The proliferation of Russian MMA over the past few years has become impossible to deny. There are approximately 30 fighters on the UFC roster of Russian origin and that number is gradually rising with each passing month. With an endless array of prospects in Russia, as well as the North Caucasus regions of Chechnya and Dagestan, it can get difficult trying to keep up with the regional scene and notable happenings from that side of the world.
Therefore, we would like to introduce you to the ‘Russia Roundup,' a bi-weekly series of articles that will serve as your multimedia guide to staying up-to-date with the Russian MMA scene. Whether it is the latest news, signings, or prospect talk, this is the place to read up on the Russian MMA.
- This past weekend saw the inaugural ‘Akhmat MMA' show - an event named after President Ramzan' Kadyrovs father, the ex-president who was assassinated in 2004. The event showcased some of the brightest talent in the region, including two of BloodyElbow's scouted prospects (Khusein Khaliev and Abdul-Kerim Edilov), as well as top Flyweight prospect Magomed Bibulatov. Given that the event was named after his own father, Kadyrov was naturally in attendance at the event, as were several notable UFC stars, including middleweight champion Chris Weidman, interim heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, and former champ Frank Mir. Kickboxing star Badr Hari was also in attendance and was later pictured sparring with the president.
- WSOF announced last week that they had signed Khabib Nurmagomedov's younger brother, Abubakar to a contract. Ranked the third best welterweight prospect in the BloodyElbow Scouting Report, the 9-1 fighter is set to debut later this year.
- Renowned Russian fighter Konstantin Gluhov recounted the 12-year period he spent trapped with a sect that was taking 100 percent of his fight purses. His former coach, Yuriy Ryjikov, was withholding his income and providing him with minimal allowances to go about his daily life. Eventually, Gluhov fled to the Ukraine, where he waited for a year in fear before finally escaping the clutches of the sect and his "crazy coach."
- Former M-1 Global middleweight champion Ramazan Emeev discussed the tragic murder of his former head coach in a recent interview. Musail Allaudinov, who was responsible for building up talents such as Rashid Magomedov and Shahbulat Shamhalaev, was gunned down by an automatic weapon while on the Makhachkala - Kaspiysk highway. His Toyota Camry showed 27 bullet holes, and the murder weapon - a Kalashnikov - was left next to the car, which suggests that it was a contract killing and not a random occurrence.
- M-1 Global announced an intriguing fight that will headline their Orenburg show in May. Heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura and light-heavyweight champion Stephan Puetz will meet in a five-round non-title fight that will take place at heavyweight. Given how impressive both these champions have been recently, their clash at M-1 Challenge 57 should be an exceptional fight.
- The top Russian promotion has also added several new fights to their upcoming M-1 Challenge 56 show in Moscow, including Ante Delija vs. Kostantin Gluhov. The event is headlined by a pair of title fights, a middleweight rematch between Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Ramazan Emeev, as well as a lightweight title fight between Ivan Buchinger and Tural Ragimov.
- This past weekend's Akhamt MMA event saw three prospects earn impressive victories in their feature fights. Khusein Khaliev, Abdul-Kerim Edilov, as well as top Flyweight prospect Magomed Bibulatov all won in front of their fellow countrymen.
- It was recently announced that Belsan Isaev and Musa Khamanaev, two Russian prospects, had received their American visas and would make the trip over to Florida to train with the Blackzilians. Isaev has already arrived in the US and begun training with his new team.
- Zubaira Tukhugov and Mairbek Taisumov announced recently that they are going to focus on training at the Chechen based Fight Club Berkut team.
Russian MMA in Instagrams
As guests of honor during their stay in Chechnya, the UFC fighters were submerged into the boisterous culture of the Caucasus, which included festivities well into the night after the event. Weidman and Mir were even taught how to dance the Lezginka, the national dance of many republics in the Caucasus.
Дорогие друзья! Чеченский национальный костюм и кухня нравятся всем. В этом мы в очередной раз убедились во время дружеского ужина, который я дал в честь победителя турнира "Грозная битва" Абдул-Керима Эдилова и легендарных спортсменов Бадр Хари, Фабрицио Вердум, Френк Мир, Крис Вайдман, Забит Самедова и других. Мы очень приятно провели время, побеседовали о спорте, рассказали жизненные истории. Кто-то из гостей пожелал примерить традиционную одежду чеченцев. Фабрицио, Френк и Крис одели черкесски, подпоясались. Мы много фотографировались. На прощание гости сказали, что нет вкуснее чеченских блюд и народного костюма красивее, чем у чеченцев. Я, честно говоря, не стал спорить и охотно согласился. Мы договорились в понедельник провести большую показательную тренировку. #Кадыров #Россия #Чечня #Спорт
Russian MMA in Tweets
Top flyweight prospect Magomed Bibulatov destroyed his opponent in the co-main event of the inaugural Akhmat MMA event in Chechnya. He then tweeted out a message for UFC President Dana White.
appeal to @danawhite for signature in the #ufc fighter Magomed "GLADIATOR" Bibulatov pic.twitter.com/Pha1zDOp2F— CHECHEN FIGHT CLUB (@cfc095) March 15, 2015
While in Chechnya as one of the honoured guests for Akhmat MMA, Badr Hari was pictured sparring with the Chechen President, whom he referred to as his "dear friend."
Hitting the gym with my dear friend Ramzan Kadyrov. ❤️ . Great sportsman & a dear brother. Allah Akbar #BadrHari pic.twitter.com/WfVkdQ8ffh— Badr Hari (@badr84hari) March 15, 2015
As usual, you can’t have a Russian MMA event without a little bit of bizarre entertainment. What was it this time? A Caucasian battle scene.
The battle has begun https://t.co/DMt9nPd1DT— caposa (@GrabakaHitman) March 14, 2015
Fedor Emelianenko’s stay in the United Arab Emirates was not limited to just training seminars. The legendary heavyweight spent a portion of his stay in the desert with his daughter.
Fedor in UAE with daughter pic.twitter.com/Z30fMDe5xk— damnsevern (@posters_chance) March 11, 2015
If you haven’t noticed recently, Khabib Nurmagomedov may just be MMA latest great trash talker.
Good morning @ufc fans. Please someone wake up the cowboy. I will have two session before he wake up— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) March 12, 2015
I told everyone @RdosAnjosMMA is going to smash Pettis. Now everyone needs to make a shirt 'Khabib Knows'@danawhite @lorenzofertitta— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) March 15, 2015
If you want to be a champion don't go to parties , go to the gym guys ;)— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) March 15, 2015
This is what M-1 fighter would look like if they were knights
M-1 fighters from Alexander Nevsky club in a team photo shoot for M-1 Medieval. pic.twitter.com/pmjT5XGI64— Charles Johannes (@CJoh039) March 14, 2015
My favourite video this week…
when Jon Jones was in Dagestan. Джон Джонс в Дагестане.: https://t.co/qydw297w3P— damnsevern (@posters_chance) March 14, 2015
Scheduled Events in March
March 21st: Absolute Championship Berkut 15
March 21st: Fight Nights: Cup of Moscow
March 29st: ProFC 57 - New Era
For this week’s collection, here are the feature fights from the inaugural Akhmat MMA fight card.
Violence in Video
Abdul-kerm Edilov vs. Tiago Tosato
Magomed Bibulatov vs. Eduardo Felipe
Khusein Khaliev vs. Samuel Trindade