Welcome to the UFC: Ismail Naurdiev

Ismail Naurdiev UFC Prague
Credit: ACA MMA Facebook

An injury on the UFC Prague main card has led to Austrian prospect Ismail Naurdiev making his promotional debut.

UFC on ESPN+ 3 will be happening in Prague, Czech Republic, in the O2 Arena on February 23. In a welterweight bout, Michel Prazeres was supposed to take on Ramazan Emeev in a very important fight in which the winner would likely join the rankings. Emeev pulled out due to injury and the UFC signed Ismail Naurdiev to step in on short notice.

Ismail “The Austrian Wonderboy” Naurdiev
Salzburg, Austria
ThaiboxingMMA Salzburg
5 Submissions (3 Rear-Naked Chokes, Triangle, Arm-Triangle)

How Will Ismail Naurdiev Fare in the UFC:

Ismail Naurdiev began his MMA career primarily as a wrestler first. He’s a solid wrestler once he closes the distance due to his strength, and is able to get emphatic takedowns. He’s good at taking the back, but he relies more on position and ground-and-pound. In his last couple of fights, he’s been showcasing his abilities on the feet. Naurdiev has good kickboxing and good counter-striking, slipping and firing very well. His problem on the feet is his wide stance, so I worry about him getting hit too much. The bigger problem would be that he has good power in his strikes and kicks but no set-ups and nothing behind his strikes. In his fight with Ismael de Jesus he showed some big flaws. Naurdiev lacked on his takedown defense and while he does decent enough off his back he’s still not too sharp.

How He Matches Up with Michel Prazeres:

Prazeres is the worst fighter to make your debut on short notice against. Prazeres is on an eight-fight win streak with wins over Des Green, Josh Burkman, Zak Cummings, Mairbek Taisumov, and Gilbert Burns. In Prazeres’ eleven UFC fights he has secured a takedown in each fight with a total of 42, and that’s where Naurdiev will struggle. Even on the feet, Prazeres is better in every aspect. I don’t see how Prazeres losses this.