Friday, January 10th, American welterweight prospect Joey Pierotti will be in action for One Championship, where he will be making his debut with the top MMA promotion. He will be looking to make a good first impression, as Pierotti wants to impress the brass and get himself toward a title shot as quickly as possible. He represents Combat Sport & Fitness, an up-and-coming camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Wrestling: There’s no secret as to what the strength is of Joey Pierotti. If you watch any of his bouts, you notice that he waits for his chance and shoots in on his opponents to wrestle them down. Of course, that’s because his background is in collegiate wrestling out of Division I University of Wyoming. He’s very quick on his shot, either looking for a single-leg or double-leg takedown (whatever is available). He gets in smoothly, as he has good technique. Once he drags his opponent down, he holds them there well. He has good top pressure. His ground-and-pound is his best weapon from there, as he uses it to damage and advance positions. That’s not to say he can’t earn tapouts, as he does hold five submission wins. If he can’t get an opponent down immediately, he’s also strong in the clinch, where he’s able to control the fight.
Strength/Athleticism/Cardio: Pierotti is a naturally gifted athlete and a hard worker to boot. Physically, he’s a strong guy, as most wrestlers are. He has very strong legs and a good core, which makes him explosive on the shot and effective on the takedown. He has good grip strength, which you see when he gets his hands on an opponent. His style allows him to wear fighters out as the fight goes on, while Pierotti himself has the stamina to go five rounds. It appears he’s a firefighter as well on the side, so you know he has to be in peak condition for that.
Striking Intangibles: Pierotti has power when he throws, but there are plenty of intangibles he can improve upon to make himself even a bigger threat. First off, the volume for which he throws could be improved, as it would help him set up his takedowns even better. He can get caught throwing one strike at a time, which is easy to evade and read. His head movement has gotten better, but a lot of times he can keep his head on a straight line, which will make him easier to hit. He also stays flat footed a little too much; he needs to get on the bike and throw more feints. Lastly, he needs to check leg kicks. He has trunk-like legs, but he doesn’t check leg kicks and enough of those will affect his ability to shoot takedowns.
One Championship Title Challenger/UFC Midcarder: Pierotti has a good future in this sport, but he’s got a tough test on his plate this weekend against Raimond Magomedaliev. If he can get past him, he will prove he’s as legit as we suspect him to be. Pierotti has a great wrestling background, a quick learning curve and all of the athletic gifts to make him successful. For now, he’s locked down under the One Championship banner. So expect to see him there for a while. I suspect he will challenge for the title at some point, and may even win it. At his best, though, he would be a UFC midcarder that stuck around for a few years.