Five Ohio Valley fighters we could see in the UFC soon
It’s no secret that the BluegrassMMA coverage area has long been a hotbed of mixed martial arts talent, with fighters from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Tennessee filling the rosters of the UFC, Bellator, and Professional Fighters League among others.
Last month we had an update of one of our most popular articles ever, where we pegged the ten fighters most likely to make it to the UFC. That was back in 2015, and six of the ten fighters have now competed in the Octagon.
This time, we give one fighter from each state in our coverage area that we think could make it to the big time. Check out the fighters below.
Indiana – Cameron VanCamp (11-5-1)
The Hoosier State’s VanCamp Brothers have been about as consistent as anyone, showing up at events in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and beyond and winning a lot more than they lose. The 26-year-old Cameron has bounced between divisions, winning the HRMMA and Colosseum Combat welterweight titles while also competing at lightweight. He holds notable wins over the likes of Andrew Law, Que Parks, and Aaron Highbaugh, but recently came up short against Strikeforce and UFC veteran Bobby Voelker at Shamrock FC 317. He’ll get another chance against a big show veteran when he faces UFC vet Dan Stittgen in the main event at Urban Combat League next month. He’s ranked No. 1 at both lightweight and welterweight in Kentucky and Indiana and as the No. 26 pro welterweight in the U.S.
Honorable mention: Lightweight Austin Tweedy (11-2) got his chance on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018, but came up short against Te Edwards, who earned a UFC contract. He returned to action in February and earned his 11th stoppage win over David Putvin at WXC.
Aaron Highbaugh (8-3) started out 6-0, then lost three straight, and since has back to back wins including a welterweight title victory over Law at Honor FC 10 last month.
Kentucky – Lance Lawrence (5-1)
Lawrence is another fighter who got his shot on the Contender Series, but he came up short against Kevin Syler in July. He’s still only 26, though and that was his first career MMA loss after 13 combined amateur and pro wins. He holds notable wins over Chris Dunn and recent UFC signee Jonathan Pearce, and he’s ranked as the No. 3 pro featherweight in the Bluegrass State.
Honorable mention: Ken Beverly (8-5) has stayed active and already has 13 pro fights despite being just 22 years old. The HRMMA champion has lost his first two fights under the LFA banner, but he’s still young enough to make a run at a bigger organization.
Ohio – Travis Davis (8-3)
Davis appeared to be on the fast track after starting his career with four first round submissions, but he was derailed with a nasty six-second knockout loss against Sid Wheeler (he recently avenged that loss in a boxing bout). Two more wins followed, but then he dropped back-to-back bouts against UFC veteran Dom Steele and fast-rising Josh Fremd. He’s once again back on track, however, with a pair of wins under the Ohio Combat League banner in 2019. Davis is a marketable fighter with a big following and could get his chance as a late replacement, since he always stays ready.
Honorable mention: One-time uber prospect Isaiah Chapman (9-3) now has three straight wins, and he could get a look if he competes more consistently in the future. He recently won the Honor FC bantamweight title.
Josh Rohler (5-2) has a tough time finding fights, but he gets a chance to make a statement when he faces Bellator veteran Frank Caraballo at Honor FC 11 next month.
Former NCAA champion Jeffery Pelton (7-2) has the backing of a great camp at Strong Style, and he could get a shot with a few more dominant wins.
Pennsylvania – Nick Browne (9-1)
Browne has flown under the radar for most of his career, but he’s quietly been one of the most consistent fighters that nobody ever talks about. Dating to his amateur days where he posted a 10-1 record and won both the Pinnacle FC and NAAFS lightweight titles, he’s always shown up and put on impressively consistent performances.
He started out fast as a pro, with a submission over Jeff Denz in his pro debut followed by the fastest knockout in World Series of Fighting history with his 25-second finish of Sidney Outlaw. He won the Pinnacle FC pro lightweight title to move his record to 6-0, then submitted Troy Lamson with a knee bar in his next outing. His lone loss as a pro came against current UFC fighter John Gunther, but he rebounded with a win over former NCAA wrestling champion Jeff Pelton to successfully defend his Pinnacle FC title. After that, he had a 15-month break and was unable to find fights, until he signed with LFA earlier this year. He debuted with a win over Trey Ogden at LFA 76 last week and finally appears to be getting some national attention. He’s ranked as the No. 1 pro lightweight in Pennsylvania and No. 3 in the Northeast.
Honorable mention: Browne’s teammate Josh Fremd (4-1) hasn’t competed since beating Travis Davis to win the Pinnacle FC middleweight title in December, but if he was more active the Bellator veteran could be a big show prospect.
Tennessee – Cole Ferrell (8-0)
Although he’s from Georgia and trains out of Atlanta, Ferrell has been a mainstay in Tennessee, so we decided to include him on this list. Ferrell has been impressive with eight first round wins, including seven submissions. He’s had multiple bouts fall through, however, and the quality of his opponents has been a question, as his toughest opponent to date had a 6-5 record. The overall record of his opponents to date is 13-37. He has potential star written all over him and would be served well to face a notable big-show veteran in the near future to prove that he belongs.
Honorable mention: David Robins (5-0) has quietly reeled off five stoppages, including four via knockout or TKO. Now that he’s a lightweight he could get a callup in 2020.
Ronnie Lawrence (5-1) is already a Bellator veteran, and he picked up a big win in his promotional debut at LFA 67.
Chandler Cole (5-1) has five stoppages, including four via knockout or TKO. He benefits from competing in the heavyweight division which typically lacks prospects.
The post Who’s next? These local fighters could be on their way to the UFC appeared first on BluegrassMMA.