Prospect in the Spotlight (June 28-29): Nate Landwehr

Introduction

Friday, June 28th, American featherweight prospect Nate Landwehr will be in action for M-1 Challenge, where he will be looking to score a win against Viktor Kolesnik. He will be looking to earn another win, as Landwehr looks to defend his M-1 title and potentially earn a UFC contract. Landwehr represents SSF Submission Academy, a small camp out of Tennessee. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Striking: Although Landwehr isn’t the most conventional striker you will see in the cage, his unorthodox approach to the on-the-feet game is quite effective. One of the big reasons for that is he’s unpredictable. What he lacks in technique he makes up for in creativity and relentlessness. He uses solid footwork to close the distance and land punches in bunches. He often times doesn’t just throw one strike, but a combination that’s going to score points and do damage. He uses good angles to corner opponents, making it harder for them to avoid his shots. He also has very good power in his hands, which allows him to end fights with one significant shot. When it doesn’t render them unconscious right away, he makes sure to violently pound them out to score the stoppage.

Aggression & Pressure: His striking also benefits from his constant pressure and aggressive fighting style that makes opponents uncomfortable from bell to bell. He is constantly moving forward, looking for a finish at any time. Because of this, he will engage in wild brawls with heavy leather flinging from both himself and his opponent. He always fights like he’s down on the scorecards. When he smells blood in the water, he doesn’t hesitate to move in and look for the finish. He’s able to have this pace because his cardio is very good. Even when he’s on the bottom on the mat, he makes you work for everything. He’s hard to hold down, which is good because…

Needs Improvement

Takedown Defense: …his takedown defense has holes in it. His fights in Russia always see him fight strong wrestlers, but they are not the world class guys you will see in the UFC. When he fought Kolesnik the first time, the Russian was able to get him down with ease when he looked for the shot. All that considered, Landwehr is no picnic on the mat. He’s good at scrambling and getting out of bad positions he gets himself into when being overly aggressive and not strategically defensive. He’s very slippery and willing to attack pretty hard off his back. He has been submitted before by Mark Cherico, but that was four years ago (his most recent loss) and he’s significantly improved since then.

Outlook

UFC Under Carder/Fight Night Main Carder: There is no doubt that Landwehr is talented, but it’s his exciting style with a nose to finish bouts that excites Dana White and his crew. Landwehr is a champion of a major regional MMA promotion and has fought proven talent throughout the way. That type of resume should jump out right away. His wrestling shortcomings do hurt his ceiling, though, especially with the amount of top-notch wrestlers on the UFC featherweight roster. That considered, Landwehr is a guy that could have longevity on the UFC roster. He would be a constant Fight Night bonus contender, a guy that could show his face on smaller main cards and take on some pretty notable names in the process. He’s not afraid to fight anybody either, so he could be that Donald Cerrone type wild man who takes any fight at any time.

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