Makhmud Muradov UFC

Aliaskhab Khizriev and Makhmud Muradov go head-to-head at UFC Fight Night 235 this weekend.

Aliaskhab Khizriev, 33, is an undefeated Russian fighter who punched his ticket to the UFC with a 1st round submission win on DWCS in 2020. It took him two years to make the walk to the UFC octagon, but he wasted no time in his debut, winning via second-round submission.

Makhmud Muradov is now 4-2 in the UFC after joining the promotion in 2019. His most recent fight against Bryan Barberena ended in a unanimous decision victory in July last year.

Betting Odds

Khizriev opened as a slight favorite and has held there during the UFC’s week off.

  • Aliaskhab Khizriev: -185 (BetUS)
  • Makhmud Muradov: +125 (MyBookie)

Fight Breakdown

Khizriev is an impressive, albeit older, prospect who the UFC is testing early in his tenure following a dominating win in his debut. Like many of his fellow countrymen, Khizriev is a strong wrestler who is capable of chaining multiple takedowns together as he looks to not only get the fight to the mat but get his opponent into a vulnerable position once down. He looks to wrestle immediately, rarely wasting time striking on the feet.

Once down, Khizriev is able to hold position well, while landing frequent ground and pound as he looks to open up a submission. His exhausting pressure and wrestling is a uniquely successful skillset in a division with few wrestlers.

However, Khizriev is a slow offensive striker with questionable hittability and defense on the feet. Despite fighting a – to put it nicely – inconsistent fighter in his debut, Khizriev was hit a few times as he looked for his takedowns. Getting hit isn’t too concerning, it is still a fight, but given the level of ability his opponent has, Khizriev’s hittability is a concerning flaw to track as he fights up and into the rankings.

Muradov is a sniper-esk counter striker who uses movement and speed well on the feet as he sets up his well-timed strikes. He is a naturally strong and athletic fighter with solid takedown defense and a reliable getup game that helps deter wrestlers and keep the fight where he is most comfortable- on the feet.

Against an impressive up-and-coming grappler, Muradov answered a lot of questions about his offensive, defensive, and scramble wrestling. When he’s offensive, Muradov mixes up his snappy kickboxing with well-timed wrestling with consistent success.

However, each round, inexplicably considering he has reliable cardio, Muradov will be inactive for minutes at a time. While he’s inactive, Muradov relies on his movement to play and keep away from opponents. This works against plodding and slow strikers but causes issues against persistent wrestlers.


Khizriev might be “that dude” and continue his run of dominating victories. But I’m skeptical. His skills are clearly present: strong wrestling, especially chain wrestling, a good submission game, and he’s heavy on top.

But, his striking and striking defense leave much to be desired, he moves slowly, and, most concerningly, his experience is unproven. His last three wins come over fighters with a combined record of 43-26 and his only UFC win comes over a fighter who is 10-9. I’m just not sold on Khizriev being a favorite over Muradov, whose striking is fast, wrestling is serviceable, and whose experience is superior.

Ultimately, I think there are too many unknowns for me to back the favorite here. So, give me Muradov at dog money. I expect him to stuff takedowns early and pull away late on the feet with better speed, variety, and consistency on the feet.

Best Bet: Muradov to win (+125 at MyBookie)

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