Saturday, December 14th, Turkmeni light heavyweight prospect Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov will be in action for Absolute Championship Akhmat, where he will be looking to defend his ACA title against Alexey Butorin. He will be looking for the victory, as Yagshimuradov looks to solidify himself as a top 205er outside the UFC. He represents Branibor Team, an unknown camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Kickboxing: Watch any of his fights and you will realize that Yagshimuradov is a dangerous kickboxer. He’s a very exciting guy on the feet that uses a variety of techniques using his hands, shins, knees and elbows. He has earth-shaking power in his strikes, including scary one-punch KO power. He’s also solid in the clinch, where he tends to use Thai techniques effectively. Look at his fight with Dan Konecke, where he destroyed the American in the clinch with huge knees. His power also spans the fight. He has finishes in the third round and beyond, showing he is relentless and has the cardio to throw bombs from bell to bell. If he can’t sleep you with one shot, he will hurt you and ground-and-pound you until the ref steps in.
Strength of Schedule: There are a lot of regional MMA fighters who take on average and subpar opponents to build up their resume, focusing on a great record over challenging experiences. Yagshimuradov is not one of those guys. This dude has been taking on tough competition for years and clearly iron has sharpened iron. He gets better every time we see him. His only losses come to notable fighters such as UFC fighter Magomed Ankalaev, PFL contender Rashid Yusupov and prospect Mikhail Ragozin. With that in mind, he owns wins over UFC vet Joachim Christensen, previously undefeated light heavyweight prospect Batraz Agnaev and Polish veteran Karol Celinski, among others.
Defensive Grappling: Yagshimuradov is certainly a capable grappler when he’s the one in control, but he must continue to improve his defensive grappling going forward. He has submission skills of his own, but when he’s put on his back, he does struggle. When he takes on a superior wrestler, he tends to be put on his heels and eventually his back. When he gets put down, he tends to stay down. Three of his five losses come by way of submission, though the last loss was in 2013. He needs to continue improving here to be the most complete fighter he can be. If he can sweep opponents or get his back on the cage where he can get back to his feet, he is going to be a really tough opponent to beat anywhere.
UFC Midcarder: Yagshimuradov has a very stiff test in front of him in Alexey Butorin, but if he can get by him, there’s no way he can’t succeed under the bright lights of the world’s largest MMA promotion. Yagshimuradov certainly has a bunch of winnable fights on the UFC roster. However, as discussed, his biggest problem would be against the elite wrestlers that are on the roster. Elite guys such as Jon Jones and Corey Anderson would of course be a huge problem for him, but even midcard wrestlers such as Ion Cutelaba and Devin Clark would be tough matchups for him. That said, he’d be a guy constantly in contention for Fight Night bonuses. He’d also be a guy that could score big knockouts given the right matchups. I’d really like to see Yagshimuradov in the UFC someday.