UFC Vegas 87: Who is Bekzat Almakhan?

  • Bekzat Almakhan will face a tall task for his UFC debut
  • He will fight Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC Vegas 87
  • Here's what you need to know about the debut fighter
Bekzat Almakhan
Bekzat Almakhan /

UFC bantamweight Bekzat Almakhan might not have the name value of his upcoming opponent, but he's arguably been just as impressive in his career.

Almakhan faces undefeated bantamweight contender Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC Vegas 87 on March 3. He'll make his UFC debut after signing with the promotion amidst a nine-fight winning streak.

Almakhan is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who presents a slew of puzzles for his opponents. During his nine-fight winning streak, he's finished eight of the nine victories, including a viral high kick knockout at Octagon 32.

Almakhan landed a high pick that was so powerful that it forced his opponent, Geovane Vargas, to refuse to continue to fight and implore the referee to stop it. You can watch the viral moment below.

Bekzat Almakhan faces the unbeaten Umar Nurmagomedov in his UFC debut

Almakhan, who is mostly known for his dangerous striking, has improved immensely with his ground game. Since a submission loss in his lone career defeat, he's showcased improved submission defense and an ability to routinely stuff takedown attempts.

Almakhan's grappling will be put to the test against the streaking Nurmagomedov. The cousin of UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov, Umar is one of the top wrestlers in the UFC bantamweight division with recent wins over Brian Kelleher and Raoni Barcelos.

Almakhan was likely on the verge of an invitation to Dana White's Contender Series before getting the callup from the UFC. He'll skip the line and face one of the division's top contenders in the biggest fight of his young career.

A win over Nurmagomedov could prove that Almakhan adds a new dimension to the UFC bantamweight title picture.

Almakhan's native Kazakhstan has produced some of the UFC's top talents in recent years, including unbeaten welterweight Shavkat Rakhmonov. Almakhan will look to add his name to the list of top Kazakh UFC fighters when he clashes with Nurmagomedov in the Octagon.


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