Magomed Sultanakhmedov’s Second Shot at the M-1 Middleweight Strap

Magomed ‘the White Wolf’ Sultanakhmedov overcame a haunting defeat and returned to grace in front his home country crowd with a commanding performance over Plino Cruz at M-1 Challenge XXIII. Walking away with the card’s Fight of the Night top honour, Sultanakhmedov proved he’s still one the promotion’s most-feared warriors and has been awarded with his second opportunity to seize the middleweight championship belt; Sultanakhmedov next faces Tyson ‘The Anti-Hero’ Jeffries inside the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia at M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Touching gloves to open his bout with Cruz, the pair commenced to trade standing up until Sultanakhmedov executed a text-book hip throw that took Cruz to the mat where he was forced to defend from his back. Working through side control, half guard and full guard, Sultanakhmedov postured up to rain shots through Cruz’s defense all the while with Cruz working furiously to lock in submissions including a nearly secured triangle and kimura. After being stood up by the referee, the decorated strikers opted to close out the round standing up.

To start the second frame, the fighters once again touched gloves as a sign of mutual respect and sportsmanship and quickly engaged in trading stinging leg kicks. Setting up Cruz with perfect head movement, Sultanakhmedov nailed a same-hand jab-left-hook combination that stunned and hurt Cruz who backed off immediately to create space. Stuffing Cruz’s subsequent takedown attempt easily and smelling blood, Sultanakhmedov pounced on Cruz while he was still on the canvass and fired a barrage of unanswered, rapid fire rights until the referee stepped in to halt the bout.

With the much needed victory, Sultanakhmedov shook off the dastardly loss to Rafal Moks and is ready for what the 2010 M-1 Selection – Americas tournament winner, Tyson Jeffries holds in store as he aims to lay grips to the middleweight strap for the second time. His wealth of experience and refined technique may have him marked as the favourite to win the bout against Jeffries but it’s imperative that Sultanakhmedov doesn’t overlook this as a free pass inside the ropes; he’s entering the ring on short notice and must take Jeffries’ relentless fighting style seriously if he intends to make this championship outing a success.

Since making his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2003, Magomed “The White Wolf” Sultanakhmedov has quietly amassed a respectable 15-5 record battling in the European circuit; it won’t be long before the North American mixed martial arts fan base witnesses his stealth submission skills and laser-guided precision striking.

Hailing from Tula, Russia, this 26 year old middleweight possesses vast experience and refined technique, making him the primary favourite to win his weight class in the 2010 M-1 Selections Eastern European tournament. He delivered on these expectations and won the M-1 Selection brackets in July with a devastating TKO victory over Alexei Belyaev.

Sultanakhmedov is a world champion in karate and kick-boxing, as well as a veteran tournament participant for M-1, Dream and K-1 Hero ’s. Many have compared his style to the great Mirko Cro Cop of the past; a great left-handed fighter with a sound defense and able to deliver deadly kicks at will.

To culminate a successful 2009, ‘The White Wolf’ won the M-1 Challenge international tournament with a text-book demolishing of Dmitry Samoilov, leading his team to the Champions of Russia title.

With his consistent success in the ring and displays of athletic supremacy, Magomed Sultanakhmedov has also cemented himself as one of the stars in M-1 Global’s and Russia’s inaugural venture into mixed martial arts reality television’s M-1 Fighter. His knockout victory over the talented Pavel Kusch early in the third round has fans speaking highly of this warrior who is clearly looking to continue his winning ways.

Knowing Jeffries and his camp have been studying tape and taking extremely close notes, Sultanakhmedov will be devising a game plan to combat the Team Quest protégé’s exceptional wrestling, boxing and defensive skills. The feared Russian striker will have 25 minutes to tactically tear apart his opponent in front of a capacity crowd and to those tuning in from across North America.

M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa airs LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

About William Smith

After watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championship I became instantly hooked. I've been a huge fan of the sport of MMA ever since. Haven't missed a UFC event & thanks to fight pass I've witnessed some of the all time greatest fighter & athletes the sport through Pride, Strikeforce, WEC, Glory, Pacrase, EliteXC.............. I resently joined MMA-paradise.com & will use this site to continue to bring the latest news from the world of MMA to all our loyal followers.