Murad Ramazanov details Khabib Nurmagomedov mentorship, jump from ONE Championship to PFL

Murad Ramazanov might be a newer name to some North American viewers, but his credentials and trajectory solidify him as a legitimate pickup for PFL. Just ask Darren Till.

Born in Makhachkala, Dagestan, the same Russian hometown that grew Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev, it’s no surprise Ramazanov caught the MMA bug.

Wrestling in Greco-Roman, Ramazanov indulged in MMA training shortly before the country was captivated by the rise of Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC).

“I started attending classes to make sure I had no defense and nobody can jump me on the street to apply some simple stuff, so I can defend myself,” Ramazanov recently told MMA Junkie through a Russian interpreter. “I started attending extra classes and working on my chokes. The only chokes I remember I could do was playing video games. That was the only one, and what’s the use in that? Then I started applying it to real life.”

As Ramazanov’s skills grew, he was eventually adopted into the Nurmagomedov training room – a big feat for a young rising fighter. While he learned many lessons in one of the most legendary training environments in MMA history, Ramazanov singles out focus optimization as the biggest pickup.

“It was great motivation for me to end up in such a gym,” Ramazanov said. “Khabib was getting in his prime. I was fully aware he is one of the best. I’m lucky to train with people like him. Every day I was training, making sure not to miss any submission. I was trying to be perfect with everything. It was a perfect opportunity to learn as much as I can and improve myself. I was learning from that and getting a lot of motivation. I’m very thankful that I ended up training with them. These guys helped me become who I am.”

A decade-plus later from the start of his MMA journey, Ramazanov was one of ONE Championship’s top talents at middleweight. He picked up wins in the promotion over Myung Ho Bae, Hiroyuki Tetsuka, and Zebaztian Kadestam. Following a December 2022 no contest against Roberto Soldic, Ramazanov signed with PFL.

“Whenever I represent the league, I always want to stay active,” Ramazanov said. “I want to be the best. So with ONE, I fought everybody. I fought all the good opponents. Still, I was not able to get the belt and title shot, so I was just not sure if it was going the right way. With PFL, I just see it as a better opportunity for me now. I just feel like I can expand here and grow and have better opportunities, better opponents. Yeah, I’m going to put all of my efforts now in training and show and prove I’m the best in PFL.”

While nothing is finalized, Ramazanov indicated he’ll compete at welterweight for PFL – likely in the 2024 league format. No debut date or opponent is set yet, but Ramazanov likes his odds against any challenge placed in his path.

“I’m not going to hide it. My strong side is wrestling,” Ramazanov said. “That’s what I’m very comfortable with. But also, with the way I fight, I usually put on a lot of control and pressure. A lot of my opponents have a difficult time with that. I have pretty good cardio, so I always move forward. I put pressure. Another thing, I keep working on my striking. Now, everybody is going to be trying to be aware of my wrestling. I have a couple surprises coming in for them from the striking (and) punches. They will have to pay attention and I’ll try to make sure to keep putting a lot of pressure on them to the point they cannot resist. That is going to pretty much be my strategy.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie