Prospect in the Spotlight (July 30-31): Thomas Petersen

Introduction

Friday, July 30th, American heavyweight prospect Thomas Petersen will be in action for LFA, where he will be looking to strike gold against Vernon Lewis. He will be looking for another win, as Peterson looks to win the LFA title and potentially score a contract with the UFC. He represents Spartan MMA, an underrated camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Wrestling: Petersen comes from a wrestling background, and many times when he fights, it shows in the cage. Petersen is a big, strong heavyweight at over 250 lbs. and he has been able to quickly take down opponents. Once on the mat, he dominates, quickly cutting through his opponent’s defenses and throwing big time ground-and-pound. While he has not shown a great amount of submission offense at this point, his finish rate as a pro is 100%. He also works quickly, as all of his pro wins have come in the first round in devastating fashion.

Power Striking: Petersen is still improving his overall striking game, but this far, he has looked competent on the feet. He has some boxing skills and big-time power in his hands, which he has used to rock and down his opponents. Take for instance his fight with Kimo Luis. Petersen quickly established position in the cage and shot his shot quickly. That haymaker landed on the chin of Luis, flattening him and putting him out of the fight. Petersen’s main threat is his offensive grappling, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of his hands. 

Needs Improvement

Question Marks off Back: Petersen, while a great wrestler, has some question marks in terms of his overall jiu-jitsu. He appears to be a blue belt at this point, which means there are some questions about his off-the-back abilities. We have yet to see it because his wrestling is so strong both offensively and defensively. His takedown defense is going to be his best grappling defense, but it will be interesting to see if he is put on his back how he reacts.

Outlook

UFC Midcarder: Petersen appears to be one of the best, if not best, American heavyweight prospects at this point. He’s still just 26 years old and he’s been beyond dominant thus far. Just four fights into his pro career, he’s already fighting for an LFA title, a title that if won is all but a certainty to get that fighter into the UFC. I have Petersen pegged as a midcarder in the UFC at this point, but he’s still young enough to make a run at the top-10 in the UFC if his improvements continue at this rate. Petersen is a great athlete with a great background, so keep your eye on this prospect as he continues to mount cage time.

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