It’s back to Russia (well, not literally) to take a look at a promising, undefeated welterweight who could shake things up in a major promotion: Alibeg Rasulov. And while there are still some questions as to how complete his game is, so far, he’s been perfect.
Tale of the Tape
Fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia
Weight class: Welterweight
Training out of Gorets FT
5 KO/TKO, 4 Submissions
- Excellent single leg
- Chain-wrestles well
- Relentless pressure
- Good wrestling
- Excellent positional grappling
- Active ground and pound
- High IQ
- Excellent jiu-jitsu
- Chin high
Rasulov has shown virtually little to no striking. He has some decent dirty boxing and modest kickboxing. From time to time, you will see Rasulov throw wheel kicks. Basically, he’s one-dimensional.
Nothing will blow you away with the movement of Rasulov. He’s usually the one walking forward to time his entrances. He could be much looser besides being so heavy on his feet.
From the clinch, you will see Rasulov work takedowns, land with some dirty boxing, and work to the back. It’s not somewhere Rasulov will push the fight to, but he’s completely comfortable there.
Rasulov is first and foremost a wrestler. His relentless pressure plays a big part in his wrestling as he’s always closing the distance and shooting in on the leg. What the Russian does well is change levels to grab a single leg, and once he gets the fight down he’ll grab the other leg to fully control position. He’ll also do a nice job utilizing trips from the body lock to get the fight down. He has the capability to chain wrestle when having trouble getting the fight down on the initial shot. Overall, a solid wrestler.
What’s better than his wrestling would be his grappling once he gets the fight down to the mat. On the mat, Rasulov is continuously working and moving to better positions. Once there, he will quickly and smoothly cut through the guard and then into side-control. Rasulov does some of his best work in side control. From there he likes to get into the crucifix position and lock in the kimura. He’s had no issue getting into mount and really no issue at all transitioning when he wants to. He doesn’t throw ground and pound to end the fight but instead throws actively to score and frustrate the fighter on bottom. Everything he does in the grappling department is thought out and efficiently done.
Only five of Rasulov’s fights have gone outside the first round but in his other six fights, he’s proved to have a solid gas tank. I’ve never noticed Rasulov slowing down one bit, as he fights at the same pace the entire time. Impressively, Rasulov has a strong work rate, and his constant wrestling and grappling is something he’s able to do over the course of three rounds. Perhaps not having to defend much is why his cardio has looked so good but still, no issue with his cardio has been seen.
Rasulov is one-dimensional, only wanting to use his wrestling and keep the fight grounded. So far, Rasulov has had a limited amount of time on the feet trading because he gets the fight down so quickly and frequently. When he is on the feet his striking seems a bit stiff and his chin is held too high. That is my only concern but not seeing him on the feet much it may not be as big as a problem as it looks.
While Rasulov has looked good, he hasn’t fought the best competition. However, on the Russian circuit even the not-so-appealing records are still held by very good fighters. With that said it still could be better. Rasulov does have amateur wins against Gadzhimurad Khiramagomedov and current UFC fighter Ramazan Kuramagomedov which are both solid victories. He’s not the striker you look for is an up-and-coming welterweight but he has a superb ground game. Not the ground game that consists of riding out position but instead someone that constantly works to finish. Rasulov is someone that I like coming up with because step-by-step he knows exactly what to do and makes all the right decisions. His grade is only a B just because his full arsenal hasn’t been shown yet. What will happen if he can’t get a fight to the mat? There are still some questions but you have to be impressed with whats available.