Czech and Uzbek talent Makhmud Muradov came back from a 13-plus month layoff this past weekend at UFC 257, where he picked up a third-round knockout victory over The Ultimate Fighter 23 winner Andrew Sanchez.
This victory marked his second consecutive third-round knockout victory in a row, as he did the same to Trevor Smith in December of 2019. That knockout was far more vicious, it literally face-planted Smith, but this one was every bit as impressive.
Sanchez was coming off a first-round KO victory over Wellington Turman, a very impressive performance of his. He ran right through Turman, who’s a very bright young prospect with a lot of hype behind him.
Muradov was able to use his superior striking to pick Sanchez apart for most of the bout. Sanchez wasn’t looking bad himself, as he too was landing some of his own strikes. The longer the fight went on however, the more successful Muradov became with his strikes.
This led up to him landing a vicious overhand right about half-way through round three, stunning Sanchez badly. Muradov followed this up with a flying knee, along with a barrage of punches, and that was it, the fight was stopped at 2:59 of round three.
This marks Muradov’s third victory inside the octagon, and he’s now won his last 14-straight, 11 of those coming via knockout. He’s now been awarded the Performance of the Night bonus in his last two fights, and we can only hope he gets in there again soon so we can see more of his performances.
Muradov is also a seven-time champion across four different MMA promotions, and is also a Junior National K-1 Kickboxing Champion. This would be to thank for his elite striking and distance management skills.
This begs the question, what’s next for Makhmud Muradov? Well, he was scheduled to face Kevin Holland back in the end of October, but was forced out of the bout with a positive Covid-19 test.
That’d be a great fight to see still. After Holland knocked Jacare Souza out, most would want him to be facing a top contender next, so it seemed the Muradov match up didn’t make as much sense anymore. However, after a beautiful performance like this, this fight makes sense again.
Sean Strickland has been on fire lately, returning to the octagon after a two-year break last year, going 2-0 in 2020. One of those victories was via TKO over Brendan Allen, who’s been mauling everybody he’s fought so far.
Allen even submitted Holland, that kid’s a stud, and Strickland ran right through him, becoming the first man to finish him with strikes. Omari Akhmedov is also a great match up for Muradov.
Akhmedov just submitted (arm-triangle choke) Tom Breese on Wednesday at UFC Fight Island VIII. This would be a great battle between two elite talents from the eastern side of the world.
Lastly, is a bout against former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who’s coming off a unanimous decision victory over Akhmedov. That was back in August, and he hasn’t fought since.
Weidman did look a little better than his recent self in that bout, and he’s looking to climb back to the top of the division.
Muradov certainly deserves a big name next, this 30-year-old assassin is for real! With him standing 6’2” with a 75.5” reach, he’s a dangerous match up for anyone at 185 lbs.
What’s next for UFC middleweight prospect Makhmud Muradov?