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2015 Bloody Elbow MMA Scouting Report #2 Featherweight Prospects: Magomed Magomedov & Abdurahman Temirov

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T.P. Grant and Zane Simon have a tie for their #2 spot at Featherweight between two tough Russian fighters.

The Featherweight list is underway and it might very well be the most prospect rich division in the entire sport. Together Zane and I  scouted around 130 fighters and narrowed it down to around 30 outstanding prospects. From them we selected out our Top 10 prospects, the rest will be covered in two EXTRA pieces.

And for our number two spot  Zane and I were torn over who to pick. We had two fighters who were strikingly similar, extremely talented, and picking between them was going to be a serious splitting of hairs. But given the depth of the division, Zane and I decided we'd do a double feature at the number two slot, and get a bonus fighter in the top ten, or eleven, for all of you.

#2 - Magomed Magomedov

Record: 9-1 Height: 5'7" Age: 22 Years Pro: 3.6

Country: Russia Team: Dagfighter Team Base: Sanda/MMA

#2 - Abdurahman Temirov

Record: 6-0 Height: 5'9" Age: 22 Years Pro: 4.2

Country: Russia Team: Club Berkut Base: Combat Sambo

Magomedov hails from Khasavyurt, Dagestan and brings a deep background of combat sports experience into the cage with him. He is a World Cup winner in Sanda, a Chinese form of kickboxing with incorporates takedowns into its scoring system. He is also a champion in kick-jitsu, a sport in the Caucasus, which is a form of kickboxing which allows limited ground fighting. While there is no record of Magomedov wrestling, his fighting suggests he has put serious effort into that skill-set as well. Magomedov has spent the majority of his career fighting the large Russian organization M-1.

Temirov is also from the North Caucasus and comes from a Combat Sambo background. A Combat Sambo Champion back in 2010, Temirov has also competed at a high level in Pankration, which in Russia is basically no gi Combat Sambo, very similar to MMA. Temirov has bounced between Lightweight and Featherweight for much of his career, but could very well settle in at 145-pounds if given a chance. Temriov's pro career is still quite young and he has yet to fight outside of Chechnya, though an injury did abort an M-1 debut at the end of 2014.

Strengths

T.P. Grant: Magomedov's Sanda background is fairly evident in his kicking game, which features a sharp spinning back kick. Magomedov's movement is quite good, and he actually can set up striking exchanges to his benefit. He transitions to takedowns extremely well and finishes them brilliantly. Magomedov has an excellent shot on the legs and is also quite crafty in the clinch with throws and trips. He wrestles so well that on first glance I thought Magomedov was in fact a wrestler. On the ground Magomedov is active and strikes very well. His grasp of submission grappling is very solid, and he actually has a rather nuanced leg lock defense and passes the guard fairly well.

Temirov's striking doesn't have the same flash, but he is equally effective and throws excellent knees on the way into the clinch. Temirov is a better puncher than Magomedov and has more grounded, measured footwork. He is a good wrestler in the clinch, and he will mix in a flying submission attack. While Temirov doesn't have a high flying style, he is actually a pretty outstanding athlete and it comes out in flashes. On the ground Temirov looks to find the back and finish from there and is certainly the stronger ground grappler of the two.

Zane Simon: Between the two of them, when it comes to MMA, these fighters are really just strengths and things they're decent but not amazing at, yet. Magomed Magomedov couples an exciting and unpredictable striking arsenal with a beastly and technical takedown game. His ability to throw a variety of strikes, and especially kicks, from a variety of angles on the outside keeps opponents off balance and overly defensive, allowing him to come in behind his strikes with strong clinch grappling and wrestling. Even when he slips and falls or gets rushed while doing something foolish, his wrestling and scrambling abilities are such that he never puts himself in a bad position for long.

Comparatively, for my money Abdurahman Temirov is the the second best athlete on this list. He's one of those rare fighters who, every time I watch him fight, he does something that just blows my mind from an athletic standpoint. Whether it's reversing a takedown, moving to a dominant position, or throwing some ridiculous strike out of nowhere, Temirov has an athletic ability that few can match. Otherwise, he's a bit more sedate a striker than Magomedov, and as Grant points out, a bit better grappler. Still, the parallels in their styles are eerie, and it's hard not to see them finding a similar level of success using them.

Points of Development 

T.P. Grant: Neither guy has a complete striking game, though Magomedov is a bit further down that road than Temirov. Both of their striking games are primarily aimed at getting them inside and to their wrestling. Magomedov has more work to do in terms of developing a ground grappling game. He is serviceable on the ground now but likely needs to add to that aspect of his game as he moves to fight higher levels of competition. Both are great athletes and really just need a bit more seasoning and to adapt their skills to be MMA specific.

Zane Simon: Both men could strike more consistently at range. Something that will probably come with more fights and a higher level of competition, the way it has with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Magomedov's grappling could use some work, and Temirov's striking could use some greater consistency, but these are small notes among a greater sea of skills, and things I fully expect to be ironed out as both fighters move forward.

Overall Projection

The reason Zane and I combined these two fighters is because of how similar they are and how similar their projections grade out. Currently both are very reminiscent of early career Chad Mendes, fantastic athletes with strong wrestling, with just enough striking to make it all work. Temirov has more submission game than Mendes did and is a much better finisher than early Mendes though. Mendes' came up at Team Alpha Male, a strong developmental camp, but took a huge step after working with Duang Ludwig and adding to his game. Likewise, both Temirov and Magomedov will need to grow their skill set to reach their full potential, which is that of championship contenders.

Stay tuned for the #1 Featherweight prospect! And to look up other articles in this series check out the table below. For comments, questions, or suggestions head down to the comment line or reach out to T.P. and Zane on Twitter: @TP_Grant and @TheZaneSimon

2015 Bloody Elbow Scouting Report

Flyweight Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight Welterweight
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#2. MagomedovTemirov
#3. Froes
#4. Jordan
#5. Motta
#6. Vitruk
#7. Askhabov
#8. Grundy
#9. Matmuratov
#10. Azhiev
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#1. Usman
#2. Mustafaev
#3. Nurmagomedov
#4. Khaliev
#5. Scope
#6. Vartanyan
#7. Kadestam
#8. Piraev
#9. Amosov
#10. Tokov
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#1. Mokhnatkin
#2. Martell
#3. Kurbanismailov
#4. Astakhov
#5. Ankalaev
#6. Edilov
#7. Prochazka
#8. Albrektsson
#9. Moore
#10. Gamzatov
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