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Top 10 Brazilian prospects to watch in 2017

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Kinberly Novaes (Noxii)
Kinberly Novaes

There are more than hundred Brazilian fighters signed with the UFC and Bellator today, and the list of talents coming out of the country seems endless.

In 2016, MMA Fighting listed the top 10 prospects to watch for last year, and six of those athletes ended up signing with international promotions - including three in the UFC and one in Bellator.

As a new year starts, MMA Fighting takes a closer look at the prospects that will likely burst onto the scene in 2017.

Bruno Azevedo (16-2) - “Macaco" is one of the best flyweights in Brazil. Born in the capital of Brazil, the Nova Uniao talent holds wins over the likes of Allan Nascimento and Lincoln de Sa, scoring submissions in 10 of his 15 professional victories.

Kinberly Novaes (9-2) - With a TKO victory over UFC contender Jessica Andrade under her belt, Novaes gained notoriety after winning a MMA fight before finding out she was three months pregnant. The CM System gave birth to her son Breno, and quickly returned to action with a decision win last August.

Luan Santiago (10-2) - A protégé of UFC and PRIDE veteran Cristiano Marcello at CM System in Curitiba, the 22-year-old “Miau" has won five straight with four knockouts, including a second-round finish to avenge his last MMA defeat and improve to 8-1 in his last nine appearances.

Virna Jandiroba (10-0) - Having fought the majority of her career in Bahia, the unbeaten strawweight only went the distance once in her MMA career, beating nine opponents via submission - including UFC/Bellator/Invicta FC veteran Lisa Ellis.

Killys Mota (9-0) - The Sao Paulo native lightweight already fought twice outside of Brazil, adding a pair of submission finishes to his perfect record in Argentina. The 26-year-old fighter has only went the distance once in his MMA career.

Deiveson Alcantara (11-0) - “Daico" impressed in the Brazilian circuit, scoring a second-round knockout over previously unbeaten Denis Fontes at Jungle Fight. The victory marked only the second time he needed more than a round to win a fight.

Juliana Velasquez (5-0) - The 30-year-old Team Nogueira talent made her MMA debut after competing in judo for 15 years, and won five in a row as a bantamweight in less than two years, including a pair of TKO finishes.

Carlos Ribeiro (13-2-1) - “Buiu" is riding a nine-fight unbeaten streak on the Brazilian circuit. A teammate of UFC fighters Alex Oliveira and Thiago Santos at TFT, the 29-year-old featherweight finished six of his opponents by knockout or submission.

Kaua Fernandes (5-0) - Undefeated in his MMA career, Fernandes started his MMA career in 2014 and competed in both featherweight and bantamweight divisions. The Nova Uniao prospect only fought under the Shooto Brazil banner in his career, stopping three of his opponents.

Felipe Nilo (7-1) - The lightweight talent from Team Nogueira, who won the majority of his fights by submission, stayed out of action for almost two years after suffering his first defeat as a professional fighter. He bounced back with a win at Max Fight last May.