The Undefeated: Murat Khasanov, Mateusz Legierski, and Keoni Diggs

Keoni Diggs Bellator MMA
Keoni Diggs Credit: Bellator MMA

Our latest look at a trio of undefeated prospects takes us to Russia, Poland, then back to the good ol’ U.S. of A. This time out, it’s Murat Khasanov, Mateusz Legierski, and Keoni Diggs in the spotlight.

Murat Khasanov

Fighting currently at the age of 29
Weighing in at 170 lbs
Standing at 5’11″
Hailing from Nalchik, Russia
A professional record of 5-0-1 with three submission wins

The five things that stand out the most:

  • Strong wrestling
  • Aggressive
  • Has a dangerous guillotine
  • Relentless pressure
  • One-dimensional

Where does Khasanov excel?

Murat Khasanov is a wrestler first, grinding out or submitting opponents in all five of his wins. He’s a bull, just powering forward pressing his opponent backwards into the clinch. Khasanov is very strong in the clinch and once he gets his hands around your body he’s capable of just slinging you down or creating sweeps/trips.

The Russian is, of course, good at completing double and single legs as well. Khasanov is a brute on top having extremely heavy top pressure. He’s not the most active at times but is more of an opportunist as he waits for his opponent to scramble so he can take advantage. Even against another superior wrestler in Mike Graves, who is a former UFC fighter and veteran, Khasanov gave him a lot of problems. The clinch played a big part in the fight with both men jockeying for position and both landing takedowns. The fight, in the end, was ruled a draw.

Where does Khasanov need Improvement?

As mentioned above, Khasanov is a one-dimensional fighter being mainly a wrestler. His wrestling really shows when he’s in the clinch. When coming forward though he’s a bit sloppy just rushing in a straight line with a wide base. His wrestling is very good, so it will take someone with excellent defense and/or footwork to keep the fight standing. He hasn’t really fought a good striker but once he does he will be in some trouble. Khasanov is a good wrestler but his stand up and even his ability to close the distance is an issue for him.

Ceiling – High or Low

Low. Khasanov is fighting for the ACB promotion, so he’s going to be tested against some excellent competition. He hasn’t really had a legit all-around opponent. In fact, outside of Graves, Khasanov hasn’t fought anyone all that good. He’s one-dimensional and not even overly dominant in the areas he excels at.

Mateusz Legierski

Fighting currently at the age of 23
Weighing in at 170 lbs
Standing at 5’11″
Hailing from Koniaków, Poland
Training out of Octagon Team Cieszyn
A professional record of 6-0 with five finishes

The five things that stand out the most:

  • Power right hand
  • Good leg kicks
  • Dangerous overhand
  • Good counter striker
  • A bit reckless

Where does Legierski excel?

Mateusz Legierski is well-rounded but is better on the feet. He has a heavy right hand throwing the overhand and right cross. He fights in bursts exploding forward with three-strike combinations usually. He throws a good right kick to the midsection and is good attacking the legs of his opponent.

Legierski is a dangerous power puncher, especially good at catching you when you come in. He’s not afraid to get hit at all which makes him even more dangerous because he’s not afraid to stand and bang in the pocket. Legierski has some background in kickboxing too which explains the commitment to his kicks. He really doesn’t have much wrestling technique but has the strength to just bully guys down. He doesn’t show too much with his jiu-jitsu but does have a nice triangle he finished with off his back. Legierski has just shown to be more confident riding the mount/back landing ground and pound.

Where does Legierski need work:

Defensively, the Polish natives does have a few glaring holes. Striking defense-wise he looks good as he keeps his hands high and his right hand glued to his face. As he is covered in that area he lacks in moving his head off the centerline. He’s pretty easy to hit especially when he comes forward, as he really just crashes in on a straight line. His takedown defense is a little questionable as well.

Ceiling – High or Low?

High. He’s got youth on his side at only 23-years-old. In his young career, Legierski has already gone five rounds winning the Oktagon MMA featherweight title. More importantly, he looked pretty good going five rounds. He has some refining to do on his striking like cutting angles better and learning his range better. I really like where he’s at in his career and he will only get better.

Keoni Diggs

Fighting currently at the age of 33
Weighing in at 155 lbs
Standing at 5’9″
Hailing from Glendale, Arizona, US
Training out of 808 Fight Factory
A professional record of 8-0 with five finishes

The five things that stand out the most:

  • Heavy top control
  • Big power in his hands
  • Good left hand
  • Good grappling
  • Wrestling is solid

Where does Diggs excel?

Keoni Diggs really excels everywhere. He a better grappler, where he’s smooth at taking the back and once there, most likely he going to finish that rear-naked choke — holding four wins going that way on his record. Diggs has also finished with a kneebar so he is well versed on the mat. Diggs is always looking for the finish, always landing heavy active ground and pound which usually creates openings for him to grab the neck.

His wrestling is solid. He times his takedowns when his foes over-commit coming forward and can press the legs to get his hands clasped dumping his opponents down. Diggs is a relentless fighter always pressing forward and landing takedowns, and his work rate is very noticeable. The Hawaiian is a good technical boxer throwing always in combinations from in a tight range. Diggs has a stoppage from leg kicks and it has been a tool he’s been using more and more. He has the gas tank and aggressiveness which makes him a big problem.

Where does Diggs need work:

Diggs is honestly well-rounded and he doesn’t have any glaring holes. His level of competition has been fairly poor having only fought two guys with over five pro fights. He’s been taken down before but has bounced back up so his takedown defense is questionable. Diggs can be a bit wild closing the distance at times so the likelihood of him getting caught coming in is a worry. Overall though he’s solid and don’t have any holes looking into his tape.

Ceiling – High or Low?

High. It is tough to see how far Diggs will actually go considering he’s already 33-years-old. He just hasn’t shown he’s slowing down in the slightest as he only has nine fights combined as an amateur and pro. Diggs is currently signed with Bellator so I’d imagine he gets a slow build but I think he can compete up with the top ten right now.