Tuesday, September Oct 5., American bantamweight prospect Paul Capaldo will be in action for Dana White’s Contender Series, where he will be looking to stay undefeated against Fernie Garcia. He will be looking for another win, as Capaldo looks to score a contract with the UFC. He represents Nick Catone MMA & Fitness, a solid camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Striking: Capaldo has really made a name for himself using his acquired boxing and kickboxing skills, which is surprising given his wrestling background (more on that later). Capaldo has had some spectacular knockouts, including a spinning wheel kick against Chris Vasil in his most recent offering. It was a KO of the Year contender and many fans estimation. He has shown some technical skills, as seen in his beautiful kicks, his set ups and his ability to move around the cage effectively. He also has big power, so one shot is all it takes for him to put his opponent’s lights out.
Wrestling: As just briefly mentioned, Capaldo has a wrestling background which he will pull out his back pocket from time to time. Because he’s so explosive and athletically gifted, he can shoot from a good distance and score even if he doesn’t set it up properly. Once on top, he’s hard to get off because he’s so strong. He will advance position quickly by cutting through his opponents guard. He actually enjoys the full mount more than the half guard, and from there, his ground-and-pound is plentiful. He can definitely also score striking stoppages that way.
Better Competition/Inexperience: Capaldo is only six fights into his career, and he’s doing the right thing by building himself up with cage time. That said, he hasn’t really fought competition that is UFC level yet. The combined records of his opponents are 19-15-1. He did have an undefeated amateur career as well that lasted five fights, so he does have that as well. However, we really need to see him step up, which he should be doing here against his current opponent Garcia.
UFC Midcarder: Capaldo is definitely a talented guy that will end up on the UFC roster at some point in his career. The CFFC mainstay is just 24 years and has looked very good in his short pro run. He has proven he can make improvements to his game, going from a wrestler to a guy with dangerous on-the-feet skills. It’s that type of learning curve and ability to round out his game that is going to make him a guy to keep on your radar. He has a tough fight coming up in Fernie Garcia, who is experienced and savvy. A win, especially in strong fashion over a tough, respected vet, should be Capaldo’s ticket to earning a contract with the UFC.