Friday, January 22nd, Armenian light heavyweight prospect Armen Petrosyan will be in action for Fight Nights Global, where he will be looking to continue his undefeated streak against Dmitry Minakov. He will be looking for another win, as Petrosyan looks to impress the UFC brass in an attempt to earn a contract. He represents Academy MMA, an unknown camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Striking: Petrosyan is a muay Thai fighter, so it’s no shock that he has great striking. He has taken professional Thai/kickboxing bouts, meaning in an MMA cage, there aren’t going to be many people better on the feet across the cage from him. He’s 6’2″, so he’s a decent size for light heavyweight. He has a strong jab and leg kicks, which he uses to gauge distance and soften up his opponents. He has big power in his hands and feet, as well as the technical prowess. He moves well and defends strikes effectively. When he’s aggressive, he’s very dangerous because his accuracy and power rack up damage quickly. All three of his pro MMA fights have ended by knockout. One has ended in the first, one in the second and one in the third, so Petrosyan also has shown that he has the ability to finish fights when he “tires” on.
Clinch: As mentioned, Petrosyan has a muay Thai background, which means it shouldn’t surprise people that he’s also very good in the clinch. He’s strong, so he is able to control opponents from in close. He’s not as nasty of a wrestler as many from Russia/the caucuses, but he’s nevertheless strong. Once he clinches, he looks to land shots. He has good knees and elbows from in close. He also defends well in the clinch.
Ground Question Marks: As mentioned, Petrosyan is primarily a striker, so there are plenty of questions surrounding his ground game. While he has shown some takedown defense in the limited MMA time we’ve seen him, we don’t know much about him if he is to go to the mat. How will he react when taking on a top wrestler or a jiu-jitsu ace that gets him to the mat? Not only that, but he has just one credible opponent in Artur Aliskerov. He was able to beat him, which was impressive, but Aliskerov is not the level of ground fighter that we need to see test Petrosyan.
UFC Bonus Collector: Petrosyan is an exciting striker that has already proven an intriguing prospect. With how light on talent light heavyweight always finds themselves, somebody as exciting as Petrosyan that finishes fights is tailor made for the UFC. Dana White would love Petrosyan based on his size. His knockouts and exciting fights would always have him in pursuit of fight night bonuses. There are definitely winnable fights on the roster. That said, once we see what he can do against a grappler, we can better make a prediction at his ceiling.