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The Sports Daily > MMA Manifesto
UFN: Oliveira/Holloway Prelim Breakout Star – Misha Cirkunov

The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented guy on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.

After seven straight wins that included underdogs, favorites, newcomers and veterans, Prelim Breakout Star looks to continue the run. What better way to do so than with one of the best prospects that’s come out of the Light Heavyweight division since Patrick Cummins quit working at Starbucks.

 

Misha Cirkunov

Affiliation – Xtreme Couture
From – Riga, Latvia
Height – 6’3”
Weight – 205 lbs (Light Heavyweight)
Record – 9-2 (0-0 UFC)

 

What makes him impressive

Cirkunov, like many fighters in the light heavyweight division, has solid power in his hands. As a result, he picked up three victories on strikes early in his career. Then came the most important match of his career. In March of 2012, Misha was tapped out to a heel hook by Aaron Johnson. After taking more than 17 months off, he came back and his submission game had made leaps and bounds. The new Cirkunov was daring and aggressive on the ground, always looking for the next submission attempt. In fact, this turnaround led him to three submission wins in his last four fights. Now with a more balanced attack, he’s sure to turn some heads in the UFC.

 

Why he has been overlooked

It’s actually hard to say just why Cirkunov hasn’t been met with more fanfare. His game is well-rounded. He’s a prospect in a division that is badly in need of some new blood. He’s one of the very first Latvians in the UFC. Plus, he fights out of one of the most storied gyms in MMA history. Surely this sounds like a recipe for stardom. An impressive finish here would get people talking finally.

 

What makes this a good matchup

Daniel Jolly is undefeated, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t shown some holes in his game. In several of his five professional fights Jolly has thrown winging punches that allows opponents in on takedown attempts. While he stuffed a lot of these in his last fight against Joshua Foster, Foster doesn’t exactly have the grappling chops that Cirkunov has. So even though Jolly has a good jiu jitsu game, he’s not quite as deadly off of his back. That will be especially so when Cirkunov is the one on top of him.

 

Record: 69 Wins, 36 Losses, 1 NC,  2 Did Not Fight (DNF)

