Prospect in the Spotlight (Oct 25-26): William Knight

Introduction

Friday, October 25th, American light heavyweight prospect William Knight will be in action for Future FC, where he will try to stay undefeated against Marvin Skipper. He will be looking for another crack at the UFC, as Knight wants to follow up his Dana White Contender Series victory earlier this year. He represents Team Thornton Martial Arts, a little-known camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Power Striker: William Knight is a violent individual when it comes to uses those soup bones he calls hands. He has a muay Thai kickboxing background, which explains why most of his fights are contested on the feet. That said, he’s not the most technical striker, but he is absolutely devastating with his knockout power. One touch of the chin from Knight and you will be waking up to a referee and cageside doctor helping bring you back to consciousness. Even if he doesn’t put you down with one stroke, he accumulates damage quickly and it’s apparent, especially when he racks you to the body. If the fight goes to the ground, he powers to an advantageous position and unleashes freakishly violent ground-and-pound. Watch his fight with Herdem Alacabek. Once he got Alacabek to the mat, he looked like Donkey Kong smashing wooden barrels, decimating his opponent en route to a referee save-age (instead of stoppage). All five of his pro wins are by knockout, as well as four of his amateur bouts. Beware.

Toughness: It’s unquestionable that Knight is beyond a tough individual. Duh, he’s a pro mixed martial artist. He’s had to be tough his whole life, as he was bullied as a child and had a tough upbringing. With that considered, his in-the-cage toughness is impressive. The dude has a granite chin, as seen in his bout with the aforementioned Alacabek. He is always moving forward in the fight, even when taking big shots to the chin. He rarely shows that he’s hurt when he does get cracked. He is always looking for the finish while taking shots. The man simply doesn’t quit. In fact, he was likely down on the scorecards before the third round finish of Alacabek. He’s also physically tough with his cardio and physical strength. He is thickly muscled and bullies opponents with his physicality. And despite having such a hulking figure, he has astoundingly good cardio. A lot of guys that carry that kind of muscle fatigue quickly, as that body expels vast amounts of energy. That’s how physically impressive Knight is.

Needs Improvement

Technical Skills: What Knight packs in raw power, he lacks in overall technique. This goes for some of his striking technique, but also a bigger part of his grappling. When on the ground, he depends on brute strength to make advances as opposed to slick transitions. He struggles to get off his back when taken down other than through sheer force. If he gets a heavy enough opponent, that will not be enough to escape that defensive grappling position. On the feet, against any quick, technical strikers, he will be outstruck. That one-punch KO ability will always be there, but if he can’t hit a striker of good movement, that will be a scarce option.

Takes Too Much Damage: One of Knight’s big strengths is that he is tough as nails, but it’s also a weakness. He is simply too willing to take shots on the feet. Even if he has a great chin, it won’t hold up forever and will wither the longer his career comes on. He doesn’t block much on the feet, and when on the ground, he takes just as much damage via ground-and-pound. A smarter fight style may lend itself better to Knight as he continues to improve.

Outlook

UFC Mainstay/Bonus Collector: After dispatching of Marvin Skipper in his fight this week, I expect the UFC to come calling. They were already impressed with Knight in his Contender Series fight; they just wanted to him to take at least another fight. The light heavyweight division is always in need of talent, and Knight could fill in. He’d have to ease into the division slowly, ie. take fights of increasing difficulty at a moderate speed. Basically, he should not be thrown in there with the top-10 right away. Knight’s style lends well to a mass audience and his power is something to behold. Because of that, he will be a mainstay on the UFC roster. He may never be a title contender, but that won’t matter. He will be a guy who scores some finishes, collects his fair share of bonuses and spends a good bit of time with the company creating memories.

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