Friday, October 26th, Australian light heavyweight prospect Nathan Reddy will be in action overseas on the Hex Fight Series 17 card. He will be competing against Kiwi veteran Bob Armstrong in an undercard bout, as Reddy looks to move his winning streak to six. Reddy represents the little known XXX Fight Academy, where it appears he’s a big fish in a little pond. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Striking: Watch any of Reddy’s fights and it’s obvious this is a guy with a boxing and/or kickboxing background. Reddy is a guy that utilizes solid movement, good hand position and good variety on the feet. His kicks are very hard, as he will throw thunderous low kicks to soften up an opponent or devastating high kicks to put their lights out. Of the seven wins I can find on him, four come by way of knockout (two submission). He is not a guy that generally looks to take the fight to the ground. He keeps fight on the feet, throws heavy leather and looks for the knockout from the onset, and with good results. Any man who stands with him risks waking up looking at the ceiling.
Power: In addition to his striking, he is also very physically powerful. In the clinch, he seems to control his opponent through pure strength. He’s not as active with knees in the clinch as somebody who would have an extensive muay Thai background, but he uses the clinch defensively when shucking off takedowns. Not only is his physical strength impressive, but the amount of power he can generate in his strikes. Even if he doesn’t land completely clean, he can rock you. In his most recent outing, he knocked out Parminder Singh with a head kick that didn’t even look like it landed cleanly. That’s how much power he generated.
Age: Obviously, there is no way to improve age, so this would be better labeled “weakness” (remember this is a prospect article). However, it is a great concern, as MMA fighters have a small window and for the most part, it’s a young man’s game. Mileage accumulates quickly, and when it does, a fighter’s game suffers. Reddy needs to make a move to the major leagues and do so in rapid manner. He’s not getting any younger and he may only have a few good years left in this sport.
Ground Game: He’s never lost by submission and has won two fights via tapout himself, but his overall ground game certainly needs work. His Twitter boasts a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and an orange belt in judo, which isn’t terrible, but it falls behind the skills of fighters at the next level. In his only MMA loss, Reddy was beat up on the ground by now-UFC roster member Jim Crute, who was able to secure dominant positions a little too easily. That said, Reddy was able to use brute power with a 205-pound man on top of him to buck him off at points, but that only works when a fighter is fresh and it drains energy quickly. He’s clearly not comfortable off his back. Once he got Crute off of him, he looked exhausted, dropped his hands and was absolutely throttled by his opponent, falling via TKO. That came from his ground deficiencies, even though Crute is definitely a strong striker in his own right.
UFC Prelim Fighter: At this point in his life (34 years old), the window is small for Reddy, though not impossible. Given his power and finishing ability, he could definitely serve as an exciting fighter to fill out prelim fights in the UFC or other top promotions. Seeing where his skill set is now and all the intangibles discussed, I doubt he’d ever be a contender in the UFC. He’d be a guy that would fight on the prelims against other prospects and serve as a measuring stick for younger guys the UFC have confidence in. Perhaps, this isn’t the most flattering honor, but powerhouses like Reddy can easily acquire a cult following if he could earn a couple nasty finishes in the big leagues.