Russian athletes, from Dagestan in particular, are all the world can talk about in the wrestling realm of combat sports. Gadzhi Nabiev is a Dagestani wrestler who just earned his spot on the Russian World team last month. The former Junior World gold winner will represent his country in one of his sport’s largest stages.
Wrestling at 79 kg, Nabiev is comfortable at his weight. The lack of stress allows him to actually focus on wrestling instead of a grueling weight cut. “Under current regulations, 79 kg is suitable for my weight category. I do not have to drive and suffer with weight cuts.” His success in this weight class is apparent. Last November he came home with the silver at the U23 World Wrestling Championships in his weight class. In December, Gadzhi Nabiev also notched wins over Amkhad Tashukhadzhiev, Alan Zaseev, and Atsamaz Sanakoev.
All this success stems from building a great team, something which Russia does best. Gadzhi Nabiev has all the best tools and resources to work with at his camp. “At the training camp, I train with all the leading wrestlers who are members of the Russian national team,” says the Dagestani. “Most of all I train with Akhmed Gadzhimagomedov. He shares his experience with me, prompts and helps me in training.” Gadzhimagomedov, another Dagestan product, is out of competition until October due to his knee injury at the Euros, has a laundry list of accomplishments, including gold at the European Championships in 2018 and winning gold in Krasnoyarsk for the last four years in two different weight classes. It’s safe to say Gadzhi Nabiev has the best to learn from.
It’s not just teammates, but coaches as well that make a wrestler great. One cohesive unit. Nabiev believes he has the best team in both teammates and coaches. He might be right. “I am coached by the Aliyev family; the father Imamurza Aliyev, and the son Ali Aliyev. They work on me. Imanmurza raised many Olympic and World champions.”
Ultimately, though, you can have the best team, the best coaches, and live in the best country for wrestling in the world. But if you do not put in the hard work, you get nowhere. Gadzhi Nabiev is a testament for that. “My success consists of hard work, perseverance and patience.”
Looking Forward, Future Matchups
Nabiev has accomplished a decent amount thus far. But he has bigger plans than what he’s already done. “The biggest achievement is the championship of Russia, which I won and a trip to U23. The plan so far to win the Master of Sport and Championships. I have not yet thought what I will do in the future, I can’t say exactly.” One thing is on Gadzhi’s mind – win.
On August 17th, Kyle Dake and Alex Dieringer will wrestle off for the sport on the United States World team. The two will go at it in the 79 kg weight class and Nabiev has a lot to look forward to in this matchup. “Dake is the world champion and I think he has a little advantage in terms of experience,” says Gadzhi Nabiev. “But after the injury I do not know how he will be ready. Dieringer is also a good experienced fighter, the carpet will show which of them will win, but for me there is no difference which of them to fight.” In other words, bring all challengers. Nabiev welcomes the test. He’s been tested his whole life.
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