Friday, March 13th, American welterweight prospect Mark Lemminger will be in action for Bellator, where he will be fighting opposite veteran Ion Pascu. He will be looking to continue his winning streak, as Lemminger looks to establish himself in an increasingly crowded Bellator roster. 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.”
Ground Game: Lemminger is a combination of traditional wrestling and submission grappling on the mat. That makes him uber dangerous when the fight goes to the ground. Lemminger is a very explosive wrestler and he shoots for takedowns from bell to bell. When he gets a hold of a leg or waist, he’s likely sending his opponent for a ride. When he gets that opponent down, they are not getting up easily. His ground-and-pound is brutal, as it inflicts much damage. Four of his wins come by punches. He’s also a good submission fighter as well. Don’t leave your neck out around him, as he has tremendous grip strength. Three of his wins are by submission, all of which are via choke. Try to stay off the bottom with this guy.
Strength/Athleticism: Lemminger is quite the athlete. In fact, it’s a great strength of his in that he’s usually the better natural athlete than the man who steps across him from the cage. As mentioned, he’s very explosive. His lower body strength and core are tremendous, which is a huge reason why he can ragdoll opponents. He is also quick for a guy his size, especially considering he’s a large welterweight.
Striking Intangibles: Lemminger can be basic on the feet, which makes sense since he came into MMA with a grappling background. His striking defense has some holes in it and he has been touched on the chin before (see fight vs. Jason Witt). He can telegraph some of his strikes and be susceptible to counter strikers who are patient. Lemminger’s footwork and movement in the cage could also use some work. He mostly uses strikes to set up his takedowns. That said, he does have big power in his hands. He can knock anyone out with an accurately placed shot. He’s just 26, though, so he will continue to improve.
Bellator Showcase Fighter/UFC Prelim Fighter: Lemminger is certainly a skilled fighter, but comparing him to fighters with his style and similar trajectories, it looks like Lemminger will be a guy that has a solid Bellator career and would win some fights if he were to take to the UFC. Lemminger’s natural gifts and grappling background are great assets. However, he’s in one of the most wrestler-heavy divisions in MMA, so he’ll have to round off his game in coming fights to progress to a more all-around dangerous fighter. If he can make those improvements, his ceiling moves up.