Welcome to the UFC: Nursulton Ruziboev

Nursulton Ruziboev, UFC Vegas 76
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 30: Nursulton Ruziboev of Uzbekistan poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC Apex on June 30, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

While middleweights are the focus of UFC Vegas 76, care of the main event between Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov, another 185lb match-up is also features on the main card. That fight sees Nursulton Ruziboev make his promotional debut against Bruno Ferreira.

Nursulton Ruziboev
Standing at six-foot-four
Fighting at 185 lbs (middleweight)
Fighting out of Uzbekistan/Philadelphia, PA
Training out of Renzo Gracie Philly
A pro record of 34-8-2, 2 NC
12 KO/TKOs, 20 Submissions

How will Ruziboev fare in the UFC:

Ruziboev has a few glaring holes but his biggest shortcoming is his takedown defense. He gets taken down in almost all his fights. He seems to have little sense of balance and zero resistance when it comes to stopping himself from going to his back. Ruziboev does have credible jiu-jitsu off his back however. He’s kind of mastered using the kimura lock to create scrambles or sweeps. Although he’s good at getting out of bad positions he’s consistently letting guys pass his guard and get into dominant positions. Ruziboev loses minutes off his back and it’s never a good look getting taken down as many times as he does.

On the feet, Ruziboev is both wild and dangerous. He throws a lot of looping strikes but at the same time throws from a lot of angles. He has a nice uppercut he throws as he closes the distance quickly. Ruziboev throws a lot of kicks and occasionally likes to spin. With his spinning kicks to the body, he does a great job blending in with his offense. Not the cleanest technically but he is dangerous in terms of diversity and power.

Ruziboev is a fun addition to the UFC roster. He’ll likely never be ranked but may come close a few times. Overall he’s not put together enough to be a huge threat. Yes, he does have a lot of wins but the majority of guys he beat were record padders. That said Ruziboev is good enough to compete with at least the middle of the division.

How he matches up with Ferreira:

Bruno is unbeaten but still carries a lot of unanswered questions with him. He just had a great win knocking out Gregory Rodrigues. Ferreira is a heavy-handed fighter that has strong wrestling and good BJJ. He’s never been truly tested so it’s a question to see how he does when facing some adversity. Ruziboev is going to be the much bigger fighter but it’s nothing Ferreira isn’t used to. Ruziboev is capable of winning the exchanges on the feet. He will have problems with Ferreira getting in underneath and getting the takedowns. I predict Ferreira winning due to his wrestling and eventually the ground and pound finish.