(Brian Bowles tops the list of undefeated Bantamweights – photo Josh Hedges/Zuffa)
Over the next week, Heavy.com will explore the undefeated fighters throughout the world of Mixed Martial Arts. In our seven part series, we will profile the many of the top fighters in each division who have yet to taste defeat. Fighters must have at least five fights and will only be considered from the major organizations: UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, DREAM, Sengoku, and Shooto. Bellator will be not be included in this series, as a special profile is in the works for the organization’s second season of action.
Each day will bring a new set of profiles for one of the seven major divisions in MMA:
Tuesday, 2/23 – Bantamweights
Wednesday, 2/24 – Featherweights
Thursday, 2/25 – Lightweights
Friday, 2/26 – Welterweights
Monday, 3/1 – Middleweights
Tuesday, 3/2 – Light Heavyweights
Wednesday, 3/3 – Heavyweights
The series begins with today in the Bantamweight division – weight limit: 135lbs.
Fighter’s Name: Masakatsu Ueda
Date of Birth: 12/21/1977
Camp: Paraestra Tokyo
Fighting Style: Wrestling, Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu
Last Opponent: Eduardo Dantas (Shooto – Revolutionary Exchanges 1, 7/19/2009)
Having fought his entire career in the Shooto organization, Masakatsu Ueda climbed up the ranks to become the reigning Shooto Featherweight champion, beating Koetsu Okazaki for the vacant title in March, 2008. He is a fairly aggressive striker who relies mostly on his boxing, but isn’t afraid to mix in a few body kicks here and there. Ueda is also a fighter who likes to control his opponents. In the clinch, Ueda does a pretty good job of keeping his opponents against the ropes, sometimes utilizing trips from that position to take the fight to the ground. Ueda also relies heavily on his single leg takedown. Even when his takedown attempts are unsuccessful, an opponent’s sprawl usually gives Ueda the opportunity to look for his favorite submission, the brabo choke. Ueda’s two draws came against WEC veterans Marcos Galvao and Takeya Mizugaki. In addition to his undefeated MMA record, Ueda also holds a victory over Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto in a wrestling match.
Fighter’s Name: Brian Bowles
Date of Birth: 6/22/1980
Camp: The HardCore Gym
Fighting Style: Boxing, Wrestling
Organization: World Extreme Cagefighting
Last Opponent: Miguel Torres (WEC 42, 8/9/2009)
While Forrest Griffin first put the HardCore Gym on the map, Brian Bowles has to be considered the best fighter to come out of the Athens, GA camp. By beating Miguel Torres to win the WEC Bantamweight championship, Brian Bowles became recognized as the best Bantamweight fighter in the world. Bowles power was impressive against Torres, as he knocked out the former champion with ground and pound inside the guard. Bowles is a capable fighter in all facets of the fight game, and while he hasn’t shown the widest range of techniques, those that he has shown have led him to victories over a proverbial who’s who list of fighters. He beat Charlie Valencia with a rear naked choke. He knocked Marcos Galvao out in the first round. He beat both Damacio Page and Will Ribiero with back-to-back guillotine chokes. Bowles will defend his title for the first time again Dominick Cruz at WEC 47 on March 6.