On Monday, Khajimurad Gatsalov visited American Kickboxing Academy's San Jose training facility. This was not the case of a simple tourist visiting one of the world's top MMA gyms. Gatsalov, a Russian (specifically North Ossetian) is a true living legend of freestyle wrestling.*
During his amazing career, Gatsalov has won five World Championships, four European Championships and an Olympic gold medal. On his way to that Olympic gold medal, the Russian had to defeat an opponent familiar to MMA fans: Daniel Cormier. Though Khajimurad broke Cormier's heart in the 96 kg Athens semifinals, as so often happens in the fishbowl world or wrestling, the two have great respect for one another and have struck up a friendship.
Below we have embedded some tweets from AKA and Gatsalov, who actually is a solid follow on Twitter. The tweets reveal that Gatsalov got some good training in at AKA, and one appears to show both him and Cormier out together during the evening before.
Gatsalov is only slightly over 30 years of age, and has hinted at pursuing an MMA career, but for now he continues to wrestle at a high level. Last year he won another World Championship, and this year a world bronze medal, both wrestling up at heavyweight.
Below, we have Gatsalov's Olympic victory over Cormier, which was competitive, though a convincing win for the Russian
*Gatsalov's first name is also, at times, translated Khadshimourad.