Welcome to the UFC: Rinat Fakhretdinov

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Rinat Fakhretdinov, UFC Vegas 56
Rinat Fakhretdinov, UFC Vegas 56 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

This weekend’s UFC Vegas 56 card is headlined by Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a heavyweight fight. The card mainly has a bunch of up-and-comers with a few vets sprinkled in. Coming off Dana White’s Lookin’ For a Fight, Rinat Fakhretdinov will be finally making his debut. He will be fighting Andreas Michailidis (13-5)

Rinat “Gladiator” Fakhretdinov
Standing at 6’0″
Fighting at 185 lbs (middleweight)
30-years-old
Fighting out of Moscow, Russia
Training out of American Top Team
A pro record of 20-2
11 KO/TKOs, 7 Submissions

How will Fakhretdinov do in the UFC:

Fakhretdinov has many titles in Pankration and combat sambo both on the national and international levels. That goes well with an impressive 20-2 MMA record and on a current 15-fight win streak. Fakhretdinov does have a good-looking MMA record but it is a blown-up record. Fourteen of his twenty wins were against opponents that had losing records or were debuting. His last three wins are his best wins and none of those fighters are even mid-level.

In his fight to get in the UFC, he scored a one-punch knockout but that’s not what to expect from Fakhretdinov. He’s more of a wrestler and grappler than anything else. Fakhretdinov is a decent wrestler. It’s an area he’s improved in, but it’s still not where it needs to be. He’s good at driving in on the legs but most of his takedowns come from upper body trips. His grappling is a little bit underwhelming. Fakhretdinov is good at taking the back and attacking submissions with the RNC and front chokes. Stalling in one position he has a problem with where he rides out in a single position without improving his position. That is a reason his fights get stood up.

On the feet, there is nothing special. He has deceptive power but it’s usually just looping punches and overhands he throws. Fakhretdinov does do a fine job throwing inside leg kicks to hooks mixing it up nicely. He does strike to wrestle well enough to be able to get in takedown range. Overall, his record makes him look better than he is. I do think he gets a few wins in the UFC but he’s not exactly UFC level.

How he matches up with Michailidis:

Michailidis is thought of as a lower-level UFC fighter but he and Fakhretdinov are on the same level. Actually, if Fakhretdinov beats Muchailidis that would be the best name on his resume. On the feet, Michailidis has far more tools but it’s whether he puts it all together. He never seems comfortable throwing a lot but when he opens up he will be the better striker in this. Michailidis tends to wrestle/grapple more and that makes it a closer fight. His biggest flaw is he has around a 7.5-minute gas tank. That will again hurt him in this fight. Even though Fakhretdinov isn’t a cardio machine he will prevail in what will most likely be a grueling fight.

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