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The new Khabib was taken to the wrestling school. Ismagulov is hardly necessary for the UFC

Date: April 12, 2024 Time: 16:53:47

The new Khabib was taken to the wrestling school. Ismagulov is hardly necessary for the UFC

Igor Nekrasov July 3, 2023, 15:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.

Is it time for Damir to box or will he continue to make noise in our promotions?

Recently, another UFC tournament was held in Las Vegas, where Russian-Kazakh fighter Damir Ismagulov entered the octagon in the main event of the night. He was set for a fight against #15 lightweight Grant Dawson. It seemed that Ismagulov, who only had one defeat in the UFC, had to pick up the fight, get back on the winning streak and get a new contract in the strongest league in the world. Instead, a one-sided loss occurred: Dawson pinned Damir to the ground for the entire fight and picked up the unanimous decision win. And Ismagulov appears to be saying goodbye to the UFC.

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Interestingly, Damir already managed to say goodbye to the UFC earlier this year. On January 1, Ismagulov announced that he was ending his sports career after the first loss in the UFC to Arman Tsarukyan. Damir explained this with health problems and injuries that prevent him from showing his maximum level and approaching fights in optimal form. However, then a funny situation happened: Ismagulov remembered that he owed the UFC one more fight. And he decided to return, hoping to win and a new contract.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. But Damir flew into the UFC as a potential new Khabib, who was supposed to climb to the top of lightweight. Riding an 11-fight winning streak with a 19-1 record and an M-1 championship belt, Ismagulov signed with the UFC. In the world’s strongest league, Damir continued his winning streak, slowly defeating Alex Gorgis, Yoel Alvarez and Thiago Moises, all by unanimous decision. But then health problems arose forcing Damir to take a break. As a result, the downtime was almost two years, and, of course, during this time the league had already forgotten that there was such a promising fighter in the lightweight division.

Returning to the Octagon, he defeated Rafael Alves, then disappeared again for a year. A tough win over Guram Kutateladze opened the way for Ismagulov to his first major opponent in the UFC: Arman Tsarukyan. And Damir failed this test: Arman dominated the fight and won by unanimous decision of the judges. This fight revealed, perhaps, Damir’s main problem – wrestling skills. If earlier it was not very noticeable, then in the battle with Tsarukyan the gaps became obvious. Yes, Arman’s wrestling training is at the highest level, however, to compete in the UFC and have a chance in the top 5, you have to be competitive in all aspects.

Damir referred to injuries preventing him from preparing for the fight with Arman. But it seems that the matter is still not only in health – Grant Dawson “brought” Ismagulov to the wrestling school, once again confirming that this, to put it mildly, is not Damir’s strongest side. And if Tsarukyan and Dawson did this, what would happen in a duel with Islam?

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Ismagulov’s title claims in the UFC have, unfortunately, ended. As, in fact, he already contracted it with the league. Will the organization extend it after two such losses? The answer seems obvious. Yes, and Damir himself has been ready for such a turn of events since the beginning of the year. It is a pity that injuries and health did not allow Ismagulov to perform to the best of his abilities. Who knows, maybe Damir would have been able to pick up the fight, and then he could compete at the level of the top 5 division, because Ismagulov’s position is fine. But this we will never know.

Now the question is whether this is the end of Damir’s entire career or just a farewell to the UFC. In January, after that same performance with a statement about his retirement, Ismagulov said he had been approached by several promoters, including Vladimir Khryunov. So who knows, maybe soon Damir will switch from MMA gloves to boxing ones. So what, the option is not even bad, especially since there is no need to fight there, and there are no posts.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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