Murad Ramazanov is the latest fighter to emerge from Dagestan. It is a region that produces elite mixed martial artists more consistently than arguably any other in the world.
Perhaps this reputation precedes fighters who are emerging from the Russian federal republic. Ramazanov was handed a very tough assignment on his ONE Championship debut, a match with former Legend FC welterweight champion Bae Myung Ho in Singapore last month.
It would be fair to say the impression that the 24 year old made at ONE: ‘King of the Jungle’ was a positive one. He needed less than five minutes to finish the Korean, making light of the less than ideal circumstances under which he accepted the fight,
“I took this bout on ten days’ notice and I had not sparred for three months prior to it. I showed some of my skills and a character (but) I am eager to get back into the cage and show what I can do after a full two month training camp.”
Whether Ramazanov would have had enough in the tank to go the distance we will never know. But the Russian likes to make a habit of finishing opponents early in the fight,
“I try and finish my opponents early if there is a chance. I’d rather try and drain my opponent quickly and then go for the finish. It can be via a choke or via ground strikes, it doesn’t matter how. I know many ways.“
Ramazanov names two key components which enabled him to earn the win,
“It is all about technique and a game plan. I know how to smother an opponent, how to make him weak. When we were on the ground I managed to get him with a knee to the head and my knee hurt so badly that I quickly realized he must have felt a lot worse.”
Ramazanov wasted no time in taking the fight to the floor. He quickly put Ho on his back and then kept him there for the entire duration of the fight, an experience the Korean can’t have enjoyed.
According to the Russian this was all part of the game plan,
“When you are both fresh at the start of the round it is risky to trade punches. I thought I’d be better off taking him down and making him tired, then I could still have a chance to show my striking skills in the second round, but my pressure was too much for him in the end.”
While Ho has been largely inactive of late due to military service he was one of the biggest names on the Asian MMA scene. During the last decade promotions all over the world have tried to secure his services and Ramazanov was impressed by his opponent’s resume,
“I looked up Bae Myung Ho and I thought, wow, here is a strong guy with a lot of experience! He has two and a half times more fights than me, he was a champion and he is well-rounded.”
Ramazanov’s wrestling and grappling were enough to secure him a stoppage win against a seasoned opponent. He is understandably happy with his performance but warns there is more to come,
“I am without a doubt a good striker and I hope the audience will see it in the future (but) I am very pleased. It was a good performance for a debut.”