moraes moved back down to flyweight for all of his subsequent fights in One. "I see the Asian market growing every day, and I want to be part of this growth," Moraes told MMA Fighting last September. "One FC reinvented high-level MMA after the end of Pride FC, and I feel honored to be part of this promotion. I don’t plan to fight in the North America market, although I already received some offers, because I’m really happy with everything that One FC offers me. I want to build my career at One FC."

Viviane Pereira (9-0, 5'0") Women's Strawweght
Pereira defeated Liano Pirosin (3-0) in the semi-finals of a tournament to crown the first XFCI Women's Strawweight champion at their event in Sao Paulo on March 14th. Pereira is undefeated in MMA and has finished six of her nine wins. She previously defeated Poliano Botelho for the vacant Bitetti Combat Flyweight title in June 2014. Botelho competed in the co-main of the XFCI card, winning the vacant XFCI Flyweight title in a tournament final. To reach the semis of the Women's Strawweight title tournament, Pereira stopoped Fernanda Prisciila Barros (0-0) in 3:22 in November. She'll face Vuokko Katainen (3-2-1) of Finland in the tournament finals for the title.