Saygid Izagakhmaev is out of work! The former ONE Championship fighter took to Instagram yesterday to declare that he is now officially unemployed.
The 29 year old is a fit and healthy young man who could surely do plenty of jobs. But Izagakhmaev is presumably looking to find employment in an MMA industry where he has already enjoyed sustained success.
Izagakhmaev holds a record of 22-2 that includes three ONE Championship wins. In his last outing he finished Asian MMA legend Shinya Aoki in just 96 seconds.
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Aoki has a few losses on his record but very few fighters have finished him as fast as Izagakhmaev did. In that respect the Russian belongs to an elite list of lightweights that includes Christian Lee, Eduard Folayang and Eddie Alvarez.
Izagakhmaev fought three times for ONE Championship in 2022. He has yet to compete this year and it seems that might be due to contract negotiations which were obviously unsuccessful.
Christian Lee had made it clear that he wanted to face Izagakhmaev but the Russian’s future clearly lies elsewhere. With such an impressive record he won’t be short of suitors.
I want to share news with you guys , my brother Saygid Izagakhmaev has signed a contract with @ONEChampionship and his next fight will be on December.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) October 12, 2021
Izagakhmaev signed for the promotion in October, 2021. The news was announced by his friend and trainer Khabib Nurmagomedov who remains one of the most famous mixed martial artists on the planet despite having retired.
Nurmagomedov must have excellent connections at the UFC where he was the lightweight champion and fought Conor McGregor twice. He would surely love to see another one of his proteges competing inside the octagon.
Reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is also part of Nurmagomedov’s team but the roster is surely big enough to accommodate both men. The PFL could be another destination and would provide Izagakhmaev with a much more straightforward pathway to winning a title.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 14, 2022
It isn’t clear how much effort ONE Championship made to keep Izagakhmaev. The promotion doesn’t seem to have any serious ambitions when it comes to expanding into Russia at present and Chatri Sityodtong has been outspoken on the subject of how strong the striking is in his promotion.
Izagakhmaev is a wrestler and while his style is clearly effective it is not exactly fan friendly. ONE Championship famously traded Ben Askren because the NCAA Division 1 champion and Olympian never made a big impression with the Asian audience, despite dominating the division.
The ONE Championship lightweight rankings have been temporarily removed, possibly due to the contract dispute with Izagakhmaev. That has now ended and Lee will have to look elsewhere for a challenger but the Hawaiian holds titles in two different divisions so he shouldn’t have to look too far.