Prospect of the Week: Ruslan Magomedov
Ruslan Magomedov was my #1 ranked Heavyweight prospect for all of about 10 days. Steve Mocco was previously my #1 ranked Heavyweight, but following a February 21st lost in World Series of Fighting, Magomedov moved up to the top spot. Yet, news just broke that Magomedov signed a contract with the UFC.
Magomedov hails from the Dagestan area of Russia, which has proven to be a top producer of MMA talent. Magomedov comes from a striking background, but has routinely worked with some of the region’s elite wrestlers and Sambo experts. Magomedov trained out of the lesser known MMA Academy in Russia, but has also gained valuable experience with the Red Fury Fighting Team and most recently traveled stateside to spend some time at Jackson’s MMA. Magomedov has also worked on his Muay Thai as of late, having traveled to Thailand.
Magomedov made his professional debut in 2010, partaking in a 4-man, 1-night tournament, which he won by finishing both his opponents via strikes in the 1st round. Magomedov went on to build a 4-0 record before once again entering a 4-man, 1-night tournament. After winning his opening round matchup, Magomedov’s undefeated run came to an end as he was finished by fellow Top 25 prospect Konstantin Gluhov. Magomedov has not lost since, winning his last 6 fights against increasingly difficult competition. Magomedov’s most notable victories to date are over Tim Sylvia, Mike Hayes, and Ricco Rodriguez.
Magomedov had previously signed with Bellator, and was set to partake in their Season 8 Heavyweight tournament, but visa issues grounded his stateside debut. Magomedov’s management team soon decided to wait out the remaining duration of his contract terms in order to be granted his outright release.
Magomedov is not the most exciting fighter in the world, but he brings an excellent blend of striking, size, and technical prowess. His style somewhat resembles UFC Middleweight Gegard Mousasi. He’s a patient striker, who is more of a counter striker rather than utilizing a pressure-based attack. He is also a bit slow with his overall movement, and seems somewhat lackadaisical. That has bitten him a few time against quicker strikers. He’s been dropped by strikes before, but he’s proven to have a knack to get himself out of trouble due to his calm demeanor. His ground game is still a bit of a mystery, but he has submitted a few opponents from his guard. Magomedov’s wrestling is still a big question mark, and he can be pushed around in the clinch. He has to be careful once he moves up the ranks that he doesn’t allow his opponents to dictate the pace of the fight. Heavyweights are a different story when it comes to being a technical fighter like Magomedov because all strategy can be thrown out the window with just one big punch.
Magomedov has the overall skills to be Top 15 Heavyweight, and possibly more if he can step up his training and aggressiveness. He is a very agile big man with excellent striking accuracy. He has a big right hand that compliments his lead left jab and frequent high kicks. There has been a strong influx of Russian talent over the last few months. The results have been impressive, and I think Ruslan Magomedov will only contribute to that successful run.
Video 1: Magomedov vs. Mike Hayes (Fight Nights 10, 2013)
Video 2: Magomedov vs. Tim Sylvia (Fight Nights 13, 2013)
Video 3: Magomedov Training Video (2013)
Sherdog Profile: http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Ruslan-Magomedov-74434
The 2013 MMA Prospects Report
Photo Credit: www.fcfighter.com