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NEMMA Spring Rankings: Pro Flyweight

The Spring '23 pro flyweight rankings have a familiar face at the top of the list. Mitch Raposo (7-1) has flirted with the next level but still hasn't fully been able to break into the big leagues. Regiment Training Center's Raposo was the top pick on The Ultimate Fighter 29 season, but ended up dropping his opening round fight and didn't get another shot to perform on the show. The Fall River native got another shot with the UFC in October of '21 as he got the call to compete on The Contender Series against Jake Hadley, but ended losing the fight via rear naked choke in the 2nd round.

Raposo bounced back by picking up two wins on the regional scene at Combat Zone 75 and then grabbed the CES Flyweight Title in November of last year in an impressive KO performance over Flavio Carvalho. In a surprising turn of events this week, Cage Titans announced that Raposo will be dancing with 6th ranked Tyler "Butter Knife" Smythe (2-0) in a very intriguing flyweight bout on May 27th at Plymouth Memorial Hall.

Speaking of Smythe, the Evolution Athletix flyweight has made a quick statement by racking up 2 pro wins in a 2.5 month time span. The bout against Raposo will be Smythe's 13th fight (amateur & pro) in 22 months! His quickly making a name for himself as someone who will take a fight anytime, anywhere, against anybody. The battle versus #1 Raposo will be a litmus test to see where Smythe currently stands as a profession 125er.

Justin Valentin (4-2) jumps up 3 spots to the #2 slot after defeating 3rd ranked flyweight, Tim Flores (3-2), at CES 72 in March. Valentin has now won 2 fights in a row and has solidified himself firmly in the 2nd position on a short list of rankable flyweights in the region.

Long time flyweight stalwart Dan Cormier (10-10) hopped on the list by getting back to .500 with a win over Danny Maldonado at Combat FC 3 in February. Cormier looked super impressive in that fight, and he's proven to be stiff competition for anyone who steps into the cage with him in the region.

Another young up-and-coming flyweight in the region is Massachusetts' Joe Poirier (1-0). Poirier may be only 1-0, but he holds down the 7th spot in the rankings after having a very impressive amateur career here in the region. He is now set to take on John Medina in a 130 pound catchweight bout on the Cage Titans 59 card that will also be hosting the Raposo/Smythe matchup. Could Poirier be in line to face the winner of that fight? A possible storyline in the making.

The professional 125 pound division is pretty thin here in the region, but we still have some intriguing story lines to follow as things evolve in 2023.

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