Prospect in the Spotlight (July 16-17): Muslim Magomedov

Introduction

Thursday, July 15th, Russian light heavyweight prospect Muslim Magomedov will be in action for Absolute Championship Akhmat, where he will be looking to continue his winning ways against fellow prospect Evgeny Egemberdiev. He will be looking for another win, as Magomedov looks to continue his undefeated streak in an attempt to snag a UFC contract. He represents Academy MMA, a smaller camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Wrestling: Muslim Magomedov’s game plan is simple: get a hold of your opponent and control them. Magomedov uses simple boxing combinations to close the distance and shoots for the takedown or clinch quickly. His preferred shooting method is to seek a single leg and if he doesn’t get them down, he moves to the waist and looks to clinch. From there, he throws short shots to distract his opponent as he continues to look for the takedown. Once he finally gets that takedown, he is heavy on top looking for ground-and-pound. He has submissions, though he doesn’t fish for them as much as a he does for ground strikes. Three of his finishes come by way out TKO, with only one coming by submission (rear-naked choke). His control is excellent, which is why he’s able to score points on the judge’s scorecards.

Pressure: With Magomedov, there is really no taking a step backwards. He is constantly moving forward and pressuring his opponent to play defense. Like stated earlier, he uses his boxing to move forward and get his opponent playing defense, that way he can get to his wrestling game. He literally does not give up, likely because he has a deep gas tank and can keep up that grueling pace. Magomedov is a grinder and that’s why he’s able to keep the pressure up.

Needs Improvement

Decisions: The one knock I have on Magomedov is that for as dominant as he can be, he isn’t a high-percentage finisher. Sure, he has a good strength of schedule in taking on guys like Chris Camozzi, Carlos Eduardo and Asylzhan Bakhytzhanuly. However, he has fought to decision in five of his nine wins, including against some of his toughest opponents. He needs to be a more consistent finisher. He is one or two questionable judge’s scorecards away from taking his first loss.

When He Can’t Get Takedown: When Magomedov is unable to score the takedown, his fights see a lot of inactivity. That doesn’t lend well to the viewing audience or his game. His striking is decent, but it seems to utilize more basic combinations and not much variety. He has kicks, but we don’t see them often. Once he takes a step up in competition level, especially a UFC level where world-class wrestlers reside, he is going to have a more tough time when he’s unable to out-wrestle them.

Outlook

UFC Midcarder: Magomedov is a top light heavyweight talent outside the UFC, so it’s just a matter of time before he makes his way to the roster. He has been pretty dominant in taking on opponents who had a combined record of 92-30-1. That’s very impressive and shows he’s ready to get to the next level to prove his worth. Right now, he has a huge test in front of him in the form of Evgeny Egemberdiev for the ACA Light Heavyweight Championship. If Magomedov is able to win, and do so in impressive fashion, his next fight should be on the UFC roster. As stated, he may have trouble on a roster filled with wrestlers, but he certainly has a number of winnable fights for him.

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