The undefeated Russian Shamil Gamzatov will debut in the UFC at home in an anticipated bout on the card, but who is this potential world-beater?
Not much personal information exists for Shamil Gamzatov. The Russain-born fighter is a bit of an enigma beyond what he’s done professionally, but what he’s done professionally is impressive. The 29-year-old American Top Team member was born in the same part of Russia as UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov — Dagestan.
Born just 100 miles from one another, Gamzatov followed in Nurmagomedov’s footsteps and entered into wrestling at a young age. After training in MMA in his teens, he went on to win several amateur MMA and kick-boxing championships in the region. He even went on to win gold at a grappling competition not long after.
He turned pro in 2012 and would see instant success; going on a nine-fight win streak before being picked up by the then-named World Series of Fighting. The organization changed its name to the Professional Fighters League not long after but the success of Gamzatov stayed consistent.
In between his first and second fights in the PFL, Gamzatov went back to Russia to compete for Absolute Championship Berkut. He took on former UFC and Bellator veteran Rodney Wallace in a fight where the then 26-year-old eeked out a close, split-decision victory. Gamzatov returned to the PFL shortly after that.
In his three fights for the PFL, Gamzatov defeated Teddy Holder, Eddie Gordon, and Rex Harris. While Harris and Gordon were by decision, Gamzatov was able to down Holder with a TKO finish. Despite the decision wins, the only fighter who almost beat him was the aforementioned Wallace back in the ACB; giving Gamzatov the perception of being a dominant fighter.
Gamzatov has developed a reputation as a fighter who can control a fight from the onset. He’s also a finisher of sorts too, despite his recent streak of decision victories. Prior to his ACB debut, Gamzatov never went to a decision, instead, he KO/TKO’ed or submitted every fighter he had fought. Since then, nada.
Now with his UFC debut on the horizon and a lot of hype surrounding this young fighter, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility if he looked to finish his first UFC opponent, Klidson Abreu by his own hands. Abreu is no slouch, and the fight should make for a great early test for Gamzatov.
UFC Moscow takes place on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, live from the CSKA Arena in Moscow, Russia. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your live results and highlights.