11-0 in MMA and with an impressive three-fight win streak in ONE, Ramazanov is a real welterweight contender.
With a strong wrestling background, the 27-year-old is unbeaten as an amateur and knows that a win this weekend would propel him into the upper echelons of the division and into a title shot.
But who is Murad Ramazanov?
He grew up in Makhachkala, Russia, a now famous location for the production of top-class fighters. The youngest of three children, Ramazanov grew up well thanks to his family’s small manufacturing business, which mainly specialized in shoes.
He describes himself as a spoiled child, with a special bond with his father – and kept by a stricter mother.
Although his father wanted Ramazanov to follow in his footsteps as a businessman, there were early signs of a more combative future.
“My father was a huge influence on me – he was my rock, my support and my inspiration. One of my screen heroes was [Arnold] Schwarzenegger, but my real idol was Jean-Claude Van Damme – we had a tape of Bloodsport and I must have watched it a thousand times. I loved his technique, his kicks – it was spectacular.”
As a youth he fought in the streets, but not too seriously. He had tried his hand at boxing and soccer, but when he was introduced to wrestling by his father, he had an instant connection.
“He practiced it in the army while serving in Georgia, where it’s a very popular sport. I started
with boxing when I was 10 or 11 years old, then football for a year where the coaches weren’t that great. I didn’t want to start freestyle wrestling because the coaches brought up the screaming and hitting. But one morning when I was 12, my father took me to Greco-Roman wrestling, where there was a younger coach, he had a different approach to us. My father told me that I can train for a week and if I don’t like it, I can stop. But I got into it really quickly.”
Scouted by national coaches from a young age, Ramazanov won multiple junior and amateur awards and even moved to Moscow to continue his wrestling education — a difficult move for someone so family-oriented. After becoming disillusioned with a decline in coaching standards, he moved to Dagestan from Moscow and his transition into jiu-jitsu and MMA began.
“Because of my wrestling background, I got good at it straight away — they even thought I was
was a skilled fighter,” he said. “I joined a pro team under Yusup Saadulaev and there were so many talented guys among them! I thought I was good, but I was humbled. I got caught in triangles and arm bars which I didn’t like. I wanted to fight with MMA guys who were great on the floor and legs, but I didn’t have enough skill. I didn’t plan on going straight into MMA, but I quickly realized that I’m only good at one thing: wrestling. My new goal was to become a versatile fighter, learn how to use elbows and knees and how to shuffle wrestling and beating.”
All this at the age of 16.
Inspired by Khabib Nurmagomedov, he stayed true to his wrestling background and built his base from there.
“Khabib took his greatest asset – dominant wrestling – and built everything else out of it. I tried to emulate him. Without Khabib, I would have lost some of my core skills and tried to be a forward, a kickboxer,” he explained.
It worked. An unbeaten streak as an amateur eventually led to Ramazanov having some professional fights as a teenager. But a big win when he was 21 boosted his trajectory and in early 2020 we signed with ONE.
“Before I signed with ONE, I followed this organization for a while because I liked their strict rules. Guys from my gym like Marat Gafurov and Yusup Saadulaev fought there. When I went to Singapore for my debut I was impressed with how the staff treated us athletes and how we were greeted by CEO Chatri Sityodtong.”
And now, 3-0 in ONE, he’s sitting on the brink of a title shot he thinks he’s already earned, with Soldic standing in his way.
“I think I deserved it back then, but if the company’s management decided I had to break it up
Another guy on the way up, that’s ok. I think one more fight and I should have a shot at the title. I’ve already won three fights in ONE, enough for a title fight I think, and many pundits and MMA fans would agree.”
It’s a high stakes fight for both men that could steal the show this weekend.
ONE Fight Night 5: De Ridder vs Malykhin will be held on Saturday December 3rd at 5am GST at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila. This is a night not to be missed, so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App and go to watch.onefc.com now!