derrick-mehmen-2Prior to each major fight card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at emerging prospects. In the latest installment, we look at American Heavyweight Derrick Mehmen as he takes on Smealinho Rama for the World Series of Fighting Heavyweight Title.

Derrick “Caveman” Mehmen

Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa Age: 29 Height: 6’4” Reach: 77” Weightclass: Heavyweight Camp: American Top Team Career Record: 18-5 Key Wins: Dave Huckaba, Rolles Gracie Key Losses: Gian Villante Background The American Top Team product was a junior college All American wrestler out of Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa. He later transferred to wrestling powerhouse University of Iowa, but did not compete there. Mehmen is a veteran of the MMA scene having fought in Bellator, Strikeforce, and currently World Series of Fighting. Mehmen is on the best streak of his career having won six in a row including the last three in WSOF.   Strengths

  • Good size for a heavyweight at 6’4” with a 77” inch reach
  • Decent pop with his left handed hook; his most commonly used striking technique
  • Has real knockout power in the overhand right which is his best strike
  • Good chin, but can be caught. Recovers well to maintain composure
  • Fights at a consistent pace; has proven he can go 15 minutes with little variation
  • Good technique to setup takedowns; but doesn’t use it enough
  • Takedown defense one of the best aspects of game; rarely forced to fight on the mat
  • Able to transition on the mat and capable with submissions

  Weaknesses

  • Offensive striking is predictable; utilizes the same left jab / hook with right overhand
  • Needs more variation to surprise opponents; strikes landed percentage low due to this
  • Striking defense is terrible; doesn’t put much effort into defending both jabs and leg kicks
  • Willing to take a punch to move and work in his own striking
  • Will struggle against a good counterstriker who will maximize holes in Mehmen’s striking defense
  • Heavy on lead leg therefore unbalanced when throwing the overhand right
  • Too reliant on striking for success

  Fighter Grade Offensive Striking: C- Striking Defense: D Knockout Power: B- Athleticism / Speed: C Footwork: D Chin: C+ Offensive Wrestling: C Takedown Defense: B Submissions: C- Conditioning: B- Intangibles: D+ Overall Grade: D+   Matchup with Smealinho Rama The fight with Canada’s Smealinho Rama is a battle of two of the better heavyweights outside of the UFC. Mehmen has a clear size advantage with a 4 inch height / 3 inch reach difference. On the flip side, Rama is 7 years younger than Mehmen at only 22 years of age. Rama is likely the better technical striker and should get the better of the initial exchanges on the feet. Rama has won nearly all of his fights in the first round and his cardio is a major concern as the fight progresses onward. Mehmen isn’t the most accurate striker, but when he does land he can do so with power. I expect Rama to start strong, but Mehmen’s significantly better conditioning should give him opportunities later in the fight to pile pressure on Rama and eventually put him away.   MMA Ceiling Derrick Mehmen is a decent heavyweight prospect coming training with a great fight camp at American Top Team. Mehmen’s conditioning and overall durability has gotten him to a good level, but there are some major flaws in his approach and technique that need refinement for him to have any sort of success at the highest levels of MMA. Mehmen really needs to improve his striking defense. The top 20 heavyweights have the technique and power to knockout Mehmen with relative ease if he doesn’t make any defensive adjustments. He would also enhance his opportunities for success by utilizing a heavier wrestling approach. He has the wrestling acumen to control more fights with top control, but refuses to work in more takedowns instead relying on his striking. If the striking defense and wrestling improve, he could have some staying power in the division. Videos Check out Mehmen in some of his recent fights: Derrick Mehmen vs. Rolles Gracie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I4jDKnvKVk Derrick Mehmen vs. Gian Villante https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OelswyzQf9Q