Welcome to the UFC: Saidyokub Kakhramonov

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Saidyokub Kakhramonov UFC Vegas 34
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 20: Saidyokub Kakhramonov of Uzbekistan poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on August 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 34 goes down this Saturday, with the Apex in Las Vegas host an exciting 12-fight card. In the main event it’s former middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum taking on contender Jared Cannonier. In the co-main event, UFC veteran Clay Guida is taking on undefeated up-and-comer Mark O. Madsen. Trevin Jones (13-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC), meanwhile, has found it hard to keep an opponent. He was supposed to fight Tony Kelley and Ronnie Lawrence last month and Mana Martinez on this card. After Martinez had to pull out newcomer and CFFC bantamweight champion Saidyokub Kakhramonov stepped in on short notice.

Saidyokub Kakhramonov
Standing at 5’7″
Fighting at 135 lbs (bantamweight)
25-years-old
Fighting out of Irvine, California, US but from Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Training out of Team Oyama
A pro record of 8-2
3 KO/TKOs, 3 Submissions

How will Kakhramonov fare in the UFC:

Kakharamonov is a solid prospect who has won the U.S. Open in Judo and is a multiple-time champ in Sambo. He had a few losses that set him back some, but those were to Pipe Vargas and the UFC’s Umar Nurmagomedov. His last two victories to get back momentum were big wins. He knocked out a good prospect in Askar Askar (who was briefly signed by the UFC earlier this year) in under a minute. Last March, Kakhramonov knocked out Tycen Lynn to win the CFFC bantamweight title.

Kakharamonov is well-rounded and fully capable of finishing the fight on the feet and on the mat. On the feet, Kakharamonov has good hands but it’s in those wild exchanges he’s probably most dangerous. In the pocket is where the young man has proven to have big power in his hands. He is a better wrestler and his striking is a big asset for his wrestling. Many times, you will see Kakharamonov lunge forward with a one-two and shoot underneath for a takedown. Kakharamonov has good timing on his entries and cuts the corner well to chain-wrestle when needed.

Kakharamonov is a fantastic fighter but he still needs work. His striking defense isn’t the best and later in the fight, he takes more and more damage. He likes to sit in the pocket and throw but he’s testing his chin as much as he’s tested others. He has been knocked out too. Kakharamonov does everything right when it comes to wrestling but at times has trouble executing. Getting inside and in position, he does superbly but he has trouble getting the fight down. And when he gets it down he’s had trouble keeping it down. It’s only happened a few times but those few times is when he fought stiff competition. In his last fight, he controlled Tycen Lynn on the mat but Lynn is more than comfortable off his back.

Offensively he’s an impressive young fighter and has so much time to develop. Putting it together is a challenge but when he’s on he’s going to be an issue in the division.  He’s someone I don’t see making an impact right away. I see him taking a few losses before finding his stride and one day possibly gets inside the top 15.
Fighter comparison in the division: John Castañeda

Striking: B-
Kickboxing: B-
Clinch: C
Wrestling: B+
Grappling: B
Striking Defense: C+
Takedown Defense: C+
Cardio: C+
Biggest Strength: Wrestling
Biggest Weakness: Striking defense

How he matches up against Jones:

Trevin Jones has had some run in the UFC going 2-0 against Timur Valiev and Mario Bautista. That’s two excellent fighters in the division. Jones was losing both those fights, getting beat in the first round only to come back to stop both opponents in the second with his hands. Before coming to the UFC I knew Jones had the skillset but putting it together and actually attacking was the concern. It’s still a concern because while he did win his two UFC fights he was fighting from behind. It is nice to see him fighting with more urgency though.

At this point, Bautista and Valiev are better than Kakharamonov. If Jones can knock those guys out he can for sure crack Kakharamonov. Kakharamonov is going to bring pressure and if he fights smart he should wrestle. I can see Kakharamonov winning early and Jones taking over. Kakharamonov is taking this fight on short notice so there have to be questions on his condition. He also missed weight Friday. Kakharamonov has the full capability to beat Jones and I even believe he has a brighter future in the UFC. Right now under these circumstances I’m picking Jones to outlast the young prospect.

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