Saturday, July 16th, Russian middleweight prospect Gamzat Khiramagomedov will be in action for Eagle FC, where he will be looking to continue his winning ways against Dauren Ermekov. He will be looking for another win, as Khiramagomgedov looks to position himself in the middleweight title picture. He represents Krepost Fight Club, a respected camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Wrestling: Possessing a combat sambo background, Khiramagomedov is your typical Russian fighter. He is strong with his takedowns and combines power, technique and determination to get guys on the mat. Once there, he is heavy from top position and uses pressure to overwhelm his opponents. He has good, powerful ground-and-pound that he uses to accumulate damage and open guys up. He is also solid with his submissions, though he’s just used two of them to win his pro fights. We could/should see more of that going forward.
Power Striking: On the feet, Khiramagomedov is underrated, as his sambo is really what is opponent’s focus. However, he has good kicks and clinch striking to match his powerful on-the-feet skills. He has one-punch knockout power, as seen in his drubbing of Giuliano del Vigna (his most recent fight). However, he’s finished fights with knees and kicks as well, showing he’s well-versed.
Fighting Off His Back: In his lone defeat, this Russian fighter was outgrappled by Glaico Franca, which is not something to be ashamed of. However, it did show a blip in his game. Franca was able to deter Gamzat’s wrestling and outgrapple him for as long as the fight lasted. Once Franca was on top, he went through Gamzat’s defenses like butter and secured a rear-naked choke. If Gamzat gets outwrestled and put on his back, he opens himself up to this again in the future.
UFC Prelim Fighter: There is no doubt in my mind that Khiramagomedov is a UFC-caliber talent, but seeing how many wrestlers inhabit the UFC that could outwrestle him seems to limit his ceiling. There are clearly a number of matchups that favor the Russian and he’d definitely score some wins with the company. However, I feel at a certain level he would struggle against more skilled grapplers and strikers with good takedown defense. He has a tough fight in front of him this weekend, but it’s winnable and I would guess the UFC will be keeping an eye on it.