Prospect in the Spotlight (Jan 27-28): Gabriel Santos

Introduction

Friday, January 27th, Brazilian featherweight prospect Gabriel Santos will be in action for LFA, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Jose Delano. He will be looking for another win, as Santos looks to inch closer to a contract with the UFC. He represents Evolucao Thai MMA, a solid camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Submission Grappling: In terms of grappling, Santos has strong Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills. He is very slick on the mat from both the top and bottom. However, his top position is very strong. He has the ability to cut through his opponent’s defenses and get to back mount, which is where he finishes most of his fights. All four of his submission wins come by way of rear-naked choke. If Santos gets to top position, expect to be brought into deep water.

Muay Thai: Training at Evolucao Thai MMA will do wonders for your striking. The guys that come out of that gym are not only hard-nosed, aggressive strikers that stay in your face, but have a technical prowess combined with top-notch power. Santos has just two knockout wins, but one of those came in his most recent bout under the LFA banner, where he scorched Marcio Barbosa with a beautiful head kick and follow-up punches. He is definitely more technique than power, but Santos definitely has the power when needed.

Needs Improvement

Counter-Wrestling Question Marks: Santos has spent his career fighting in Brazil, which brings with it a plethora of Muay Thai strikers and Brazilian jiu-jitsu aces. That said, he’s yet to take on a legit wrestler, which is something he will encounter as he moves up the ladder, especially if he comes to fight in the USA. That will be a major gauge as to whether he’s big-league ready or not.

Outlook

Top-25 UFC FW: Santos is just 26 years old and has already shown great promise and talent. His best days are still ahead of him, which is scary given how good he already is. Getting fights with LFA is a good start for him, as they are a great feeder for the UFC. That means he’s likely already on their radar. Add to the fact that he will be headlining this LFA card, and you can see he’s already well-thought of. Santos has the potential to be somebody in the UFC; at the very minimum, he could be a top-25 featherweight among their ranks.

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