Prospect Watch: Russia’s Ayub Gimbatov

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Ayub Gimbatov
Ayub Gimbatov Credit: Fight Nights Global

Fight Nights Global middleweight Ayub Gimbatov is our latest Russian prospect to watch out for. A proven finisher, “Silent” is known for silencing his opponents.

Tale of the Tape

Fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia
Age: 30
Weight class: Middleweight
Height: 6’1”
Training out of Academy MMA Makhachkala
Record: 10-1 (1 NC)
3 KO/TKO, 6 Submissions

Pros

  • Strong ground and pound
  • Submission threat
  • Excellent kicks
  • Solid wrestling
  • Good jiu-jitsu
  • Counter strikes well
  • Mixes it up beautifully
  • Good jab

Cons

N/A

Striking/Kickboxing: A-

Gimbatov is first and foremost a kickboxer. He sets the pace with his legs and just throws them out so effortlessly — it’s like a boxer’s jab. He will kick the legs, throw kicks up the middle, a lot of roundhouse kicks, and likes to be flashy from time to time doing some spinning attacks. He throws his hands, knees, and elbows as well and it all compliments his kicking skills. Gimbatov is a diverse, complex fighter on the feet. He’s always staying busy and always throwing something different.

Movement: B 

Not the smoothest moving around but he is bouncy on his feet. With his loose style Gimbatov stays pretty active with his movement. He moves a lot from side to side and explodes in and out.

Clinch: B

Gimbatov is a strong fighter in the clinch. That is where a lot of his takedowns come from. On the other side, his defense is solid fighting wrists and framing off. He throws good elbows and knees and lands almost every time when he separates off a break.

Wrestling: A+

Wrestling is one area that shines for the very talented Gimbatov. As noted above he is very good with his kicks and strikes, and he basically blends his takedowns in there as well. Hardly telegraphing his shots, he’s instead perfect when he shoots and can easily adapt and get the takedown if there has to be a second attempt. Throughout his career, Gimbatov has accomplished double legs, trips, chain wrestled, slipped to the back and suplexed, single legged, and caught kicks. Not only is he diverse on the feet he’s extremely versatile on how to gets the fight to the mat.

Grappling: A

Gimbatov is a nightmare on top. If he isn’t smashing your head in he is going to submit you. As he’s a dangerous submission grappler all around, though he excels more attacking the limbs. He has a very dangerous armbar and in his last fight he just about ripped his opponent’s arm off with a kimura lock. Gimbatov is all over his opponents, transitioning smoothly while actively landing heavy ground and pound. Strong on top with a high grappling IQ to top it all off with.

Cardio: B

Gimbatov has only gone the distance only once. Usually, his overall skillset and the pace he sets breaks guys and it’s unlikely he sees the scorecards. Gimbatov has only gone outside the first round three times and all three times he never slowed one bit. Perhaps it will be different if he’s the one getting pressured and moving backward, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Defense: B+

Defensively I’ve seen no issues. He was finished once but that was five years ago to a really good fighter in Artem Frolov. At times if he’s not first he will get tagged from the outside but there’s no real issue. His takedown defense, even though he hasn’t had to defend a lot, has looked very good. Cardio is solid and durability doesn’t seem to be any issue.

Overall: A

I like Gimbatov a lot and he’s not someone that’s talked about even among the hardcore MMA fans. His diverse kickboxing and his fluidity make him a fun fighter to watch. His wrestling, getting those big impactful takedowns, makes it seem like you’re watching a WWE match. The overall ability to mix in a little bit of everything makes Ayub Gimbatov the top prospect he is now.

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