Prospect in the Spotlight (Mar 18-19): Dwight Joseph

Introduction

Saturday, March 19th, American bantamweight prospect Dwight Joseph will be in action for MFC, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Taylor Moore. He will be looking for another win, as Joseph angles to eventually get signed by the UFC. He represents Team Alpha Male, a top camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Wrestling/Top Game: Joseph has a strong amateur wrestling background, as he competed at Doane College. That is very much seen in his MMA game and is likely a reason he runs with Team Alpha Male, a camp heavily populated with guys who possess wrestling backgrounds. Joseph does use his hands to set up his grappling, as most of the time he uses it to get in and get a hold of his opponent. A lot of time it starts in the clinch and he works his way to the ground. Once on the mat, he is very hard to get out from under, as he’s big, strong and positionally sound. I’d like to see more activity from top, but when he does throw ground-and-pound, it is effective and powerful. Four of his wins are by TKO and three come by way of submission. He has excellent squeeze in his chokes when he grabs an opponent’s neck.

Strength/Athleticism: Joseph has exceptional physical strength and athleticism, which are two natural advantages he has in a fight. He is explosive on both is takedowns and when he throws strikes (on the feet or the ground). He can ragdoll guys, especially when he gets his hands together to lift and slam an opponent. He is quick in his in-and-out movement, which is why his wrestling can be even more effective.

Needs Improvement

Fighting Off His Back: Like many wrestlers, Joseph sometimes finds himself lost when he’s put on his back. It’s the reason he lost in his lone defeat in 2016 to Terrance Almond. While he saw some success early with his wrestling, Joseph was eventually taken down himself and resorted to basically just holding on. He should have been fighting off his back to find a way to get back to his feet. Instead, he stalled for time and seemed at a loss for what to do. That’s the reason he took the decision loss, as he did nothing to reverse his opponent’s dominant position and fought like a turtle off his back.

Outlook

UFC Prelim Fighter: Joseph has the camp behind him, the talent and athletic prowess to succeed at the top level. That’s why I think he will make his way to the UFC in the next year or two. That said, at 32 years old, the window closes a little bit more every passing day, so he’s got to make a serious move now. Winning on the Contender Series in 2019 was a good start, besting Jay Perrin, who now graces the UFC roster himself. If he’s able to beat Taylor Moore in this current bout, Joseph should have a major claim to join the roster considering Moore is also a Contender Series vet himself.

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