With 39 UFC occasions scheduled earlier than 2018 rolls in, a debuting fighter needs to be fairly particular to make an impression that lasts past combat evening.

Featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov pulled off that feat in September with a second-round submission of Mike Santiago that earned him Efficiency of the Evening honors. It wasn’t his 15-letter final identify that saved him on everybody’s radar, however an thrilling effort that noticed him doing something and every part that got here to thoughts so as to vanquish his foe. However the humble 26-year-old form of appears at it as simply one other day within the workplace.

“I am glad that I used to be capable of make that flashy debut,” he mentioned via translator Rizvan Magomedov. “I ready myself for all three rounds, however throughout the combat I noticed a possibility to complete the combat and present a few of my abilities.”

Did he ever. Whether or not hanging or grappling, the Makhachkala native did what Octagon newcomers don’t usually do as they give the impression of being to play it protected and get the win their first day trip. As a substitute, Magomedsharipov took dangers from begin to end, thrilling followers in Rotterdam whereas he did it. The 145-pound prospect disagrees, although, saying that he wasn’t taking dangers, simply executing what he labored on within the gymnasium.

“I do not assume that I used to be doing one thing dangerous throughout that final combat,” he mentioned. “We labored loads with my coaches on these methods and so they grew to become easy and sharp. In fact, it additionally depends upon a specific opponent and combat, but when there is a chance to placed on efficiency with out harm to myself, I’ll by no means hesitate to try this. That is precisely what followers are on the lookout for and it is higher method to entice consideration than any trash speak.”


He’s proper, and his win did entice consideration, one thing he discovers virtually as quickly as he left the Octagon that September evening.

“Sure, there was numerous hype after my final combat; it is laborious to not see it,” Magomedsharipov mentioned. “Many individuals message me their pleasure and this provides extra of an obligation for me now to not disappoint my followers and show that this vibrant debut within the UFC wasn’t simply coincidence.”

That shouldn’t be a problem, as a result of fighters like Magomedsharipov are both born with that angle or they’re not. There’s no center floor. And with that need to win and entertain already in his blood, the remainder comes right down to coaching.

“There is no such thing as a explicit one that influenced my type, and there’s no different athlete who I am attempting to be like,” he mentioned. “It is all the results of my laborious coaching with my coaches, and the background of Wushu Sanda that I used to be doing all my novice profession.”

In Wushu Sanda, Magomedsharipov was a multi-time champion in Russia, in addition to a European and World Cup winner, establishing his credentials as the most effective of the most effective in that artwork. In 2012, MMA got here calling, and he’s since compiled a 13-1 report as a professional. This Saturday, he welcomes Sheymon Moraes to the Octagon.

“Sheymon Moraes is an efficient opponent with report,” he mentioned. “He is a robust athlete with heavy palms and kicks and I do not assume it is gonna be straightforward combat for both of us.”

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 02:  (R-L) Zabit Magomedsharipov of Russia lands a kick to the head of Mike Santiago in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Rotterdam Ahoy on September 2, 2017 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)Once more, that humility shines via, however that’s not shocking given the staff he’s been working with in New Jersey for the final yr, one which’s dwelling to not only a gang of killers, however essentially the most humble gang of killers you’ll discover.

“I used to be fortunate to go to New Jersey and prepare with Mark Henry and Ricardo Almeida,” Magomedsharipov mentioned. “And apart from the great coaching circumstances, there is a chance to spar with the most effective within the sport – Frankie Edgar, Marlon Moraes, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez and lots of, many others.”

If it seems that all of the puzzle items for a profitable run at UFC gold are there for Magomedsharipov, that’s correct. And whereas he’s not one for daring proclamations, he believes that his time might be coming quickly sufficient.

“The featherweight division is full of nice fighters,” he mentioned. “I do not see any straightforward fights for me there, however I really feel my potential is to be within the high 5 within the close to future. As for this weekend, I will do my greatest to not disappoint my followers. A protracted street is behind me and I am in nice form and I am assured that I’ve probability to win with God’s assist. 2018 is the yr the place I count on to combat high 15 ranked opponents and get nearer to the UFC belt.”

Then out of nowhere, he laughs.

“I additionally promise to begin talking English subsequent yr.”

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