Prospect Watch: Russia’s Kirill Kornilov

Kirill Kornilov and Nordine Mahieddine, Glory 70 weigh-in
Kirill Kornilov (left) and Nordine Mahieddine pose at the GLORY 70 weigh-in Credit: GLORY Kickboxing

Russia’s Kirill Kornilov is a former kickboxer who has competed for Glory, but his primary focus has now shifted to MMA. With that experience in kickboxing, MMA seems to be the sport built for him, with his striking talents boosting him to an impressive 7-0-1 record.

Tale of the Tape

Fighting out of  St. Petersburg, Russia
Age: 29
Weightclass: Heavyweight
Height: 6’5”
Training out of Sech Pro
Record: 7-0-1
1 Submission


  • Textbook jab
  • Excellent counter striker
  • Good knees
  • Good in the clinch
  • Heavy leg kicks
  • Uses feints well


  • Keeps hands low
  • TDD needs work
  • Not much off his back
  • Slows as the fight goes

Striking/Kickboxing: B+

Kirill Kornilov has a kickboxing background but in his MMA career it’s the hands that he has got the job done with. He has a really good jab and uses a lot of feints to produce openings for him to exploit. Kornilov does attack with leg kicks, but he’s just not consistent enough with them to be a big problem. Where he is most effective is when his opponents come forward, catching them as they come in. He’s a dangerous guy off his back foot, so not someone you want to advance on carelessly.

Movement: C

Nothing fancy with the big man’s movement. At times he’s even flat-footed. As said above he is a good counter striker so he does move backward well.

Clinch: B+

Although he isn’t there nearly enough, in the clinch Kornilov has a lot of promise. He throws a lot of knees and some nice elbows over the top. The Russian is good at framing off and returning with damaging short strikes.

Wrestling: C-

Kornilov is not a wrestler at all. You will very rarely see him shoot for a takedown. In the clinch, he may execute trips from time to time. He’s far more comfortable on the feet.

Grappling: D+

With no wrestling used, Kornilov’s grappling is basically non-existent as well. When on the mat, he’s on his back. He has a sense of urgency looking for submissions but he needs a lot of work.

Cardio: C

Kornilov definitely slows as the fight goes. He stays dangerous but his movement is more labored along with his offense being much slower.

Defense: D+

On the feet, Kornilov holds his hands low. He’s confident in his countering ability but isn’t really quick so getting caught could be on the horizon. His takedown defense isn’t at all where it needs to be. Even worse, he’s way out of his realm on the mat off his back. He’s almost lost on his back usually having no idea how to get back up. Cardio isn’t too good either so as the fight goes on, when pressed he’s going to be flustered.

Overall: C+

Kornilov is in a tricky spot. He’s got some good qualities but being so defensively flawed it may hold him back. If you’re a fighter set to fight Kirill Kornilov you know you have to ground him. He is a very dangerous fighter however and his counter striking, his jab, and his clinch work is what most heavyweights don’t possess. He’s 29-years-old, which is young for the division. He’s going need more time before jumping to a big promotion, but luckily he has it. Fighting in Russia he will continue to get tested. Over time we will see where Kornilov is at and as of now I’m on the fence with him.