There are always young, up-and-coming fighters to watch around the world. Unfortunately, most mixed martial arts fans don’t get to know these diamonds in the rough unless they are in the UFC.
That is where MMASucka.com decided to get involved to bring you this “Five fighters to watch from…” feature.
In this edition, we bring you the top five prospects from one of Australia’s top MMA gyms, Australian Top Team (ATT). Situated in Sydney, Australia, the gym was founded by the Mokhtarian brothers, Suman and Ashkan. ATT’s fighters have gone on to represent various promotions to date both in the local and international circuit, including BRACE, Nitro MMA, Australian Fighting Championship, Valor and REBEL Fighting Championship among others.
Coach Suman Mokhtarian personally gave me the following names. Check them out below in no particular order:
- Name: Ashkan Mokhtarian (2-0)
The 27-year-old held an impressive 9-0-1 record in Amateur MMA before deciding to hit the pro scene. Ashkan’s now 2-0 as a pro, and has garnered only finishes in all his Mixed Martial Arts contests to date. With a couple of fights in pro Muay Thai as well as an ever-improving grappling game, the all-rounded Bantamweight fighter has reaped a reputation for putting on exciting displays in all his contests, which makes him truly a gem to be on the lookout for in the near future.
- Name: Sam Kei (4-2-1)
At just 22, Sam Kei has fought some of the best 205-pounders Australia has to offer in a short span of time. ‘K9′ remains as the only fighter to ever cripple current ONE FC combatant Chris Lokteff, doing so on just a weeks’ notice. Known for his reluctance to back out of fights, Kei is a two-time Light Heavyweight champion under the Nitro MMA banner who possesses some slick, hard hitting strikes along with progressive ground skills.
- Name: Randall Ray (6-1)
Randall ‘The Limb Reaper’ Ray is a 27-year-old Light Heavyweight specializing in submission grappling, with five of his six victories coming by way of submission. The Seven Hills, New South Wales product is a fast starter in every sense of the word, having only made it past the first round once since the launch of his pro MMA career in 2012.
- Name: Suman Mokhtarian (0-0)
Although Suman is yet to make his pro MMA debut, the 21-year-old has gone 4-1 as an Amateur with three first round submission triumphs. He most recently featured at REBEL FC 1: Into the Lion’s Den in Singapore, where he scored a victory in a bout he took on two days’ notice. A four-time state Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champ, Suman has amassed multiple contests in disciplines such as Muay Thai and Boxing as well, and the often loquacious Aussie brings a ‘kill or be killed’ attitude to the table.
- Name: James Najim (0-0)
The youngest of the lot, Najim is 125-lbs fighter by trait, but has instead taken fights outside of his weight class in both his Amateur MMA bouts to date. Even so, that hasn’t stopped him from using his shrewd Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to dominate and pound his opponents to stoppage wins. A multi-time state and national BJJ champion, the sky is genuinely the limit for ‘Jumanji’ who’s still learning his trade at just a tender age of 17.