Analysis

American Top Team Outlook for 2022

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American Top Team (ATT) is one of the premier MMA academies in the sport, with a number of high profile and highly ranked mixed martial artists in their ranks. With champions, former champions, fan favorites and some of the hottest prospects in the sport fighting out of ATT, let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing matchups and potential next steps for three fighters from American Top Team.

A Look inside 3 ATT’s Potential Fighter Matchups

The Past – Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal is in something of a tricky position. Despite being the benefactor of an incredible three-fight winning streak in 2019, Masvidal now finds himself the loser in three of his last four fights. Miraculously though, “Gamebred” has maintained a ranking in one of the most competitive and deep divisions in the UFC. Even with this recent lack of success in the Octagon, Masvidal still possesses skills that many in the division can fall victim to—his losing effort against Colby Covington most recently saw him drop Covington to one knee with a perfectly placed right hand, and Masvidal’s boxing pedigree has always made him an attractive prospect to betting houses, such as this UFC guide on wetten.com. An unsettled feud with Leon Edwards, who will challenge for the undisputed title in the summer, is sure to keep Masvidal’s name in the hat when it comes to the grandest prize in the sport, but rematches with fellow striking aficionados such as Stephen Thompson and Vicente Luque, who both maintain strong fan support and competitive relevance in the sport, give Masvidal more options than one might think from reviewing his recent record and performances.

The Present – Dustin Poirier

Dustin Poirier is reaping everything he has sown in his hall-of-fame level career. Even coming off the back of a loss by rear-naked-choke in a bout that many felt was certain to end with Poirier being crowned the undisputed champion, he is not without options. Many fights have been teased to be next for ‘The Diamond’ from a grudge match with Nate Diaz, to a tetralogy fight with Conor McGregor, Dustin is finding himself caught in the middle of fan adoration, with exciting and dynamic matchup options around every corner with a shedload of money whichever path he chooses.

Dustin is undeniably a premier, world-class talent and could, in all likelihood, find himself in another world title fight given a couple of high-level victories. While Diaz and McGregor are opponents that fans are sure to be salivating over, a victory over one or the other (or even both) is unlikely to put Dustin in a position to fight for the strap again. Opponents like Michael Chandler, who has also been unsuccessful in a recent outing for the belt, and Beniel Dariush, who just lost his position in a title eliminator fight after being sidelined due to injury, present not only intriguing matchups for Dustin but also a clear path back to the world title, should Poirier set his sights on it. However, the prospect of another McGregor mega payday or (finally) a payoff to his long-standing feud with Diaz may prove to be too strong a temptation. Either way, Poirier fans are winning and hopefully, so is Dustin.

The Future – Valerie Loureda

Valerie Loureda, despite only having five professional bouts, is one of the most hotly discussed female prospects not just in Bellator, but perhaps in all of mixed martial arts. Having competed under the aforementioned Bellator banner in all of her professional fights, Loureda has been exposed to a wide audience and, also, to a rather unconventional path toward the big leagues of MMA. It is exceedingly rare that a fighter performs for a ‘Big League’ promotion in their debut, and Loureda has had great success but has not quite avoided trouble. Her last two fights consist of a clean decision loss, followed by a razor-thin decision win, and she was the heavy favorite in both bouts. Regardless, Loureda’s quick accruement of experience at the upper levels of MMA, combined with her extensive background as a Taekwondo technician, gives her the upper hand here, at the beginning of her MMA career, and is sure to bring her continued success.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images

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