The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
It’s not often we hit two fighters from the same gym in back-to-back weeks. However, after highlighting Joe Solecki last week, we are going with another Gym-O member this week. Check out who you should see from one of the fastest rising gyms in MMA.
Affiliation – Gym-O
Nickname – Tshilobo
From – Charlotte, North Carolina
Height – 5’11”
Weight – 185 lbs (Middleweight)
Record – 7-0 (0-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
Like we said of Solecki last week, the Gym-O guys tend to come out very well-rounded. There’s really no big area that sticks out, which is part of what makes them special. What you will see a lot of from Kasanganay is his pressure and volume. He has a great gas tank and, by the way he fights, he wants to see if his opponent does too. It’s paid dividends for him in his last three fights which have all gone the distance. In all of those fights, he’s looked like the fresher and sharper fighter towards the end of the fight.
Why he has been overlooked
After winning his Contender Series fight last year by decision, Dana didn’t offer him a contract due to him needing more experience. Kasanganay did everything in his power to go get that experience over the last year. He had five different fights booked, but not a single one came to fruition. As a result, his most recent win on the Contender Series was his first bout since. Not an ideal situation for a young fighter.
What makes this a good match-up
Maki Pitolo lives up to his nickname in the truest sense – all the guy does is throw “Coconut Bombz” non-stop. It makes him incredibly exciting and dangerous early on in fights. It also causes him to be quite a bit less dangerous as a fight goes on. You could see that in his UFC debut loss to Callan Potter, where he just didn’t seem himself towards the end of that fight. Kasanganay has a much better gas tank and a much stronger skill set than Potter. As long as he fights smart early on, he should cruise to a victory.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 203-88-1 (2 NC) (9 DNF)
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