MMAction.pl crew has an update on one of Europe's premiere light heavyweights and a member of Polish KSW Team, Mamed Khalidov (17-3-1). In an interview conducted back in February during the Pro-Fight III event held in his adopted hometown of Olsztyn, Khalidov and his managers, Maciej Kawulski and Martin Lewandowski, talked about fighter's hand injury from last October's ShoXC bout, preparations for May KSW XI event and possible fights on International arenas.
I have translated the portion of interview discussing Khalidov's future outside of Poland. The rest is available in Polish HERE, all credits to MMAction.pl.
MMAction.pl: You have last fought in US for Pro Elite promotion. [With organization's subsequent bankruptcy] Elite XC is now becoming a distant memory. What's next for Khalidov?
Kawulski: We are now in final talks with Sengoku [WVR's MMA outlet] on details of the contract. It was Mamed's desire to pursue career in Japan. We feel that thanks to [Japanese] strategy of exhibiting their fighters not only as athletes, but personalities outside the ring he could develop a huge following there(...) As was the case with [Pro Elite's non-exclusive contract in] United States, Mamed will continue to fight both in Japan and Poland for KSW promotion.
Lewandowski: Other than Sengoku we have been contacted by Strikeforce and Affliction.
MMAction.pl: Would you consider their offers?
Lewandowski: Of course, yes. At the moment it boils down to business matters and by that I mean not only material incentive, which is without denying a very important point, but in a wider picture partner's financial stability and role in developing the discipline(...) With EliteXC we reached agreement only after long and strenuous talks which lasted for more than half a year and after that Mamed's debut has been first delayed and soon after it took place the company folded. We shall consider carefully all the mentioned aspects to avoid such situations in future.
A young student of Karate who emigrated at 17 years of age leaving Grozny in aftermath of First Chechen War, Khalidov developed fully as a fighter in his adopted country of Poland training wrestling, taekwondo and boxing before eventually joining an MMA club in Olsztyn. Known for his unorthodox style Khalidov made fame submitting among others Mirko 'Cro-Cop' Filipovic's protege Igor Pokrajac(19-5) with a kneebar, Dutch veteran and former 2H2H champion Dave Dalgliesh(30-18-2) in 1st round via armbar and fighting to a draw newly signed Bellator Middleweight tournament participant Daniel Tabera(12-1-3). Khalidov is unbeaten since 2005 and ranked no. 2 light heavyweight in Europe by German 'Ground and Pound' magazine.
If the contract negotiations with World Victory Road indeed come through, the Chechen native could be featured as a part of Sengoku X card in August along headlining lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka, after fighting first on KSW XI card on May 16 for KSW Light Heavyweight title belt. The relatively undersized light heavyweight, who in his most recent performance against Jason Guida fought at natural weight of 200.5 lbs might then consider dropping a weight class in a potential middleweight bout against rising star Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (4-0) or reigning champion of that division, Jorge Santiago (21-7).