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 fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
If you’ve been following this column for the last couple years, you know I’m a sucker for a good prospect out of a few of my favorite gyms. Today, I lean into one of my go-tos as they roll out one of my favorites of their up and comers.
Affiliation – Fortis MMA
From – Bronx, New York
Height – 5’10”
Weight – 170 lbs (Welterweight)
Record – 8-2 (0-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
The aggression of which Brahimaj goes for submissions is going to make him one of the most fun guys to watch on the mat. Whether it is jumping to the back or attacking the far side arm after passing guard, Brahimaj is always looking to end the fight. What is most impressive about that is that it isn’t just aggressive, but it is also incredibly quick. The blending of technical know-how, with physical gifts, makes him a very promising grappling prospect.
Why he has been overlooked
Brahimaj had built up a bit of hype on the regional scene despite his couple of losses, largely due to that aforementioned grappling. All eight of his wins came by submission with seven of them in the first round. However, he was booked to fight on Contender Series (against Miguel Baeza) and got hurt. Then he got booked for a fight in the UFC, and a cornerman tested positive for COVID. As a result, it has been a year and a half since we’ve seen him in action, which isn’t good for his hype.
What makes this a good match-up
Max Griffin is certainly no slouch for a debuting fighter. He’s tough and has a solid offensive wrestling game in his own right that he pairs with some solid boxing and a great chin. However, one of the things that has cost Griffin in the past is that he sometimes concedes too many takedowns. Guys who are known as primarily strikers have even scored the odd takedown on him – see Perry, Mike and Oliveira, Alex. So even though Griffin may not be a candidate to get submitted by the Fortis product, the path to victory is a clear one.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 208-91-1 (2 NC) (10 DNF)
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