The UFC heads to the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for UFC 186 on Saturday, April 25, 2015 and the opening bout of the main card will feature one of the UFC’s brightest young talents as undefeated Thomas Almeida takes on Canada’s own Yves Jabouin.

At just 23-years-old, Almeida has already racked up and impressive 18-0 pro record, including a unanimous decision victory in his UFC debut. A product of Brazil’s famed Chute Boxe Academy, Almeida’s ferocious and relentless striking attack has led the bantamweight phenom to 13 knockout victories.

The UFC has been hurting for star power since Georges St. Pierre retired from the sport, but with fighters like Almeida the UFC’s future looks bright. Almeida is still very young and he has some things to work on, but he has the potential to be a champion in the UFC one day. He’s not the only young fighter with that same championship potential, either.

Beneil Dariush

Dariush is 25 years old, he’s riding a four fight winning streak in the UFC and he’s coming off of the biggest win of his young career: a unanimous decision over highly touted veteran Jim Miller. The future is unbelievably bright for the young grappler from Iran.

The UFC’s lightweight division is the arguably the deepest and most competitive in the entire sport, and Dariush is going to need to improve his striking game a little more before he is ready for the big time. But he’s got the grappling chops to give anyone a run for their money.

Paige VanZant

At just 21 years old, the world is VanZant’s oyster right now. A fiercely competitive fighter with cheerleader looks and movie star charisma, VanZant has the potential to be a Ronda Rousey level superstar in this sport.

Already 2-0 in the UFC Octagon, VanZant is shooting up the rankings but she still has a long way to go as a fighter. She’s putting in the work to get there and her performances thus far have been exhilarating, so she’ll be in the title mix before you know it.

Max Holloway

While VanZant looks like the closest young fighter on this list to actually earning a title shot, Holloway looks like he’s the closest to ascending to actual greatness. The 23-year-old Hawaiian has won six fights in a row, five by way of finish. Coming off the biggest and most impressive victory of his young career, Holloway looks like he is ready to compete for UFC gold right now.

The UFC featherweight division’s upper echelon is filled with killers, though, and he will need at least one more win over a top contender if he wants to fight for the title. Between his youth and his rapidly improving skill set, the featherweight division should fear the future that is Max Holloway.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.