Prospect in the Spotlight (Dec. 17-18): Phumi Nkuta

Introduction

Friday, December 17th, American flyweight prospect Phumi Nkuta will be in action for CFFC, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Jason Eastman. He will be looking for another win, as Nkuta looks to defend his CFFC title and earn his way into the UFC. He represents Longo-Weidman MMA, a top camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Wrestling/Ground: Nkuta has called himself “The Black Khabib,” which is a high compliment for himself. That said, he has a great wrestling base and ground game that is suffocating and dominating. He is highly athletic and explosive, which aids him in scoring takedowns and staying in the top position. From there, Nkuta has a good arsenal on the mat. He’s strong in holding positions and has good ground striking. He also has solid submission skills, as seen in his Americana tapout over Ben Coyle. Nkuta is relentless with his wrestling and ground game, and he shows it on a fight-by-fight basis.

Pace/Conditioning: Nkuta is nicknamed “Turbo” which is absolutely fitting for this fighter. His pace is frantic from the opening bell to the final bell. He is constantly moving forward and either throwing strikes in volume or participating in explosive takedowns. It’s amazing that he’s also able to keep this pace throughout the fight, given the output. That type of conditioning is a major advantage in any fight he participates, as conditioning can win fights.

Needs Improvement

Experience: Obviously, the biggest problem with Nkuta is he’s just four fights into this career and he’s yet to take a big step up in competition. His opponents have a combined record of 9-2. Further than that, there is not a ton of footage on Nkuta to get a bigger idea of skill deficiencies (should he have more). That said, Nkuta has big show experience in all four of his fights. He made his debut with Bellator and the rest have been with CFFC, which is definitely a step up from smaller regional shows (CFFC is on UFC Fight Pass). Nkuta will get more cage time the more he fights, so this isn’t a great detriment to Nkuta.

Outlook

Sky is the Limit: Just four fights into his pro MMA career, Nkuta looks like a true blue chipper that has a promising career ahead of him. He’s a guy that is just 26 years old and at the beginning of his career. He’s getting better every time we see him. Once this guy nears his prime and the height of his career, he could be a top flyweight in the UFC. He has all the natural gifts of athleticism as well as an excellent skill set and a great gym/coaching staff to guide him. I assume that he will need a win or two to get into the UFC, but having the CFFC Flyweight Championship around his waist right now could get him in as soon as the UFC needs him.

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