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Welcome to the UFC, Shamil Abdurahimov

A new heavyweight makes his way to the UFC.

MMA prospects take time... lots of time. Back in 2011, Leland Roling & Smoogy tabbed Shamil Abdurahimov as the no. 2 heavyweight prospect in the world. That was 4 years ago, but it was just this week, that Abdurahimov's signing to the world's biggest MMA promotion was announced. The news broke over on, and while it has yet to be confirmed by the UFC, sources close to the fighter and his team have been able to reaffirm the signing to Bloody Elbow. No debut date or opponent has been announced as of yet. So...

Who is Shamil Abdurahimov?

The 33-year old Abdurahimov comes to the UFC with an overall record of 15-2. His base camp is out of Persevet FT, most recently however, he's been working with a newly formed "supercamp" of Russian heavyweights. Abdurahimov has joined forces with Denis Goltsov, Alexander Volkov, and Sergei Kharitonov, at a camp called RKC "Achmat", in Chechnya. In his 17 bouts, he has wins over Jeff Monson, Neil Grove, Kenny GarnerRameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and Baga Agaev. His two losses come to longtime regional vets Thiago "Big Monster" Santos, and Tony Lopez. It's not the world's most exciting record, but it's about as good as most heavyweights outside the UFC and Bellator could hope to build. Outside the cage, Abdurahimov is also a five time Russian national Wushu champion.

What you should expect:

The easiest way to describe Abdurahimov is, scrappy. He doesn't have the greatest striking, especially at range, or the cleanest footwork, but he's consistent and aggressive, and constantly moving and working. Like a lot of Caucasus fighters, Abdurahimov tends to throw big single strikes on the outside, with an emphasis on timing and accuracy rather than combinations. When he gets in the clinch, that's really where he tends to shine. Abdurahimov seems to have pretty outstanding fitness and while he may not be the biggest fighter has a quickness and toughness that belies his frame. He consistently punches and knees from the clinch, while also searching for trips and throws in order to get the fight to the ground. He's not exactly a positional or grappling master on the mat, but his takedown and top control games are functional, and he does a great job landing strikes in transition.

To get better acquainted with the heavyweight newcomer, here's his last bout, against Kenny Garner over in M-1 Global: