In his last trip to the canvas against Rafal Moks, relentless Gorec team fighter, Rashid Magomedov, made his opponent’s first welterweight outing since relinquishing the 185-pound belt a horrific nightmare. Ending Moks’ Cinderella run through 2010, which included the golden victory over teammate Magomed Sultanakhmedov, Magomedov achieved his mission of halting Moks in his fairytale tracks and successfully landed the #1 contender status; set to face reigning Welterweight Champion Shamil Zavurov at M-1 Challenge XXV on Thursday April 28th inside the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Magomedov has the unique confidence of holding a victory over Zavurov, the champ’s sole loss on an otherwise decorated professional MMA career.
Rashid Magomedov is one of the brightest and most talented welterweight fighters to come out of Russia in recent years and holds combined professional and amateur mixed martial arts record of 17-1. Included in his list of wins, is the split-decision victory over Zavurov. In 2009, he went undefeated and lead his team to victory through the M-1 Challenge Team Championship competition.
In the quarterfinals of the 2010 M-1 Selection Eastern Europe tournament, Magomedov suffered his record’s first blemish with a decision loss to Magomedrasul Khasbulaev. Unfazed by the defeat, he returned to immediate action at the Sochi Open European Championships; with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in attendance, Magomedov showcased his one-punch power with a knock-out win over Dan Hope inside the contest’s first minute and followed up with two subsequent dominant performances: a unanimous decision win over Brazilian jiu jitsu black-belt, Igor Araujo and a first-round TKO over Rafal Moks.
One of five brothers, Magomedov’s family grew up training in several forms of combat sports ranging from boxing, kickboxing and wrestling. Trying his hand at karate when he was seven, he built upon that foundation until he was 12, when he also added boxing to his repertoire of skills. For the next six years, this protégé honed his abilities and became the Junior Boxing Champion of the Dagestan Republic in 2002, the same year he was awarded the title of Master of Sport. At the same time while boxing, his dedication to kickboxing remained steadfast as he became a two-time champion in the Dagestan Republic; unfortunately his goal of becoming the National Kickboxing Championship never materialized due to a lack of sponsors.
In 2003 while enlisted in the army, Magomedov started training in hand-to-hand combat, earning the Master of Sport designation as well, winning the National Championship a year later. Shortly afterwards, his combat career transitioned to mixed martial arts and he joined the Gorets fight team. His first bout was in 2007 and he defeated World Combat Sambo Champion, Vladimir Vladimirov.
Unlike most European fighters, Magomedov has no problem cutting weight to make the welterweight divisions 170-pound cut-off rather than fighting a class higher; he’s even tried to go down to lightweight but found shedding the additional 15 was too drastic of a cut, leaving the fighter feeling weak.
Sitting as the division’s top-contender, Magomedov is primed to dethrone Zavurov and seize his opportunity to sit at the head of the table. The confidence in knowing that he has beaten the champ already makes Zavurov’s mystique that much less intimidating; this is Magomedov’s time to steal the belt in a wickedly entertaining upset.
Free LIVE broadcast coverage of M-1 Challenge XXV: Zavurov vs. Magomedov 2 from St. Petersburg, Russia will be available to viewers worldwide on the official M-1 Global website and select affiliate partner sites, like this one here, starting at 11:00am EST / 8:00am PST on Thursday April 28th.