10 Biggest MMA Prospects Pushed Too Soon

Why you should always be careful when trying to make the next big MMA superstar.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

With the careers of MMA fighters being so short, companies such as the UFC, Bellator and ONE Championship are always on the lookout for the sport’s next superstars, but the need to find the next Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey often leads to young fighters being given opponents well above their talent level.

All the fighters featured on this list share the same traits. They were all highly regarded young fighters who entered their promotions with fanfare, and further built their hype with strong showings against lower competition, only to be given a high profile match against a established veteran who takes little time to expose their flaws, handing them an emphatic loss in the process.

Being pushed too soon isn’t a death sentence for a fighter's career. In fact, one fighter on this list would become one of the sport's all-time greats. More often than not, the positive stories are outweighed by the negatives, with the impact of some losses being so severe it ended up permanently damaging a career.

Matchmaking exists in MMA for a reason. You're about to find out why.


Karl Bainbridge hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.