Saturday, February 19th, American heavyweight prospect Davion Franklin will be in action for Bellator, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Said Sowma. He will be looking for another win, as Franklin looks to earn his way into the Bellator title picture. He represents Jackson-Winklejohn MMA, a top camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Wrestling: An excellent athlete, Davion Franklin comes to MMA with an amateur wrestling background. We definitely saw that in his MMA debut, which came after skipping an amateur MMA foray. He took down JW Kiser with ease, held him down, was positionally sound and dominated. On top of using his explosive, impressive takedowns, Franklin also implemented a nasty arsenal of ground-and-pound, which was not only accurate but devastatingly powerful.
Punching Power: Not only is his ground-and-pound nasty, but his on-the-feet striking prowess has been very good. He’s not going to be confused with the technical prowess of Anderson Silva, but his knockout power is scary. This was seen in his last two bouts with TUF vet Tyler King and formerly 15-0 prospect Everett Cummings. The knockout over Cummings came in 21 seconds and came via devastating punches. A good defensive striker can probably go toe-to-toe with Franklin, but if you don’t keep your guard up, this guy is gonna sleep you.
Question Marks: I have two question marks, given that Franklin does have limited time in the cage. Number one is how will he be off his back if another wrestler is able to get him to the mat? Does he have the bottom grappling chops, specifically jiu-jitsu sweeps or submissions, to keep himself protected and in the fight? Number two is how will he fare against a superior striker with takedown defense? Franklin moving forward is scary because of his power, but a counterstriker could likely protect himself while landing shots on Franklin. Franklin has some striking intangibles that need work, but that’s not to take away from the fact that he can indeed strike.
Sky is the Limit: With just four professional MMA bouts under his belt, Franklin still is amassing experience and cage time. That said, the combined record of those four opponents is 38-15. That is very impressive given the amount of time he’s been in this sport. That’s why this outlook is very vague and open in “Sky is the Limit.” Why? Because it’s true. With how fast he’s developing and how impressive he’s been against experienced opposition, where he is now and two years from present day could be vastly different…in a good way. Franklin is just 27 years old and in one of the thinnest divisions in MMA. He could be a champion one day. He could be a challenger one day. Either way, I think this guy is going to have a successful MMA career.