Why is no one talking about Julio Cesar Neves? The Brazilian fighter is a 6-foot-1 featherweight, and has amassed a 26-0 record at only 19-years-old. This is one of the biggest win streaks in MMA right now, and what makes it even more impressive is that he has gone to the judges’ decision only twice.
Neves has a nasty arsenal when it comes to Muay Thai, with six flying knee stoppages, six punch stoppages and even an incredible ‘meia lua’ stoppage in his latest fight. Neves likes to swivel his hips for feints, and throws the jab to set up his combinations nicely. His ground game is also very solid, transitioning in and out of dominant positions in order to finish fights as quickly as possible, gaining a total of seven submission wins.
The obvious reason why no one is talking about Neves is due to the low level of competition he has been facing. Most of his beaten opponents are technically ‘cans’, which is an internet phrase for a fighter who has more losses than wins. Almost every fighter in history defeats their fair share of cans, but Neves’ last five opponents have a measly combined record of 15-15.
While this does cast uncertainty on Neves’ career, it is still an accomplishment to beat 26 men in a row, especially when you finish 24 of them. The frequency at which this young man fights is quite astonishing, as he has already fought an astounding 13 times this year, and will probably fight another seven unless he is signed by a major organisation.
You would think that Bellator would sign Neves up with their upcoming featherweight tournament coming up, as he could act as a formidable replacement if a fighter were to get injured. If Neves does not get signed on by Bellator, then he should look to make his mark in Jungle Fights.
The Jungle Fights featherweight champion, Kevin Souza, is a formidable opponent in his own right, and having that name on Neves’ record would earn him a trip to the big leagues for sure. The only problem with this is Jungle Fights hasn’t held an event for just over half a year, which could pose a problem to the highly-active Neves.
Even the UFC is making a point to attain prospects while they are still on a hot streak, and if Neves stays undefeated, he could find himself in the next UFC Brazil.
Neves’ team ‘Renovacao Fight Team’ has recently come under fire for being the home of Maiquel Falcao, who got involved in an asinine street brawl. Neves, however, has kept away from the trouble, focusing on his career and is slowly making a name for himself in the local Brazilian circuits.
I hope to see Neves make it to the big leagues soon, or at least become a regular on Youtube. It’s always interesting to see how young fighters fare as usually they feel less pressure to perform. Neves will most likely go on to knock out his next few opponents and get a place on an undercard in a large MMA organisation. I know I’ll be watching, so should you.
Marcus Pordoy is an MMA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMAnalysisRoom, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.