Prospecting in the UFC has become a huge sensation as the UFC fans, die hard and casual alike attempt to predict the next big superstars on the roster. When ranking prospects there is several ways to do it, most notably ranking the media following of a star or ranking the martial arts skill.
For this list we are going to be focusing on the skill side of the equation, and ranking the Top 10 Prospects based on their ability to win fights and make to to the top of their divisions. We have also rated them out of 10 to further solidify each position based on their win rate, finish rate and level of competition faced.
Before we get started let's get some criteria out of the way. For this list a "prospect" will consist of non-champions with no more than 6 fights in the UFC. That's it, anybody who fits those two traits is eligible for this list, and we have searched the UFC far and wide to find the very best 10 fighters for this list, so here we go.
Lerone Murphy; 8.0, Dricus Du Plessis; 8.0, Tracy Cortez; 8.0 and Chris Curtis; 8.0.
#10 Umar Nurmagomedov; 8.14 UFC Record 3-0 Finishes 2
The cousin of Lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov, Umar is also undefeated in his professional career at 15-0. At only 26 years old Umar is already ranked in the Bantamweight division, with his most recent victory over Nate Maness being his most dominant to date, only allowing Maness to land 2 significant strikes. Nurmagomedov would be ranked higher if he had more fights to piece together, but as it stands we could see this man be closer to the top of this list come next year.
#9 Adrian Yanez: 8.16 UFC Record 5-0 Finishes 4
Yanez might be the pound-for-pound most explosive fighter on this list. In a division like Flyweight where there aren't as many finishes as others, Yanez takes pride in his 80% knockout rate, earning comparisons to Nate Diaz at the beginning of his career. Yanez is the only fighter on this list not currently ranked by the UFC but currently sits between the 15-20 mark in his division. Don't be surprised if we see the 28-year old step up to face top-15 ranked opponents very soon as Yanez looks to push his way up the Flyweight ladder already stacked with plenty of prospects.
#8 Damir Ismagulov 8.19 UFC Record 5-0 Finishes 0
The latest in the Russian Martial Arts Factory, Damir Ismagulov has started his career with 5 decision victories with all but 1 coming unanimously. Ismagulov has recently been added to the rankings at Lightweight's #15 contender after his most recent split decision victory over other hot prospect Guram Kutateladze. Ismagulov is a stand up specialist unlike most of Russian's top fighters but uses his tremendous cardio to put a pace on people similar to Colby Covington's style.
#7 Illia Topuria 8.25 UFC Record 4-0 Finishes 3
The youngest fighter on this list, Illia Topuria is only 25 years old and already ranked at #14 in the Featherweight division, arguably the most contentious division to break into the rankings. With a perfect record of 12-0 with the last three wins coming by way of knockout, Topuria is one of the most exciting competitors on this list. With a very exciting bout on the way against Edson Barboza in October, Topuria can stake his claim to a true top-10 prospect with another win and shoot up the rankings even more.
#6 Mateusz Gamrot 8.32 UFC Record 4-1 Finishes 3
Now entering top-10 territory, the rest of these fighters are still prospects in the UFC, but are already championship caliber. Starting with the #9 Lightweight Mateusz Gamrot, who is fresh off a victory against another good prospect in Armen Tsarukyan. The Polish kickboxer is on a 4-fight win streak with only one loss coming by split decision in 2020. With a bout coming up in October against #4 conteder Beneil Dariush, Gamrot can cement himself as one of the most elite prospects in the UFC and break into the Top 5 of this list next year.
#5 Sean Brady 8.38 UFC Record 5-0 Finishes 2
With an unbeaten 15-0 record including 2 decisive victories against top-15 fighters Jake Matthews and Michael Chiesa in his most recent two, Sean Brady is for real. With an impeccable wrestling background that has helped him improve his signature guillotine choke, Brady has one of the scariest style sets in the 170-lb division. Brady has a matchup set in October against #5 Belal Muhammed with the winner being thrown into the cesspool that is the Welterweight championship picture. If Brady can continue his unbeaten streak he will surely be fighting for the title soon and will escape the label of prospect and enter the realm of top contender.
#4 Shavkat Rakhmonov 8.87 UFC Record 4-0 Finishes 4
The boogeyman of this entire list, Shavkat Rakhmonov may be the betting man's pick if he had to choose one person to be a champion in their career. Rakhmonov has a 100% finish rate in his career and sits at the #11 weleterweight contender after only 4 fights in the UFC. His wrestling prowess is scary and his drive to look for a finish by consistently beating on his opponents to the point they mentally submit before the fight is over makes him the man nobody wantes to fight at 170 lbs. Rakhmonov doesn't get nearly the amount of hype he deserves for two reasons; he's a humble man who shows respect in victory, and nobody will call this man out because of fear. Watch out for Rakhmonov because he could become a champion as easily as 2023.
#3 Andre Muniz 9.02 UFC Record 5-0 Finishes 3
Andre Muniz may be the biggest surprise to be ranked as high as he is. With only 3 finishes and a #10 ranking, how is this 32-year old the #3 prospect in the entire UFC? Quite simply, it's because his jiu-jitsu and wrestling may be the bets in the entire UFC besides 1 or 2 and is certainly the best in his division. We are talking about a man who dislocated Jacare Souza's shoulder in under 4 minutes. Muniz poses such a threat in his division because no one else has the jiu-jitsu background to hang with Muniz on the ground, and by the way, in his last fight Muniz showed that his stand-up game has improved vastly as he outclassed Uriah Hall on the feet.
#2 Alex Pereira 9.13 UFC Record 3-0 Finishes 2
Pereira had a name in the UFC even before he ever stepped into the Octagon. Pereira has 2 kickboxing wins against current UFC Middleweight champ Israel Adesanya including a knockout. No wonder why after only 3 fights the UFC has already given him a PPV Main Event title shot at UFC 281 against the same man he's already bested twice. Pereira also fights at 185 but walks around at 230 and has shown that his left hook should be one of the most feared in the entire sport.
#1 Khamzat Chimaev 9.46 UFC Record 5-0 Finishes 4
Was there any doubt that Chimaev would be #1 on this list? Just a coincidence that he fights this coming weekend against Nate Diaz in a fight he is a 10-1 favorite and will surely get him the biggest pay day of the year. Whether it's at welterweight or middleweight, Chimaev has done it all. Quickest turnaround win in UFC history; 10 days in his first two UFC bfights as well. After that gets a sub-minute, 1-punch knockout against a longtime veteran, then easily ragdolls another veteran to a choke that turns Jingliang's lights off. After that competes in the possible fight of the year against Gilbert Burns knocking him down twice. If Diaz wins this weekend he will assuredly get a title shot in 2023, and for this undefeated Swede to win one title, it seems likely we are looking at the next Champ-Champ in the UFC.