Russia continues to supply new promising athletes to foreign MMA promotions on an ongoing basis. Over the past few years, the stars of the brothers Usman and Umar Nurmagomedov have managed to light up, Sergey Pavlovich broke into the heavyweight elite, and Islam Makhachev climbed to the throne of the UFC lightweight division. And many experts and fans believe that soon another bright representative of the country may appear in the Absolute Fighting Championship. We are talking about Sharabutdin Magomedov, who continues to prepare for his debut in the largest league on the planet.
Shara Bullet's ascent to the top of Russian mixed martial arts began in mid-2021. At the beginning of the year, he won a couple of victories in the organization "Our Business" and thereby attracted the attention of not only a wide audience of pop MMA fans, but also the management of AMC Fight Nights. There he had three fights, in each of which he won by knockout. First, Magomedov knocked out Yakub Kadiev with his knee, why he caught Mikhail Allahverdyan in oncoming traffic, and after that he gave out one of the brightest "finishes" of the year. At the 13th second of the second round, he sent Joel dos Santos to the canvas with a breathtaking hook-kick and strengthened himself among the main talents of domestic martial arts.
By this time, the fighter had seven victories in a row, and each of them was ahead of schedule, but he did not stop there. In 2022, he had three more fights in professional MMA and each time he came out triumphant. Neither the strong Sergey Martynov nor Mikhail Ragozin, who has long been considered one of the main hopes of RCC, could stop him. Shara Bullet justified the status of master of sports in Thai boxing and kickboxing and beat both opponents from a long distance, practically not allowing them to get close to him.
True, Ragozin managed to do what other opponents of Magomedov failed to do. Although he lost, he managed to hold out for all the planned three rounds, losing only by decision of the judges. And thus interrupted Sharabutdin's series of nine early victories in a row.
Of course, a series of dominant performances and a bright attacking style could not fail to attract the attention of fans. In the manner of fighting, Magomedov resembled a mixture of Zabit Magomedsharipov and Stephen Thompson, who at one time also became famous in kickboxing. Moreover, in terms of the level of pressure and endurance, he was in no way inferior to his colleagues, and even surpassed them. Unlike his compatriot, he was able to work at the same pace for all 15 minutes, which he confirmed in the same duel with Ragozin.
It is not surprising that his successes have attracted the attention of world promotions and well-known agents. On December 26, 2022, Magomedov signed a contract with Ali Abdel-Aziz, known for his cooperation with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev and Kamaru Usman, and just three days later it became known that an agreement had been reached with the UFC. And this event surprised even Kamil Hajiyev.
"I wanted it and at the same time I didn't believe in it, because Shara has a certain defect (problems with her right eye. — RT). I kept thinking that he would not pass the commission. But Ali Abdel-Aziz and Rizvan Magomedov know their business well. I'm sure they consulted, and that's why Shara is in the UFC," the head of AMC Fight Nights said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
True, if Magomedov's debut in the UFC was originally planned for May-June, it was subsequently postponed to a later time. And in social networks, many suggested that in this way the league gave the athlete additional time to cleanse the body of prohibited drugs. And he himself indirectly confirmed this.
"I'm not hiding it. I could use something for a while, because I've never been to USADA. I don't even know what drugs are included in it. A lot of maybe forbidden things that I just haven't even seen. They told me to drink and I drank. They told me to tell them what I was taking, because even in simple pills there are steroids in some quantities. I had to remember the illnesses and what I had ever drunk that I used during training. I threw off a list of what I took during the year. They told me: "If we find all this with you, then we are forgiven, but you can't use anything else," the fighter quotes Sport-Express.
According to the latest information, the first fight with the participation of Magomedov in the UFC will take place in October at a tournament in Abu Dhabi. At the same time, the athlete's team already knows the name of his future opponent, but has not yet disclosed it.
"He will be a top fighter. Shara will soon be the UFC champion. As I said four years ago, I am also saying it now. Now everyone is talking about it, Shara will be the UFC champion," said middleweight coach Gor Azizyan.
Of course, it is not difficult to understand the optimistic attitude of a specialist. Representatives of the fighters often wishful thinking and in every possible way try to stir up interest in their pupil, stuffing him with a price. But in this case, many others agree with Azizyan's point of view. The same Hajiyev or Said Nurmagomedov, currently competing in the UFC bantamweight category.
"I think he has very good prospects, because he is a good and spectacular fighter, he knows how to knock out opponents and is a good striker. Almost all drummers are in this weight, so I think he will show himself well there, "Metaratings quotes Nurmagomedov.
Indeed, the average weight of the championship is made up entirely of specialists in working in the rack. These include both Israel Adesanya, who owns the belt, and all representatives of the top five, including Alex Pereira, who announced his transfer to the light heavyweight division. Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Jared Cannonier, Paulo Costa - all of them prefer to compete in striking technique and in rare cases provoke transfers to the ground. And this will benefit Sharabutdin, who has excellent skills in this aspect.
The only question is whether Shara Bullet is ready to fight the top-level fighter that Azizyan is talking about. After all, even if in Russia he sent almost all of his counterparts to the flooring, he rarely met with really strong opponents. In the first year of his career, he fought exceptionally with the Jornimen, and Jiaidaier Aili and Yeshan Ersen had only one professional fight for two at the time of the meeting with Magomedov.
But even later, not the most high-class opponents came across on his way. Remember the same Kadiev (now 4-3) and dos Santos (16-9), as well as Rodrigo Carlos, who lost in the last five of the seven duels. In the last fight, he knocked out the even less status Kušal Väs. The native of Taiwan approached that tournament with seven wins and six losses, but subsequently lost three more times (7-9).
And this makes you wonder if Magomedov is ready for battles with rivals of the caliber of Marvin Vettori, about the desire to fight with whom he spoke himself. At first glance, it may seem that in terms of skill level and arsenal in the rack, he cannot compare with him, but the impression can be deceiving. After all, if the Italian has already managed to test his strength in duels with Adesanya, Whittaker, Costa and many others, then Shara Bullet is not. One way or another, this fight is unlikely to take place in the near future. In June, the ex-contender for the UFC title will face a battle with Cannonier, and in October he is unlikely to be able to re-enter the octagon.
But not only Vettori, but also most of the other stars in the middle division have plans for the coming months. Now only Roman Dolidze, Derek Brunson, Jack Hermansson and Calvin Gastelum are not scheduled for fights. And organizing a duel with one of them seems to be a much more acceptable option for Sharabutdin. With the first two, he will be able to fully demonstrate the striking technique, with the remaining - to prove that he is able to cope with strong wrestlers. And after that, it will be possible to think about something more serious. And if everything goes well, then obtaining the status of the first applicant will not be long in coming.