Prospect in the Spotlight (Feb 21-22): Alex Polizzi

Introduction

Friday, February 21st, American light heavyweight prospect Alex Polizzi will be in action for LFA, where he will be fighting opposite fellow prospect Jamal Pogues. He will be looking to stay undefeated, as he looks to inch closer to a UFC contract. He represents Chosen Few Gym, an underrated camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Ground Game: Polizzi’s background is in collegiate wrestling, as the Wisconsinite traveled a state south to hone his craft at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. There, he was a standout in a division (Big 10) known for having stiff competition. That shows in the cage, as he is explosive on the shot and efficient at getting opponents to the mat. Once he gets them on their back, he is quite aggressive in pursuing a dominant position. He passes often to get to a position where he can drop hammers, utilizing violent ground-and-pound. He is heavy on top, using superior physical strength to dominate and keep himself in an advantageous position. He is also well-versed in submissions, making him an overall threat on the mat. Not only that, but he’s proven he can defend himself off his back and throw up submissions, as seen in an ammy win where he scored a triangle choke. It’s not preferred he fight off his back, but he’s definitely able to.

Finisher: Polizzi has never gone to the judges. That is impressive any way you look at it. The man goes in the cage with the intention to do damage and have the referee step in. He has 11 fights as a pro and amateur, all of which have come before the third round. Seven of those finishes are by knockout, whether it be by ground-and-pound or a shot on the feet. That comes from his aggression and power when he lands shots. The other four come by way of submission, including a rear-naked choke, arm-triangle choke and triangle choke. He is one of those fighters that can smell blood in the water and goes for the kill. That is an important attribute to have.

Needs Improvement

Competition Level: As of right now, I have not seen a ton of weaknesses in Polizzi’s game. The reason for that, most likely, is because he really hasn’t fought the most high-level guys in MMA. Although he is coming off a win over UFC and Contender Series veteran Daniel Jolly (who himself was overmatched in both), he has fought local competition with a combined record of 12-11. That makes it really hard to gauge how ready he is for the next level. On the plus side, those fights were not even competitive. He has finally taken a step up in taking on another top light heavyweight prospect in Jamal Pogues, so if he can score this win, he will have definitely proved he’s legit.

Outlook

Top-20 UFC LHW: I can definitely see Polizzi meshing into the UFC light heavyweight division as a guy who wins the fights he needs to, but struggling against the elite of the division. His wrestling base, aggression and ability to improve from fight to fight make him a very intriguing prospect in a division that is usually shorter on talent than others. He could sniff around the top-10 of the division, so I am somewhat playing it safe by saying he will be top-20. Either way, that is a compliment to this fighter, as a top-20 UFC fighter means he’d legitimately be top-30 in the world overall at the very least.

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