.@makaev_70: Jack of All Trades #mmaTweet
Russia is the heart of a recent surge of MMA, wrestling and sambo talent. With so much coming out of the country, there are loads of fantastic competitors to be found. Gamzatbek Makaev is one of those talents not yet discovered my mainstream fans of combat sports. But the young man, who is only 20 years old. He’s not yet professional in mixed martial arts but he’s already amassed a host of accomplishments at a young age.
Starting off our interview, Makaev wanted to announce himself to the world. He did with authority.
“I’m Gamzatbek Makaev. I participate in competitions a lot, in all kinds of sports; wrestling, MMA, grappling, sambo, and kickboxing. I’ve been training since 11 years old. My father brought to me sports. I started freestyle wrestling for 9 years every day, in MMA and grappling for 4 years. I am already the World Champion in MMA in 2019 in Italy, the two time champion of Russia in MMA in 2017 and 2019 and champion of Russia in grappling 2019. I am the champion of the Chechen Republic in freestyle wrestling from 2016 in Grozny. I’ve achieved Master of Sports of Russia in MMA, Master of sports of Russia in grappling and now am a candidate for master of sports in freestyle wrestling.”
Being in ground zero for the best wrestlers in the world, Gamzatbek Makaev says Russia’s concentration of wrestling is due to its applicability in other sports. Being the best wrestler in Russia is tough with how much better they are than everyone else. Wrestling, however, translates over to MMA and sambo well.
“In Russia, wrestling is the main fight here. If there is a good wrestler in MMA, then half the battle is won. In wrestling, that you need physics, endurance, speed, thinking. Those who switched from wrestling to MMA can easily adjust the need to improve the impact technique here.”
Gamzatbek Makaev 2020 Plans On Hold
Gamzatbek Makaev had big plans in 2020. But due to COVID-19, his career was pushed back a bit. Makaev hasn’t stopped training, however. He continues to try to make himself better as a fighter and athlete.
“I had big plans in 2020, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the plans stopped a little. I train every day on the street with a partner, when others are resting, there is a big plus.”
His goal is the UFC. Makaev wants to compete in mixed martial arts despite his success in so many other sports. He wanted to join the promotion soon, possibly through the Contender Series, but the pandemic pushed that back as well. Makaev hopes to turn pro soon and get with a big promotion.
“We’ll find out the soon with my UFC goal. I am considering a lot of options, and right now I am speaking with top organizations. I’ll be able to speak a little more among the fans, it will be seen later on.”
The pandemic did give Makaev time to train, but also time with other things as well. “At the expense of the pandemic, it was time to study, spend more time with family.”
Once the pandemic lifts, Makaev plans to training in the best place in the world. He says, “I intend to go to the training camp in Dagestan. If it doesn’t work out then I will prepare in Moscow.”
While the UFC is Makaev’s goal, he’s taking his time at taking the step to professional status.
“So far, I’m not a professional right now in MMA, but soon you will see me in a big arena. I’ll show myself a little more among amateurs. It was the competition that helped me all this. In all competitions it is necessary to fight; in MMA, grappling, sambo. Among professionals it will not be easy.”
Predicting Khabib vs. Gaethje
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje are scheduled to unify their belts at UFC 253 in September. With all of Russia behind Khabib, the world has eyes on the biggest fight since Khabib dismantled Conor McGregor. Gamzatbek Makaev has his chips on Khabib as well.
“I think Khabib will win this fight. He has a very good wrestling technique in the cage, and Gaethje is also a fighter, but he is not as good in the cage as Khabib. The cage and the mat are different things, Khabib will win by decision.”