UFC Vegas 20 sees the Ultimate Fighting Championship back at the Apex in Las Vegas once again, this time for a stacked Fight Night headlined by Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane in a pivotal heavyweight bout. Also, on the card is Magomed Ankalaev vs. Nikita Krylov, Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera, Alexander Hernandez, Angela Hill, and more. Alex Oliveira (22-9-1 MMA, 11-7 (1 NC) UFC) was supposed to take on Randy Brown. Brown had to pull out and in comes the debut of Ramazan Kuramagomedov.
How will Kuramagomedov fare in the UFC:
Kuramagomedov is one of the most underrated signings of 2021 thus far. The Russian is very well-rounded, being skillful no matter where the fight goes. His style reminds me of fellow countryman and UFC fighter Umar Nurmagomedov. On the feet, Kuramagomedov throws a lot of kicks. Throwing with diversity, his kicks come from all over the place. When he decides to just attack the lead leg, that’s when he’s at his best. He doesn’t really have the setups with his kicks but gets away with it with speed and dexterity. Overall he’s a flashy but intelligent kickboxer. He doesn’t throw his hands nearly as much but stays straight with his punches keeping technical.
Kuramagomedov is an even better grappler. Once he gets the fight to the mat he quickly finds dominant positions. In the past Ramazan had trouble solidifying top position but now he’s a fighter with a strong body triangle and has just been dominant on top. You give him anything on the mat, he’s going to get into a better position and he has proved to be a submission threat.
Defensively there are some questions. His cardio is suspect but that may not be a problem unless he’s being consistently pressed backwards. Going backwards Kuramagomedov does get hit easier. Of what he’s shown, against good fighters at that, there aren’t any glaring holes. It’s going to take a good fighter to beat him.
- Striking: B-
- Kickboxing: A-
- Clinch: B-
- Wrestling: B+
- Grappling: A
- Striking Defense: B-
- Takedown Defense: A
- Cardio: C+
- Biggest Strength: Grappling
- Biggest Weakness: Striking defense
How he matches up with Oliveira:
The majority probably believe Oliveira is over the hill at this point in his career. Even though he’s 2-1 in his last three fights, he hasn’t looked particularly good in years. Cowboy is also 33 and not getting any younger. But it’s not just the years, it’s the mileage. In this fight, Oliveira has a physical advantage, is more experienced, and has faced higher-level competition. But simply put, Ramazan Kuramagomedov is better everywhere. The Russian is faster, more athletic, way better on the ground, and has all the momentum. It is a step up in competition but at this point, I don’t see Oliveira posing much of a threat.