UFC Fight Night 63 Newcomer Breakdown: Shamil Abdurahimov

shamil-abdurahimovPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Russian heavyweight Shamil Adburahimov as he takes on Timothy Johnson at UFC Fight Night 63.   Shamil Abdurahimov Hometown: Makhachkala, Russia Age: 33 Height: 6’3” Weight: 231 lbs. Weight Class: Heavyweight Camp: RKC Achmat Career Record: 15-2 Key Wins: Jeff Monson, Rameau Sokodjou Key Losses: None A five time Russian national champion in Wushu, Abdurahimov has been fighting a long time on the regional scene with as solid a resume as anyone who has only fought at heavyweight on regional cards. He’s one of the more experienced heavyweight fighters to join the UFC in the last few years. Strengths

  • Russian wushu champion
  • Good movement
  • At his best in the clinch
  • Improving wrestling game
  • Good cardio


  • Relies too much on single strikes vs. combination
  • Below average KO power for the division
  • When threatened with submissions, he has difficulties defending
  • No single skill that jumps out at you


Matchup with Timothy Johnson A matchup of two debuting heavyweights at UFC Fight Night 63. The American Tim Johnson has a 30 pound size advantage in this matchup, but that may not be the best thing against the much faster Shamil Abdurahimov. Johnson has shown to be a finisher thus far in his career winning all his bouts inside the distance. On the flip side, Abdurahimov has shown to be much more versatile in his attack with a combination of clinch striking, good footwork, and a decent top game. Abdurahimov does very well to avoid damage in his fights and that could prove critical against Johnson. The Russian has a solid gas tank and being able to take the American into deep waters should be the difference in this bout. Work rate should be the difference as Abdurahimov scores well later in the fight mixing in a couple takedowns to win a decision. Fight goes decision (+150) seems low for a heavyweight fight in MMA, but I believe it’s the right side in this case. UFC Ceiling Shamil Abdurahimov is a decent addition to the heavyweight division. He appears to be a durable fighter that is more than simply a strongman. The UFC has struggled the last couple years with adding noteworthy talent. Most of the fighters added into the division were overweight strongman who simply like to “stand and bang.” While Abdurahimov doesn’t have the knockout power that is needed to make a real impact in this division, he’s got striking defense and a decent enough all-around game to stay around in the UFC for a couple years. On cardio and durability alone, he may be able to stick around for a few fights in the UFC. In order to challenge for a spot in the rankings, he will need to prove he can finish opponents at this level. Fight Film Shamil Abdurahimov vs. Kenny Garner in M1 Challengers

  Shamil Abdurahimov vs. Tony Lopez

  Shamil Abdurahimov vs. Jeff Monson


Written by Jay Primetown

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