Prospect in the Spotlight (Sept 11-12): Aliaskhab Khizriev

Introduction

Tuesday, September 8th, Russian middleweight prospect Aliaskhab Khizriev will be in action on Dana White’s Contender Series, where he will be looking to continue his undefeated streak against Henrique Shiguemoto. He will be looking for another win, as Khizriev looks to impress the UFC brass in an attempt to earn a contract. He represents Dag Fighters, a respected camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Wrestling: Like most fighters that come from Khizriev’s neck of the woods, Khizriev has very good wrestling. He uses his timing and explosiveness to get in on his opponents and score takedowns. His underrated strength is also a key part of him achieving his takedowns. Once he gets an opponent down, he’s a wet blanket on top. He’s very hard to get from under. He uses key positioning and nasty ground-and-pound to soften opponents up and score striking finishes. He’s also good using his wrestling against the fence. He rarely makes a mistake that opens up an opportunity for an opponent.

Striking: Khizriev is a fantastic striker, and it has shown in most of his pro fights to this point. He is technical and powerful. He doesn’t throw the most high-level combos you’re ever going to see, but the combos he throws are quite effective. He has violent kicks, especially his low kicks. He uses those to soften up his opponents legs so he can later wrestle them to the mat more easily. However, as seen in his beating of Rousimar Palhares, he will go upstairs with those kicks as well. He is very powerful in his striking, which is why he’s able to score knockouts with ease. Overall, Khizriev is a well-rounded machine.

Needs Improvement

Submission Arsenal Question Marks: It’s been difficult finding a chink in the armor of Khizriev. He’s very well-rounded and tough. So, for the “needs improvement” portion of this scouting report, we will assert that Khizriev has not shown a big arsenal of submissions or a passion for going for the submission finish. Part of the reason for that is that his ground-and-pound is so nasty. However, adding more threatening submissions to his game would make him even more dangerous that he already is.

Outlook

Top-20 UFC Fighter: Like many Russian-Caucasus fighters that came to the UFC before him, Khizriev is a special fighter that has well-rounded skills and will give fits to anybody he’s matched up with. Khizriev is tough as nails, skilled, aggressive and a shark that always smells blood in the water. He is 29 years old now, so he’s clearly getting towards his prime. That means it’s the right time for him to get into the UFC and show what he’s made of. He has a tough test in front of him in the form of Henrique Shiguemoto first, but should he pass that test, he will prove that he is more than ready to move up to the big leagues.

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