Welcome to the UFC: Azat Maksum

Azat Maksum and Tyson Nam UFC Vegas 77
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 14: (L-R) Tyson Nam and Azat Maksum of Kazakstan face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on July 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC is back in the Apex this Saturday with a full 13-fight card at UFC Vegas 77. The show is filled with a bunch of fighters looking to get their first UFC win, plus Holly Holm vs. Mayra Bueno Silva headlining. In the early prelims, we have the debut of Azat Maksum. He will be debuting against veteran Tyson Nam.

Azat Maksum
Standing at five-foot-eight
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
Fighting out of Kaskelen, Kazakhstan
Training out of ???
A pro record of 16-0
5 KO/TKOs, 6 Submissions

How will Maksum fare in the UFC:

Maksum is one of the best signings the UFC has made this year. They’ve done a great job building the flyweight division in the last six months bringing in top prospects. Maksum is impressively 16-0 and has built that beating above-average competition.

Maksum on his feet is capable of ending it with his power or just putting his hands on someone for fifteen minutes. He never fully strikes a full fight because he’s mixing in takedowns throughout the fight. He does an excellent job blending his takedowns behind his striking. He’s a better wrestler than a striker though. Maksum sets up his takedown entries well but can adjust and chain wrestle when needed. Maksum has stopped the fight six times due to submission as he’s good at working front headlocks. Getting a hold of the front locks he’s good at snap downs to circle onto the back. Even better than his submission base is the ground and pound he rains down. Maksum actively throws ground and pound posturing up and landing a ton of damaging blows. You can’t ask much more in terms of the ground game as a whole for Maksum.

On the feet, Maksum has the power to sleep his opponents with one punch. His right hand is his power hand but it’s complimented but all the little things he does well. Maksum is an excellent long striker the will pump the jab throwing double and triple jabs before coming across with the right hand. He does a wonderful job using feints and traps setting up his right hand.

Maksum is legit and is definitely a bright spot on one of the weaker fight cards of the year. I believe he’s easily top 15 level and possibly even top 10. We have to see how he does against UFC-level guys but has the well-rounded ability to do well.

How he matches up with Nam:

Nam has been around for a while fighting ever since 2006. He’s been in the UFC for almost five years. Nam is a seven-fight UFC veteran with a shaky record of 3-4. Nam is still UFC-level and he’s the best fighter Maksum has fought. Maksum is the younger guy with a ton of momentum. Nam is nearing 40 and is starting to not cause as much of a threat. Nam is known for his low volume but high knockout power at 125. Although it’s there his inability to set a pace loses him minutes. Maksum is better in every area outside of power. He could even knock Nam out due to the age. I like Maksum as he’s the busier fighter, faster, and his ground game is on another level.