Olympic silver medalist Kadi Magomedov is the newest high-profile wrestler to hitch the roster at Bellator MMA as he begins his combating profession.
The 28-year-old Russian, who famously blanked four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake with an 11-0 shutout on the 2020 Olympic Video games in Tokyo, might be making the transfer to MMA whereas nonetheless competing in wrestling with hopes that he’ll add a gold medal to his resume in 2024.
Based on Magomedov — whose full identify is Mahamedkhabib Kadimagomedov — he’s been considering a future in MMA for fairly a while however clearly he all the time stayed targeted on his wrestling profession, particularly after capturing a silver medal on the Olympics.
“A very long time in the past, I thought of it this however now I feel is a good time to hitch MMA and battle in the perfect promotion on the earth,” Magomedov informed MMA Combating. “I’m very grateful for my supervisor and for Bellator giving me this chance.
“I’m not going to go away wrestling. I’m going to proceed competing in wrestling and MMA.”
Initially from Dagestan, Magomedov truly represented Belarus on the 2020 video games the place he defeated Dake in one of many largest surprises within the freestyle wrestling competitors after the Cornell graduate was a heavy favourite to make it to the finals. In the identical event, Magomedov defeated 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Frank Chamizo to make it to the finals.
Magomedov in the end misplaced to eventual gold medalist Zaurbek Sidakov, who’s presently ranked because the No. 3 pound-for-pound wrestler on the earth.
MMA ties run deep as Magomedov has a protracted historical past coaching with the Nurmagomedov household together with former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in addition to reigning UFC light-weight king Islam Makhachev. He’ll now be the newest fighter from that camp in search of to beat MMA with plans to battle within the featherweight division.
“I’m going to coach with the Nurmagomedov crew and within the Nurmagomedov faculty,” Magomedov stated. “I’ve skilled with these guys a very long time they usually give me loads of profit.
“I don’t need to rush and I don’t need to hurry up. I need to do some little bit of sparring and wrestling however I don’t like to attend loads. In all probability I’m going to battle quickly.”
Very like his teammates, Magomedov anticipates making a big effect in MMA as quickly as he makes his debut with hopes that he’ll carry gold again to Dagestan with him.
The truth is, Magomedov is already concentrating on one other Olympian because the gold normal that he hopes to set between wrestling and MMA.
“I’ve a dream to be No. 1 in wrestling and I need to be No. 1 in MMA,” Magomedov stated. “I need to beat [Henry] Cejudo’s file and I’m a bit of bit offended about him. I need to beat his file.
“Sure, I feel loads about this. All week I take into consideration this. I fall asleep and take into consideration this. That is my dream now.”