They are many prospects who have yet to reach the big leagues. The goal for many fighters is to get into organizations such as the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and Dream (as well as WEC and Pride when they existed).

To this day, there are many fighters who have yet to taste those types of opportunities. They continue to ply their craft in the minor leagues, hoping to get a crack at the big time.

Here is a closer, in-depth look at three prospects of the sport that top promotions should take notice of. All three are established prospects with good records, but who are looking to establish their name in the big time and generate further fanfare.

Gustavo Falciroli (13-4-2)

At age 29, Gustavo Falciroli has about five years of MMA experience under his belt. In that time, he has established a reputation as a top prospect in the bantamweight division.

The Australian has stepped in the cage with notable fighters in the past. He has shared the cage with Bibiano Fernandes, Richie Vaculik, Issei Tamura, Bernardo Magalhaes and Jai Bradney.

Falciroli is skilled on the ground, owning six of his 13 wins by submission. Furthermore, he has power in his hands, even though he has just three knockouts to his name.

A list of his victims includes The Ultimate Fighter veteran Vaculik, plus Nick Honstein and Soo Chul Kim. With those type of victories, it is curious why he hasn’t had his shot with one of the world’s top organizations. He has competed under the ONE FC banner recently, however, so he’s sure to draw more notice.

Falciroli still has his best years ahead of him. The Godai Jiu-Jitsu representative needs to keep fighting and winning impressively. Then, maybe the UFC or Bellator will extend an offer to him.

Jan Blachowicz (16-3)

Jan Blachowicz has good experience under his belt, but he has never been able to take his potentially threatening game to a major organization.

Blachowicz, age 29, has spent a majority of his career in KSW, Poland’s top MMA promotion. Though it might hold such a high distinction in Poland, KSW is still not a major organization on a global level.

Blachowicz represents a true mixed martial artist. Of his 16 wins, four have come by knockout and seven have come by submission.

He has come on strong as of late, knocking off UFC veterans and European mainstays alike. A list of his recent victims include UFC veterans Houston Alexander, Mario Miranda and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, all of which give his MMA record great credibility.

Blachowicz is one of Poland’s most promising fighters. The Nastula Team representative could and should be making his way to the major leagues sooner rather than later.

Antonio Braga Neto (8-1)

The least experienced of the three prospects mentioned, Antonio Braga Neto is just 25 years old. He has been a professional since the age of 18.

Neto has rattled off wins over tough competition in his young career. He has submitted six of his foes with his impressive ground game, using flashy technique to earn tapouts. Of those he has defeated, he has put away UFC veterans Brock Larson with a kneebar, Maiquel Falcao with a kimura and Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira by decision.

With credentials like that, the Gracie Fusion product is one of the best middleweight/light heavyweight prospects in the world. He is one of many Brazilians who are chomping at the bit to get his crack at the big show.

Photo: Falciroli works from the top position (Louie Abigail/Sherdog)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.