UFC on ESPN+ 3 Newcomer Breakdown: Ismail Naurdiev

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Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Grozny born, Austrian trained lightweight Ismail Naurdiev as he takes on Brazilian veteran Michel Prazeres at UFC on ESPN+ 3 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Ismail Naurdiev

Hometown: Salzburg, Austria
Age: 22
Height: 6’0”
Weight Class: Welterweight
Camp: ThaiboxingMMA Salzburg
Career Record: 17-2
Key Wins: Benny Alloway
Key Losses: None


“The Austrian Wonderboy,” Naurdiev has finished the last 16 fights that he’s won, with 11 knockouts and five submissions. Despite being just 22 years old, he has already been competing as a professional mixed martial artist for over six years, primarily fighting in his native Austria.


  • Strong, physical welterweight
  • Power in his hands
  • Capable of finishing in a variety of ways
  • Creative kicking game


  • Can keep his hands a bit low in the standing exchanges
  • Holes in his striking defense allow for a right-hand counter
  • Output tends to slow down after round one
  • Takedown defense is below average
  • Submission game is limited


Fighter Grade

Offensive Striking: C-
Striking Defense: D
Knockout Power: C
Athleticism / Speed: C-
Footwork: D+
Chin: C-
Offensive Wrestling: D+
Takedown Defense: D
Submissions: D
Conditioning: D
Intangibles: D+

Overall Grade: D+


Matchup with Michel Prazeres

Ismail Naurdiev makes his UFC debut against Brazilian Michel Prazeres. Naurdiev is a clear threat on the feet. His power punching and kicking prowess is capable of finishing a lot of fighters. Prazeres is a veteran and knows he needs to take Naurdiev to the mat to improve his chances of winning. Naurdiev struggles to defend takedowns and Prazeres is very good in top control. I expect a couple of nervous moments for Prazeres in the bout, but once he’s able to get Naurdiev to the mat, he’ll be able to slow him down and gain control of the fight. This sets up for another typical Prazeres performance and a decision victory. At the current price of -425, Prazeres is priced out of my price range, but I do expect him to get the job done.

UFC Ceiling

Ismail Naurdiev has a nice striking game and is capable of earning finishes with both punches and kicks. His competition prior to the UFC is poor and he has some defensive limitations which will block his progress to the middle part of the division. Naurdiev is capable of earning a few finishes in the UFC, but needs to round out his skill set if he wants to do anything beyond that.

Fight Film

Check out Ismail Naurdiev in some of his most recent fights:


Ismail Naurdiev vs. Ismael de Jesus


Ismail Naurdiev vs. Paulistenio Silva


Ismail Naurdiev vs. Georgi Valentinov

Written by Jay Primetown

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