The Beaten Path: Top 25 MMA Prospects For 2016, Part 2

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Division: Bantamweight

Record: 11-1, 1 N/C (5 KO, 3 SUB, 3 DEC)

Promotion: BAMMA

Age: 22

Years Pro: 4

Country: France

BAMMA featherweight champion Tom Duquesnoy is readying himself for a drop to bantamweight and a bid to become a two-division champion in the British Isles' best MMA organization. The last fighter to do that in the U.K. was, of course, Conor McGregor. The Irishman opened a door to a fantastic new market, and Duquesnoy could do the same thing for France.

The 22-year-old grew up idolizing Fedor Emelianenko, and that shows in his game. He was an undersized featherweight who relied on speed and surprising power, and while he will be a good-sized (5'7") bantamweight, Duquesnoy will still be one of the fastest fighters in the division. 

The Frenchman is an off-the-charts physical specimen and excels in transitions. He's a native of MMA rather than any individual art, so there's no division in his game between striking, wrestling, grappling or the clinch. Everything flows together into one seamless whole.

Cracking punch-kick combinations create angles and openings for shot takedowns and clinch entries. Double-legs serve as counters to his opponent's strikes and forward movement. A completed takedown is an opportunity to create a grappling exchange in which the Frenchman is certain to end up in either a submission attempt or a dominant position.

As good as all of those skill sets are in combination, they're nearly as good individually. Duquesnoy could develop into a top-flight striker if he chooses to emphasize that skill set, and he already showcases excellent head movement, smooth combinations and power in all his strikes. Counters are a specialty and he's happy to exchange in the pocket, exhibiting real craft to his game.

No opponent has succeeded in outwrestling or outgrappling Duquesnoy for more than a single exchange, and the depth of his craft combines with his raw speed to create an outstanding whole. He's much better in that phase right now than he is as a pure striker, and that's saying something.

Despite his good looks and charisma, the Frenchman fights with a nasty, competitive edge. He's a smart fighter who makes the right decisions under pressure, and it's hard to quantify or grasp how much that means.

Duquesnoy is a special talent and one who's getting better under the direction of Jackson Wink MMA. He faces Damien Rooney on February 27 for the BAMMA bantamweight title, and a shot at the UFC will likely follow this year.

All record information courtesy of

Patrick Wyman is the Senior MMA Analyst for Bleacher Report and the co-host of the Heavy Hands Podcast, your source for the finer points of face-punching. He can be found on Twitter.

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Thanks you for read my article The Beaten Path: Top 25 MMA Prospects For 2016, Part 2
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