Prospect in the Spotlight (June 2-3): Aren Akopyan


Friday, June 2nd, Russian flyweight prospect Aren Akopyan will be in action for ACA, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Ryskulbek Ibraimov. He will be looking for another win, as Akopyan looks to continue to his winning ways and eventually score a title shot in ACA. He represents Marshall Savchuk Gym, a smaller camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”


Grappling: Akopyan’s biggest tool in the cage is his grappling. His mat work is very good, especially when he’s fighting from the top position. His wrestling is solid and once he’s able to get his opponent to the mat, he gets to work. Seven of his twelve wins come by way of tapout, including three of his last four wins. Those wins included major victories over Alan Gomes and Ruslan Abilitarov, both of which came by rear-naked choke. His ground-and-pound game isn’t bad either, showing he’s rounded from top position.

Strength of Schedule: Akopyan’s strength of schedule is solid, which is why he’s battle tested and gotten good reps in the cage. Two of his losses come to top guys in Russia in the form of Azamat Kerefov and Imran Bukuev. His aforementioned wins over Gomes and Abilitarov were major victories for him, as his win over now formerly undefeated Ruan Miqueias.

Needs Improvement

Counter-Grappling: While Akopyan has gotten his wins using his ground game, he has been out-wrestled and grappled in a couple of his losses to Kerefov and Bukuev. In the Bukuev fight, he was choked out in the second round. When he’s put on his back by guys like Kerefov and Bukuev, he is going to struggle, as he’s outgunned in his strongest category.


UFC Prelim Fighter: Akopyan is one of the best flyweights fighting in the Russian regional scene, which is loaded with talent. That’s why I do think eventually Akopyan can make it over to the UFC. There are a good amount of wrestlers on the UFC roster, so he’d have some tough matchups, but he could find some success given that he has beaten some notable fighters.

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