Elite Chechan prospect Magomed Bibulatov won his UFC debut in pretty dominant fashion earning the unanimous decision victory against Jenel Lausa.
Bibulatov was ranked MMASucka’s #2 prospect for 2017.
From start to finish Bibulatov had Lausa’s number heavily outlanding him. He also landed two takedowns, made several passes on the ground, and was the much more active fighter throughout.
Bibulatov is now 14-0 and came to the UFC with a lot of hype. He’s a former WSOF Flyweight champion, he’s won gran-prix tournaments in Russia, and he holds wins against former UFC talent Taylor Lapilus and Russian prospect Said Numagomedov.
In a division starving for opposition to dominant champion Demetrious Johnson, Bibulatov is a guy who could be fast-tracked to a championship fight. He is that good of a fighter. It’s just a matter of time before we start seeing him test his skills against the elite of the division.
Unfortunately Bibulatov is coming into the UFC with a lot of controversy. The day before his UFC 210 bout against Lausa, “the Buffalo News” ran a story regarding Bibulatov’s ties to Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.
“Bibulatov in a preflight questionnaire listed his hero as Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya, a man linked to war crimes, assassinations and kidnappings, a man who believes in sharia law, that women should be beaten if they don’t cover their heads, a man who claims America was behind the Boston Marathon bombing-” Tim Graham of The Buffalo News.
Magomed has had dinner with Kadyrov and has been photographed with him on occasions. He trains at Kadyrov’s high-level gym (Akhmat Fight Club) and hhas fought for his promotion (Akhmat MMA.)
Kadyrov has paid elite fighters in the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Frank Mir, and Chris Weidman large sums of money to make public appearances.
It’s unfortunate that this is the story instead then a new high-level Russian prospect dominating in his debut, but It is understandable given Kadyrov is a controversial figure to be aligned with.
Perhaps this will shine a light on to a lot of other fighters who have taken money and made public appearances with Kadyrov. It seems unfair just to villianize Bibulatov when a lot of fighters are involved with him.
This is nothing new to the fight business. Boxing in itself was very much involved with the mob in the 1900’s. We’ve seen a lot of shady characters in the business.
Just look at Don King who was one of the biggest promoters in the history of the sport. King not only had deep mob ties, but he also stomped a man to death. He shot and killed another man 13 years earlier, but that was ultimately deemed justifiable homicide.
This isn’t to suggest that King is on the same level of bad as being aligned with a dictator like Kadyrov, but rather to shed light that a lot of bad people are involved within sports, Boxing and MMA to be specific.
Maybe it’s a good thing people are starting to see this and learn about what is going on in Chechnya as well as watching out for who fighters are aligning themselves with.
But if we put the whole Kadyrov saga aside, we can see that Bibulatov is a real talent. He’s a fine addition to the UFC flyeweight division. The UFC is also rumored to have signed Joseph Morales, so we could see very good new blood in that division with Morales and Bibulatov.
Both these guys seem to have elite skillsets. It will be very exciting to watch them grow and challenge the best of the UFC.