3 of the Best Up-and-Coming UFC Stars to Look Out For

10 Oct , 2021,
A. J. Riot

Ten years ago, in September 2011, Conor McGregor won his fifth fight in a row and his fifth fight of the year. His record attracted the attention of MMA experts and within a year he had won the Featherweight and Lightweight Cage Warrior Championships and was on his way to the UFC.

His talents were obvious to those in the know, and once he was spotted, his ascent was rapid and meteoric.

At any given time, there could be dozens of young fighters out there with equal talents, and in this short guide, we’ll highlight the best of them. Knowing which fighters to look out for could help sports bettors and odds-seekers using sites like thelines.com. It’ll also give you bragging rights when you predict an unknown fighter’s future and watch them climb the rankings.

Bryce Mitchell

Bryce Mitchell is an undefeated pro who turns 27 in October 2021. The Arkansas native is not exactly an unknown as he’s ranked 11th in the UFC Featherweight division, but he’s a fighter that many fans are unaware of.

Mitchell’s record is 14-0 and he last fought in October 2020, when he defeated Andre Fili by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Hall vs Silva. Mitchell is eyeing Dan Ige for his next fight and the two seem destined to fight.

Ige (15-4) is currently ranked 9th in the Lightweight division and a victory will give Mitchell the attention he deserves.

Ciryl Gane

Gane is another fighter with a decent rank that deserves way more attention. The French heavyweight made his UFC debut in the summer of 2019 and by the time 2021 rolled around he had an impressive 4 wins on his record, taking him to 7-0 in total.

In 2021, Gane has fought three times, recording one KO and two UDs, with his most recent win coming against Derrick Lewis. He is a beast and he’s looking unstoppable right now. The heavyweight division is stacked with some up-and-comers and some fading stars, and Gane looks like he could steamroll all of them.

Joaquin Buckley

Buckley is not only a gifted fighter with some fantastic moves, but he knows how to put on a show. The 27-year-old has competed at Shamrock FC, Bellator, LFA, and the UFC, and it’s the latter where he has truly shined.

In October 2020, Buckley became a viral sensation when he landed a jumping spinning kick against Impa Kasanganay, recording a second-round KO and earning him the Performance of the Night. The resulting videos/posts became the most-watched, most-liked, and most retweeted in UFC history.

He earned the same accolade in his next fight following yet another KO, and he was also gifted the Performance of the Night honor in his most recent fight against Antonio Arroyo.

He’s had three UFC wins so far and all of them have been worthy of a Performance of the Night, making Buckley a one-to-watch for fans who love a good knockout.