Saturday, November 12th, American bantamweight prospect Austin Bashi will be in action for Lights Out Championships, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Joe Penafiel. He will be looking for another win, as Bashi looks to inch closer to a contract with the UFC. He represents Warrior Way Martial Arts, a lesser-known camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Wrestling: Bashi’s background is in wrestling, which should be no surprise as that style is incorporated when the cage door closes. He’s quick and explosive on the shot and he achieves the takedown with ease. He’s very strong and is heavy from the top position. He’s also got the hips to stave off the takedown from others. You cannot find a fight with Bashi in it that does not prominently feature him using his grappling chops.
Ground Game: Speaking off grappling chops, Bashi has a great top-position ground game when the fight does hit the mat. He’s heavy from top position and is able to get to good positions where he’s able to land ground-and-pound. He has very effective punches and elbows, which he’s used to end two of his last three fights. He also has some submission ability, though there is less evidence of that than his ground striking.
Striking Question Marks: There is not a ton of footage on Bashi having extended showdowns on the feet, so that remains a question mark for right now. Given that he mostly wrestles people and beats them up on the ground, it’s hard to tell if he has competent striking or not. He could be quite good, but this remains a question mark for now.
UFC Top-25: Bashi is just 21 years old, which is insane when you think about it. He’s already been immensely successful, and his best days are still clearly ahead of him. Given his strong wrestling base and his continual improvement in other area, I suspect Bashi is in the UFC within the next year or two. Once he gets there, he will build himself up and eventually reach the top-25, maybe even top-15. Youth is on Bashi’s side as well, so he has plenty of time to get to a high spot in the UFC.