Welcome to the UFC: Zelim Imadaev

Zelim Imadaev UFC
Credit: Fight Nights Global Facebook

A top Russian prospect looks to be headed to the UFC, as Zelim Imadaev has inked a deal with the world’s premier MMA promotion.

Underrated undefeated Russian prospect Zelim Imadaev has signed a contract with the UFC, and has been in talks since November. First reported by Russian journalist Adam Zubayraev, the story was later confirmed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. A debut date and opponent has yet to be announced.

Zelim Imadaev
Moscow, Russia
Xtreme Couture

How Does Zelim Imadaev Fare in the UFC?

Zelim Imadaev is another good Russian prospect the UFC has made a move on in 2018. At only 23-years-old, Imadaev has yet to reach his prime as he still is developing his striking defense and cardio. With that said, it hasn’t been too much of a problem as he has stopped all his fights in completely one-sided fashion. On the feet, he has knockout power in his hands and solid kickboxing. He’s excellent with chain-wrestling and positional grappling. The Russians have a thing for a dominant top game and while he is not near the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov or other Dagestanis, it’s a great tool of his. Overall, he’s a good talent with a high ceiling who can be a top guy a few years from now.

Who Should Zelim Imadaev Fight?

With the UFC coming to Russia in the first quarter of 2019, there’s no doubt he should be on that card but the opponent would be the big question. A fight with someone like Ottman Azaitar makes for a good challenge as Azaitar is the former Brave CF champion. Azaitar is a newly-signed UFC fighter as well waiting for a debut and both show promise.