  1. Francisco Trinaldo – UFC on FX: Belfort vs Bisping (W)
  2. Simeon Thoresen – UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Dodson (L)
  3. Tyron Woodley – UFC 156 (W)
  4. Vaughan Lee – UFC on Fuel: Barao vs McDonald (W)
  5. Dennis Bermudez – UFC 157 (W)
  6. Cristiano Marcello – UFC on Fuel: Stann vs Silva (L)
  7. Daron Cruickshank – UFC 158 (L)
  8. Ryan LaFlare – UFC on Fuel: Mousasi vs Latifi (W)
  9. Bart Palaszewski – TUF Finale (L)
  10. Yoel Romero – UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Melendez (W)
  11. Rustam Khabilov – UFC 159 (W)
  12. Fabio Maldonado – UFC on FX: Belfort vs Rockhold (W)
  13. Khabib Nurmagomedov – UFC 160 (W)
  14. Antonio Braga Neto – UFC on Fuel: Nogueira vs Werdum (W)
  15. Roland Delorme – UFC 161 (W)
  16. Seth Baczynski – UFC 162 (L)
  17. Jorge Masvidal – UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Moraga (W)
  18. Ednaldo Oliveira – UFC 163 (L)
  19. Mike Brown – UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Sonnen (L)
  20. Dylan Andrews – UFC Fight Night: Condit vs Kampmann (W)
  21. Soa Palelei – UFC 164 (W)
  22. Elias Silverio – UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs Bader (W)
  23. John Makdessi – UFC 165 (W)
  24. Alan Patrick – UFC Fight Night: Maia vs Shields (W)
  25. Andre Fili – UFC 166 (W)
  26. Jimy Hettes – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Munoz (W)
  27. Germaine de Randamie – UFC Fight for the Troops 3 (L)
  28. Omari Akhmedov – UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs Henderson (W)
  29. Sergio Pettis – UFC 167 (W)
  30. Roxanne Modafferi – TUF Finale (L)
  31. Takeya Mizugaki – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Bigfoot (W)
  32. Alptekin Ozkilic – UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Benavidez (W)
  33. Siyar Bahadurzada – UFC 168 (L)
  34. Mairbek Taisumov – UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs Lim (W)
  35. Charlie Brenneman – UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Philippou (L)
  36. Walt Harris – UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Thomson (L)
  37. Clint Hester – UFC 169 (W)
  38. Joe Proctor – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Mousasi (W)
  39. Aljamain Sterling – UFC 170 (W)
  40. Zak Cummings – TUF China Finale (DNF)
  41. Cyrille Diabate – UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Manuwa (L)
  42. Mats Nilsson – UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Manuwa (L)
  43. Alex Garcia – UFC 171 (W)
  44. Hans Stringer – UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Henderson (W)
  45. Jim Alers – UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs Nelson (W)
  46. Ryan Jimmo – TUF Finale (W)
  47. Caio Magalhaes – UFC on Fox: Werdum vs Browne (W)
  48. Joe Ellenberger – UFC 172 (DNF)
  49. Kyoji Horiguchi – UFC Fight Night: Brown vs Silva (W)
  50. Francisco Trinaldo – UFC 173 (L)
  51. Iuri Alcantara – UFC FIght Night: Mousasi vs Munoz (W)
  52. Paulo Thiago – TUF Brazil Finale (L)
  53. Jon Tuck – UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs Khabilov (W)
  54. Mike Easton – UFC 174 (L)
  55. Ian Entwistle – UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs Te Huna (L)
  56. Ray Borg – UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs Stevens (W)
  57. Rob Font – UFC 175 (W)
  58. Derrick Lewis – TUF Finale (W)
  59. Jessamyn Duke – UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Miller (L)
  60. Nikita Krylov – UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Brandao (W)
  61. Patrick Cummins – UFC on Fox: Lawler vs Brown (W)
  62. Sam Alvey – UFC Fight Night: Bader vs Saint Preux (L)
  63. Yuta Sasaki – UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Le (W)
  64. Ben Saunders – UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs dos Anjos (W)
  65. Damon Jackson – UFC 177 (L)
  66. Chas Skelly – UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs Mousasi (W)
  67. Godofredo ‘Pepey’ Castro – UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs Arlovski (W)
  68. Alex Caceres – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Nelson (L)
  69. Cody Gibson – UFC 178 (L)
  70. Marcin Bandel – UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs Story (L)
  71. Jason Saggo -UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs Saffiedine (L)
  72. Yan Cabral – UFC 179 (W)
  73. Jake Mathews – UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Bisping (W)
  74. Thomas Almeida – UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Saint Preux (W)
  75. Gabriel Benitez – UFC 180 (W)
  76. Paige VanZant – UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs Swanson (W)
  77. Clay Collard – UFC 181 (W)
  78. Aisling Daly – TUF Finale (W)
  79. Jamie Varner – UFC on Fox 13 (L)
  80. Jake Collier – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Dollaway (L)
  81. Alexis Dufresne – UFC 182 (L)
  82. Charles Rosa – UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Siver (W)
  83. Konstantin Erokhin – UFC on Fox: Gustafsson vs Johnson (L)
  84. Sara McMann – UFC 183 (L)
  85. James Moontasri – UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs Thatch (W)
  86. William ‘Patolino’ Macario – UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs Mir (L)
  87. Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto – UFC 184 – (NC)
  88. Joseph Duffy – UFC 185 (W)
  89. Christos Giagos – UFC Fight Night: Maia vs LaFlare (W)
  90. Ron Stallings – UFC Fight Night: Lamas vs Mendes (W)
  91. Stevie Ray – UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2 (W)
  92. Beneil Dariush – UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Machida (W)
  93. Olivier Aubin-Mercier – UFC 186 (W)
  94. Lisa Ellis – UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Miocic (L)
  95. Dhiego Lima – UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs Faber (L)
  96. Islam Makhachev – UFC 187 (W)
  97. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos – UFC Fight Night: Condit vs Alves (L)
  98. Ricardo Abreu – UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs Hendeson (L)
  99. Henry Cejudo – UFC 188 (W)
  100. Makwan Amirkhani – UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk (W)
  101. Steve Mongtomery – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Romero (L)
  102. Cody Garbrandt – UFC 189 (W)
  103. George Sullivan – UFC Fight Night: Ellenberger vs Thompson (W)
  104. Kevin Casey – UFC Fight Night: Mir vs Duffee (W)
  105. Jimmie Rivera – UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Leites (W)
  106. Andrew Holbrook – UFC on Fox 16 (W)
  107. Warlley Alves – UFC 190 (W)
  108. Frankie Saenz – UFC Fight Night: St. Preux vs Teixeira (W)