Prospect in the Spotlight (Feb 26-27): Kirill Kornilov

Introduction

Tuesday, February 23th, Russian heavyweight prospect Kirill Kornilov will be in action for RCC Intro, where he will be looking to continue his winning ways against veteran Yuriy Federov. He will be looking for another win, as Kornilov looks to impress the UFC brass in an attempt to earn a contract. He represents Sech Pro, a smaller Russian camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Kickboxing: Kornilov has a striking background, as seen in his pro kickboxing career in both Glory and ACA. It tends to be how he fights most of his fights. Kornilov loves to fight from the outside. He throws a good jab and has solid kicks. He is accurate and throws good, effective combos with his hands. He mixes up well, tear apart the body and sledging his opponents head. Six of his seven wins come by way of knockout, including an excellent stoppage due to knees, which shows he has a strong clinch game as well.

Power Game: In addition to being a good, technical striker, Kornilov also has a good power game. He can control guys in the clinch with his physical strength and is good at schucking off errant takedown attempts. Obviously, he has big power in his strikes, as at any point, he can put opponent’s lights out with one big strike. Power is a big part of his game, and at 6’5″, 250+ lbs., there is plenty he can generate in multiple facets of his game.

Needs Improvement

Counter-Wrestling: While he is good in the clinch and has been able to schuck off wrestling attempts from lower level fighters, when he fought wrestler Sultan Murtazaliev, he did show some holes in his counter-wrestling. As he moves up in competition level, this could be more easily exposed, as the best fighters in the world tend to have the best wrestling in the sport. Outside of Murtazaliev, he has not really fought the type of power wrestler that would put him in trouble. Mutazaliev fought him to a draw, using his wrestling to secure points. If Kornilov were to come to the UFC, there would be guys that could expose his takedown defense.

Outlook

Midcard UFC Heavyweight: There are certainly matchups for Kornilov in the UFC which Kornilov would succeed. I don’t think he will get past a certain point, though, as I think a lot of the top-15 to top-20 guys are superior grapplers that could expose Kornilov. Kornilov always has a punchers chance in those fights, because he is such a good striker and powerful. However, if I were to imagine a fight with him and, say, Marcin Tybura, I think he’d be in trouble based on Tybura’s grappling acumen. He’d certainly be a welcome addition to the UFC roster that could provide some fun knockout victories, though.

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