clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 Bloody Elbow MMA Scouting Report #2 Middleweight: Rahman Dzhanaev

T.P. Grant and Zane Simon are getting closer to finishing Middleweight, at #2 is a dynamite Russian striker.

The Middleweight Report is moving closer to the #1 prospect. Really all three of our final prospects are pretty special talents and it took Zane and myself a while to settle on who we liked wear in the rankings. In the end it doesn't really matter because all three of them are outstanding and really young in their careers.

Scroll on down to the table for links to every scouting report we've published or tune into the MMA Prospectus show on Fridays live on Google Hangouts or check out the posts of Bloody Elbow on Saturdays. For details on what makes a fighter a prospect and how Zane and I grade out prospects check out the Methodology post.

#2 - Rahman Dzhanaev

Record: 3-0 Height: 6'0" Age: 25 Years Pro: 0.5

Country: Russia Team: Fight Club Berkut Base: Taekwondo/Russian Army Hand-to-Hand Fighting

Ah, what would the scouting report be without a widely talented Chechen few people have ever heard of? Rahman Dzhanaev is very early in his MMA career, but those few fights have been very impressive. Dzhanaev's background appears to be largely from Taekwondo adapted for Russian Army Hand-To-Hand competitions, which are very similar to Combat Sambo, but fought in a full karate gi and is a bit closer to point karate. Dzhanaev holds a Master of Sport ranking in Taekwondo, with multiple Russian and European Championships to his name. He was also a three time Hand-to-Hand Champion of Russia and the 2013 World Champion of Russian Army Hand-to-Hand fighting. He won his pro MMA debut in November of 2014 with the Absolute Championship Berkut promotion and then notched his second pro win a few weeks later at the Battle of the Stars 3 in Kaspiysk, Russia.

Strengths

T.P. Grant: Dzhanaev is a silky smooth kicker, which should be expected considering his background. There is a relaxed ease to his movement and an explosion to his attacks that really jumps out. Dzhanaev  appears to prefer outfighting, staying at range for his amazingly accurate kicks to do their work and once he has opponent's hurt close into the clinch to knee to the body and head to finish the fight. His wrestling, while not outstanding, is well bulit into his game. He is clearly very comfortable kicking with the threat of takedowns and uses his clinch work to effectively stop takedowns on the Russian regional scene, where the level of wrestling is relatively high. Dzhanaev has a few takedowns himself and on top he has a solid base and appears difficult to move.

Zane Simon: Dzhanaev is one of those fighters from the Russian MMA scene that is landing as a pro as a largely complete fighter. That's not to say he doesn't have room to improve, but all the basic aspects of a complete MMA game are there. He strikes well, he wrestles well, and well... I haven't seen a lot of his ground game ('m assuming it's okay). He's even found the necessary dynamism and aggression to make short work of his early (and tough) opponents. He's something of a total package of potential MMA success.

The biggest advantage he has is the fearless and powerful way he uses his strikes at range and moving into the pocket. He's able to throw complicated, difficult strikes with the absolute assurance he's not going to screw them up, and then he has the kind of presence of mind and patience to work behind and around those strikes, rather than using them as a point of desperate attack. It's an advanced tool kit and one of the hardest thing for many bright prospects to pick up as they work toward the top of their division.

Points of Development

T.P. Grant: Dzhanaev doesn't appear to pack a lot of power in his hands, on the ground or on the feet. He makes no use of elbows, though that might be a function of rules and not style. His overall boxing is very much behind his kicking game. His wrestling has been good enough thus far and his clinch fighting is quite good. But Dzhanaev is a bit undersized and it will be interesting to see how he compares to better wrestlers in the Middleweight division or is a drop to Welterweight is in his future. His wrestling is very unlikely to be an offensive tool moving forward and his game off his back is a complete unknown at this point.

Zane Simon: Obviously, there's his ground game. I say I'm assuming it's okay, and that's because I can't imagine him having come out of the gate, looking as good as he does, without one, but I just don't know. That's not necessarily a matter of development, but a definite unknown. Otherwise, most of my ideas for how he should need to develop have more to do with how I expect to see him develop, rather than big holes he needs to fill. Like a lot of Russian fighters, I'd like to see him set up more of his big strikes with smaller less lethal ones, but depending on his timing and range, both of which seem solid, that may not be an issue for a long long time.

Overall Projection
Rahman Dzhanaev is another tough one to project because he is still in the very early stages of his career. He is clearly an outstanding athlete and a technically gifted striker. There a lot of questions marks about his game overall, which is expected with a fighter not yet six months into his pro career, but the tools for Dzhanaev to be a Anthony Pettis like striker are in place. For Dzhanaev to reach his full potential he would need a very Pettis like game in place he would need the ground skills to make taking him down a less appealing option and it is utterly unclear if he has that foundation in place right now. If Dazhanaev makes no additions to his game and simply tightens up what is already in place he would be very similar to Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson. On a regular devlopemental curve Dzhanaev could turn into an action striker who could put wins together and make his way into the title picture.


Stay tuned for the #1 Middleweight! 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
#1.
#2.
#3.
#4.
#5.
#6.
#7.
#8.
#9.
#10.
EXTRA!
#1.
#2.
#3.
#4.
#5.
#6.
#7.
#8.
#9.
#10.
EXTRA!
#1. Duquesnoy
#2. MagomedovTemirov
#3. Froes
#4. Jordan
#5. Motta
#6. Vitruk
#7. Askhabov
#8. Grundy
#9. Matmuratov
#10. Azhiev
EXTRA! #1 EXTRA! #2
#1.
#2.
#3.
#4.
#5.
#6.
#7.
#8.
#9.
#10.
EXTRA!
#1. Usman
#2. Mustafaev
#3. Nurmagomedov
#4. Khaliev
#5. Scope
#6. Vartanyan
#7. Kadestam
#8. Piraev
#9. Amosov
#10. Tokov
EXTRA!
Middleweight L. Heayvweight Heavyweight W.Strawweight W. Bantamweight
#1. 
#2. Dzhanaev
#3. Rountree
#4. Jurisic
#5. Piechota
#6. Svirid
#7. Antigulov
#8. Todhunter
#9. Gavrilovic
#10. Nunes
EXTRA!
#1. Mokhnatkin
#2. Martell
#3. Kurbanismailov
#4. Astakhov
#5. Ankalaev
#6. Edilov
#7. Prochazka
#8. Albrektsson
#9. Moore
#10. Gamzatov
EXTRA!
#1.
#2.
#3.
#4.
#5.
#6.
#7.
#8.
#9.
#10.
EXTRA!
#1.
#2.
#3.
#4.
#5.
#6.
#7.
#8.
#9.
#10.
EXTRA!
#1.
#2.
#3.
#4.
#5.
#6.
#7.
#8.
#9.
#10.
EXTRA!