At the UFC 296 tournament, which closed the calendar year, among others, the promising heavyweight Shamil Gaziev, another graduate of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s school, performed.
The Dagestani debuted in the world’s main promotion, defeating the Slovakian Martin Budaj, who had previously achieved four victories in a row within the organization. Gaziev showed great class and dominated in all aspects: on the stands, in the clinch, on the ground. Real destruction and declassification by Shamil, and it was immediately clear that a new threat had appeared in the heavyweight division.
A little over five years ago, Gaziev was working as an engineer, repairing equipment and pushing away the idea of starting a professional career. Shamil did not abandon training, but did it more for general development. In an interview, the fighter said that the hiatus lasted nine years and that he could not turn professional because of his family. Gaziev has three children and needed to work to feed them: “They have to eat something. “I couldn’t say: wait 10 years until I make money in sports.”
Read more about Gaziev’s debut UFC win:
A heavyweight from the Abdulmanap school went on to conquer the UFC. Gaziev made a powerful debut in the best league in the world
In fact, it was the financial aspect that did not allow Shamil to pursue a career. He admitted that the sport did not feed him, but he wanted to start his own family. Everything changed when an offer came from Bahrain, where they gave me the opportunity to earn money. Gaziev left Russia and began a new page in his life and career.
During the year, the heavyweight had nine fights as an amateur, gained the necessary experience, even suffered several defeats, after which he turned professional. It is worth noting that at first Gaziev alternated performances in the Belarusian FC and in the MMA series, but he showed himself very confident: five consecutive victories in the first minute. Then the opposition began to grow and this forced Shamil to increase his forces. To begin with, he took convincing revenge in a fight with Grigory Ponomarev, to whom he lost as an amateur, knocking him out in the first minute of the second round.
Gaziev then traveled to France, where he earned a hard-fought victory over Kirill Kornilov, reaching a decision for the first time in his career. There, by the way, Shamil trained with Cyril Gan and highlighted his skills on the stands. The last step before the UFC was moving to Brave CF, which seemed to be a good platform for Gaziev’s goal. He never made it a secret that he considered the UFC to be the pinnacle of martial arts and that he intended to break into the top MMA promotion.
The Dagestani made his debut in the new organization in October last year and knocked out the rather strong Lithuanian Pavel Dailidko, which lasted just over a round and was eliminated at the beginning of the second five-minute round. After 3.5 months, Gaziev had a fight with Serbian fighter Darko Stosic, who fell to the canvas at the end of the third minute of the fight. Then it became clear that Shamil would not stay at Brave CF.
This season, Brave CF streams are available on OKKO.
And so it happened, he first demonstrated his wrestling skills on Dana White’s Contender Series and received a long-awaited contract with the UFC. Gaziev represented Bahrain, which gave him the opportunity to turn professional, and gave interviews in Avarian; He believes that people should remember his native language. Immediately after his victory over Greg Velasco at DWCS, Shamil said that he wanted to be on the same card as Jon Jones and that he was ready to debut at UFC 295. As a result, Jones was injured and fell, and Gaziev was sent. to the next numbered tournament card.
Considering the current position of the heavyweight division, Shamil has an excellent chance of making a clear statement about himself. He already eliminated Budaya, who was 4-0 in the UFC and finished in the top 15 in the rankings just two weeks ago. The next one will surely be a top-tier opponent, and if you look at the current heavyweight rankings, you get the feeling that Gaziev will go far. Only the fighters in the top 5 can cause him real difficulties, but even there Shamil will probably find arguments. In his striking, he is very diverse, he uses strikes on different floors, effectively works with elbows and knees, and on the floor, fighters of the Abdulmanap school by default can give an advantage to many.
It looks like top heavyweight stars Jon Jones, Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich have a strong new contender to add excitement to the division.