Prospect in the Spotlight (Sept 27-28): Willis Black

Introduction

Wednesday, September 25th, American welterweight prospect Willis Black will be in action for WXC, where he will try to finish Anthony Ivy. He will be looking to score yet another win, as Black looks to continue building his resume to get closer to a UFC contract. He represents Bushido MMA, a little-known camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Power Striking: One thing is certain: If you wish not to get your head knocked off your shoulders, avoid standing in the pocket with Black. The man throws with terrifying intentions and his track record is littered with brutal knockout victories. Not only that, but Black is aggressive and gets it done quickly. Four of his seven wins are via knockout, and two of those KOs were in under a minute. His one-punch KO power is evident as well. His clock-cleaning, one-punch finishes were seen recently against Jake Bostwick and Dustin Parrish. Black mostly uses boxing and doesn’t throw many kicks. He is quick on his feet and moves forward with impunity. He closes the distance well and that’s where he’s able to land those big shots.

Strength/Killer Instinct Combo: Black is an absolute animal. His nickname is “The Silverback,” and that nickname is quite suitable. He’s physically a specimen and has superior strength to those who step in the cage with him. In addition to his aforementioned one-punch KO power, Black has top-notch grip strength. His grappling won’t be confused with Royce Gracie anytime soon, but when he grabs an opponent’s neck, he tries to pop their head off. He is especially known for his dangerous guillotine choke, which is violently tight. Not only is he freakishly strong, but his killer instinct is top notch. He seeks the kill, and when the blood is in the water, Black wastes no time in pouncing on the finish. That’s a style the bosses of major MMA promotions yearn for.

Needs Improvement

Defensive Grappling/Counter Wrestling: Although Black is quick and athletic enough to stay out of shooting distance for the most part, and has a good guillotine to counter shots, his defensive grappling is an area in need of improvement. As an amateur, his two losses came a result of constantly getting taken down and held on the mat. He was easily controlled and dominated, especially against Bobby Nash (now-UFC veteran). Also, on the mat, he can give up position to an opponent who then gets an opportunity to slap him in a choke. In his fight against Evan Cutts, he got himself in a position for Cutts to grab his neck and put him away with an anaconda choke. If he can shuck off takedowns and keep off his back, he’ll be in better shape.

Outlook

UFC Curtain Jerker: There are an abundance of top wrestlers on the UFC roster, especially the welterweight division. That spells some trouble for a guy like Black. That said, his exciting, violent style is something that Dana White desires on the roster. That makes him a candidate to make the roster and grace the prelims from time to time. He is improving steadily, and at age 25, has plenty of time to further develop his ground deficiencies. If he scores knockouts in the UFC like he does in the regionals, he could be a man in hunt of UFC bonuses.

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