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World MMA Bantamweight Scouting Report: #2 - Farkhad Sharipov

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Similarly to Yusup Saadulaev, our #2 ranked bantamweight on our 2011 World MMA Bantamweight Scouting Report hails from a region that is world-renowned for producing top-flight wrestling talent. Sharing a border with China along the high peaks of the Tian Shan mountains, Kyrgyzstan has housed a number of Greco-Roman and freestyle Olympic medalists since its independence in 1991. Sharipov was the nation's freestyle wresting champion and a member of the Russian national wrestling team in his more youthful days. He has since migrated to the United States and succeeded in transitioning to the sport of mixed martial arts where he has amassed at 12-3 record in a little over three years.

Offensive Skills: I probably don't need to stress the fact that Sharipov's wrestling has the capacity to take a fight over from the moment the bell rings. He's quick, explosive, and effective at burying his shoulder and powering through single leg after single leg. I wouldn't categorize him as a destructive ground and pound fighter however. He's more prone to actively working from top control to gain dominant positions to set up submissions or tire out his opponents.

Surprisingly, Sharipov has an impressive technical striking game. It doesn't have the jaw-dropping power of a Mike Easton, but it's one of his most effective skills in his arsenal. Mixing his wrestling abilities, improving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, and underappreciated striking prowess, Sharipov can lay claim to being one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division, let alone the prospect pool.

Defensive Skills: Sharipov's wrestling background keeps him relatively safe on the floor. Even against stiffer competition, Sharipov has the control and technique to evade attempts on his limbs and control from the top side. Off his back, he remains active and works for reversals and escapes, using his improving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game to rarely threaten with a submission of his own.

On the feet, Sharipov has worthy defensive skills. He keeps his hands up, maintains distance, and works a quick, speedy jab to keep opponents at bay while keeping himself out of reach. It may not be a style that is indicative of finishing fights, but neither is getting drubbed by powerful strikers who can counter.

Progression: Sharipov's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grappling game and stand-up skills are his most improved attributes. Most fans have a hard time believing a wrestler can become a competent and effective striker in only a few years, and I would tend to agree with that assessment. We don't see that type of improvement too often, and when we do -- there is usually some weakening of their vaunted wrestling base. Sharipov hasn't suffered the same fate.

Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight
#10 - Denis Puric
#9 - Mike Easton
#8 - Tommy Vargas
#7 - Rodrigo Lima
#6 - Adrian Wooley
#5 - John Lineker
#4 - Yusup Saadulaev
#3 - Jimmie Rivera
#2 - Farkhad Sharipov
#1 - Antonio Carvalho
#2 - Taiki Tsuchiya
#3 - Mark Adams
#4 - Alan Omer
#5 - Koichiro Matsumoto
#6 - Tom Niinimaki
#7 - Marcos Vinicius
#8 - Matt Fiordirosa
#9 - Isaac DeJesus
#10 - Michel Gagnon
#1 - Thiago Michel
#2 - Ricardo Tirloni
#3 - Magno Almeida
#4 - Ui Cheol Nam
#5 - Henrique Mello
#6 - Reza Madadi
#7 - Alexander Sarnavskiy
#8 - Ole Laursen
#9 - Guillaume DeLorenzi
#10 - Al Iaquinta
Welterweight Middleweight Light Heavyweight
#1 - Yuri Villefort
#2 - Alex Garcia
#3 - Erick Silva
#4 - Douglas Lima
#5 - Luis "Sapo" Santos
#6 - Jesse Juarez
#7 - Gunnar Nelson
#8 - Quinn Mulhern
#9 - Alberto Mina
#10 - Joe Ray
#1 - Papy Abedi
#2 - Chris Weidman
#3 - Vitor Vianna
#4 - Vyacheslav Vasilevsky
#5 - Bruno Santos
#6 - Costantinos Philippou
#7 - Jordan Smith
#8 - Uriah Hall
#9 - Victor O'Donnell
#10 - Assan Njie
#1 - Marcos Pezao
#2 - Gian Villante
#3 - Jimi Manuwa
#4 - Glover Teixeira
#5 - Jan Blachowicz
#6 - Yoel Romero
#7 - Ryan Jimmo
#8 - Nik Fekete
#9 - Marcus Vanttinen
#10 - Ronny Markes


Environment: Sharipov trains out of Gracie Barra Orlando under the guidance of Marcio Simas and Gustavo Muggiati. The camp is probably most well-known for housing The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner Jonathan Brookins, but XFC veteran Mikey Gomez and up-and-coming 145 lb. talent Jim Alers also train out of the gym.

Potential: Frank has every tool in his arsenal to become a top ten fighter in the UFC's bantamweight division. Even more promising is the fact that Sharipov is only 26 years of age and already has a grasp of the advanced techniques needed to succeed at the highest level. With some added power and honing of his improving Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills, Sharipov could become a future champion.


Diego Saraiva vs. Farkhad Sharipov

Den Ly vs. Farkhad Sharipov

Reynaldo Duarte vs. Farkhad Sharipov