2012 World MMA Scouting Report - Bantamweights

For the sake of keeping things organized, I'm going to post one thread per division. Check out the Kickoff Thread for everything you need to know about the World MMA Scouting Report. Follow us on twitter at @smoogymma and @lelandroling for more updates. As always, fight videos and highlights are included in the profile:


10. Pedro Munhoz


Name: 22px-flag_of_brazil Pedro Munoz
Nickname: The Young Punisher
Age: 25
Height: 5' 8"
Location: Redondo Beach, California

Originally training with Sao Paulo's Gibi Thay and Barbosa Jiu Jitsu, Munhoz is now based out of Redondo Beach, California's Arriva-Machado MMA Academy under head instructor Ricardo Arrivabene. As a no-gi specialist with extensive tournament experience, Munhoz naturally excels at top control, submissions and ground defense, but he also compliments his grappling base with high hands, good takedown defense and a sound double forearm guard. Since his standup offense is still a work in progress, he uses his sharp defense to anticipate and deflect attacks, then counter with takedowns. Pedro has mostly relied on this strategy to wear his opponents down for submissions in later rounds.

Now 3-0 in fights on American soil, Pedro Munhoz has carved out a niche on the California circuit as the reigning Respect in the Cage bantamweight champion. He was slated to fight The Ultimate Fighter 14's Johnny Bedford (18-9-1) in May, but the fight was scratched upon Bedford being confirmed as part of the reality competition's cast.

9. Leandro Hygo


Name: 22px-flag_of_brazil Leandro Hygo
Nickname: Pitbull
Age: 22
Height: 5' 6"
Location: Mossoró, Brazil

Despite fighting physically larger competition for most of his career, Hygo has been tough to beat, winning his first six professional bouts, most at 145 lbs., before running into 2011 World MMA featherweight prospect Marcos Vinicius (7-2) last May. After over a year away from the ring following the defeat, the now 22-year-old returned in September at bantamweight, defeating Wagner Campos (11-3) by decision at WFE 10 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Over this past weekend, Hygo entered the WFE cage once again, this time at WFE 11, to battle Erinaldo 'Pitbull' dos Santos Rodrigues. As expected, Hygo bested the Gracie Fusion fighter over three rounds to win by unanimous decision.

Surprisingly, Hygo has achieved all of his success as a part-time fighter with little assistance. The Mossoró, Brazil-based fighter lives in a region of Brazil that lacks the high-level striking coaches he could find in other parts of the country, and his job and family tie him to the area for training. With the help of highly-touted prospect Rony 'Jason' Mariano (10-3) and Team One Jiu-Jitsu, however, Hygo has progressed to where he stands today. An impressive feat considering the lack of resources.


  1. Kyoji Horiguchi

    Photo by Taro Irei, Sherdog
    Name: 22px-flag_of_japanKyoji Horiguchi
    Nickname: --
    Age: 21
    Height: 5' 5"
    Location: Takasaki, Gunma, Japan

    Horiguchi earned himself the honor of being called the 2010 Shooto Rookie MVP after crushing Takahiro Hosoi at Shooto Tradition 2011 in April. He followed the win with an impressive one-punch knockout of Yuta Nezu at Shootor's Legacy 3 in July, then starched Naohiro Mizuno two months later at Shootor's Legacy 4 in September, running his streak to six.

    Horiguchi's key to success stems from a refreshing, high-octane striking game that is both overwhelming and frustrating for his opposition. Constantly moving in and out of range, Horiguchi utilizes heavy kicks and punches to throw off his opponents, eventually finding holes in his opponents' defenses that he can exploit with his speed. Incredibly, Horiguchi doesn't sacrifice any power for speed, annihilating opponents who leave their chins exposed with a whirlwind of powerful punches.

    Most fans will liken Horiguchi to his teammate Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto, and those comparisons aren't unwarranted. Like Yamamoto, Horiguchi combines speed and power on the feet while also possessing solid takedown defense. He's overly aggressive, destructive, and never lets his foot off the pedal, which is similar to the version of Yamamoto that terrorized the scene in his more youthful days.

Subd Phone Post


If there are any trainers out there looking to add a hungry young Brazilian grappler to their team, PM me and I will give you Leandro Hygo's contact information



Sub. That pixel art graphic is amazing by the way smoogy. Phone Post

 Thanks, I don't work very fast so luckily I gave myself just enough time to get it done. Here is the actual (1:1) size version:

I realize that this series is sort of didactic (a nice way of saying we're lecturing people about MMA) and it's probably more interesting to read than comment on, so TTTs are appreciated along with the questions and feedback

Nice work smoogy. Impressive.

 7. Sirwan Kakai



Photo by Patrick Jenkinson

Name: 22px-flag_of_sweden Sirwan Kakai
Nickname: Zohan
Age: 22
Height: 5' 6"
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Since turning professional three years ago, Kakai has put together a solid six-fight winning streak that was recently capped off by a win over Scotland's James Doolan at Superior Challenge 7 in April. Primarily a ground fighter early in his career, Kakai's stand-up game has evolved considerably since his professional debut. His performance against Doolan was the perfect showcase of those improved skills, frustrating the Scotsman with heavy leg kicks and an enhanced boxing game before winning via guillotine choke in the second round.

Kakai should have no problems continuing his progression into an elite level talent. A member of Team GBG in Sweden, which houses fellow prospects Bruno Carvalho, Assan Njie, and TUF'er Hamid Corassani, Kakai also trains with Brad Pickett, making trips stateside to American Top Team in Florida with the UFC bantamweight.


Sirwan Kakai


I am on scoutin report 2012!


  1. Claudio Ledesma


    Photo by Keith Mills, Sherdog
    Name: 22px-flag_of_the_united_states Claudio Ledesma
    Nickname: --
    Age: 28
    Height: 5' 5"
    Location: Denville, New Jersey

    Despite sporting a record that seems a bit out of place for our countdown, Ledesma is one of the few prospects who hasn't shied away from a challenge. He battled 2011 World MMA Scouting Report rankee Jimmie Rivera (8-1) in only his second professional fight, dropping an unanimous decision at Urban Conflict Championships I last March. His second loss came four fights later at Ring of Combat 36 this past June against highly-touted prospect Aljamain Sterling (5-0). Ledesma narrowly lost on the scorecards, dropping a split decision to the 22-year-old wrestler.

    Training out of the Renzo Gracie Academy in Denville, New Jersey, Ledesma is rooted in the arts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but his stand-up game has evolved into an effective weapon that supplements his foundation. He utilizes kicks well to soften up opponents for takedowns, and his hands are equally effective in helping him bring fights to the ground.

You should post their record! Or is there a reason you don't? Phone Post

To clarify I'm only posting the middle section of each profile. I intended to post them in full but SBN (parent company of Bloodyelbow) doesn't like that. For their pro record, fight videos and the full profile, you'll have to click through to BE.com. Sorry if that's inconvenient

Munhoz: 6-0

Hygo: 9-1

Horiguchi: 6-0

Kakai: 6-1

Ledesma: 5-2

You can check them all out on one page via the main scouting report section on BE: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/section/world-mma-scouting-report

 Not inconvenient at all. I just hopped on my laptop and clicked through and noticed, I had been on my phone before. Thanks bud!

Update: Leandro Hygo will be training with the Pitbull Brothers and Team Nogueira for future fights. Promoters who want to import an all-around BW with good wrestling chops should contact them.

 holy shit, claudio is friend of mine.