Rankings based off the following....
- North American fighters only. For example Thiago Moises wouldn't qualify for these rankings despite training in the U.S.
- No fighters that have fought for or are set to fight for the UFC.
- Fighters competing on Dana White's Contender Series included
- No long-term Bellator fighters or champions. Exceptions for some preliminary fighters
- All fighters aged 30 and under
- Rankings based off age, record and level of competition
|5||Chad Curry||27||9-1||USA||Fights Aug. 25th vs. Nick Barnes|
#1 -- James Nakashima (7-0)
Nakashima would likely be a member of the UFC's welterweight division right now if it weren't for the fact that all seven of his wins are by decision. Ask any fighters at The MMA Lab and they'll rave about this 28-year-old welterweight standout. Nakashima is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Bellator veteran LaRue Burley at LFA 11 back in May. If a UFC call-up isn't next, expect Nakashima to fight LFA welterweight champion Derrick Krantz next.
#2 -- Kyle Stewart (9-0)
Stewart is coming off a TKO win over Jason Jackson which unfortunately ended abruptly due to an ankle injury to the Combat Club standout on July 25th. The 28-year-old has won seven of his nine-career fights by stoppage and holds a win over UFC veteran Estevan Payan. With the welterweight division being as deep as it is in the UFC, expect Stewart to compete one more time before getting a UFC call-up.
#3 -- Jaleel Willis (8-0)
Willis captured the V3 Fights welterweight title in June defeating Nolan Norwood by unanimous decision at V3 Fights 60. The 25-year-old boasts wins over previously undefeated fighters Chauncey Foxworth and Omar Johnson. Willis also has four of his eight career wins by knockout.
#4 -- Derrick Krantz (20-9)
Krantz is a former Legacy FC welterweight champion and recently won the LFA 170-pound title back in May, defeating Ben Neumann by second-round TKO at LFA 12. The 29-year-old boasts wins over UFC veterans Brock Larson, Daniel Roberts and Kyle Bradley. Krantz is a master on the mat, with 11 of his 20 career wins coming by submission. He's slated to defend his LFA welterweight strap in the near future.
#5 -- Chad Curry (9-1)
Curry has never gone the distance through his 10-fight career and boasts seven-career wins by knockout. The 27-year-old is coming off a second-round TKO win over Kyle Kurtz at LFA 12 back in May. The lone loss on his resume is to current UFC lightweight standout Lando Vannata back in 2015 at RFA 45. Curry fights #8 ranked Nick Barnes on August 25th.
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Tomorrow, we unveil our lightweight rankings.