M-1 Champ Magomed Sultanakhmedov Would Welcome Bouts with Zuffa Fighters
By Kelsey Mowatt
In March, Magomed Sultanakhmedov introduced himself to many North American fans in memorable fashion, by stopping Tyson Jeffries with a vicious barrage of strikes live on the Showtime Network. Not only was it one of the 27 year-old-fighters highest profile wins, it earned Sultanakhmedov the M-1 Global middleweight crown.
“TV makes you famous so it was really important for me to have a good fight in the U.S. so American fans can like and remember me,” Sultanakhmedov told FCF when asked about the importance of his last victory. “The win over Jeffries is just another in in my fighting career.”
Sultanakhmedov has now gone 9-1 in his last ten fights, with his only loss during that stretch coming against former middleweight champ Rafal Moks. As a result of his recent successes, “The White Wolf” has become one of M-1 Global’s more notable fighters, and one would think that the chances of him appearing on another of the promotion’s upcoming Showtime cards is likely.
“I don’t know who my next opponent will be yet but I really want to fight in America again,” Sultanakhmedov noted (16-5), who has also competed for K-1 Hero’s and DREAM during his career. “I liked it there. I’d like to fight Alexander Shlemenko if the opportunity were to arise.”
Like Bellator’s Shlemenko, Sultanakhmedov’s striking abilities have drawn praise from fans and observers, but less is perhaps known about the Russian fighter’s wrestling and grappling skills.
“I am quite a good wrestler there just hasn’t been a need to show it yet,” said Sultanakhmedov, who has recorded eight stoppage wins since 2008. “For now I feel good standing up. But when there comes a fighter who will be a stronger striker, I will take him down and wrestle him.”
Of course, as M-1 Global introduces more of its established fighters to the North American MMA market, debate as to whether its champions can compete with fighters in Strikeforce and the UFC will continue.
“Of course I’d like to be one of those fighters,” said Sultanakhmedov when asked if he would like to fight the competition in Strikeforce and the UFC. “I think M-1 Global is developing fast so soon M-1 fighters will be able to compete with Zuffa fighters.”
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