Adlan Amagov started out his MMA career as a light heavyweight back in 2007. Now, six years later, he feels as though he has found a natural division – at welterweight. Amagov will make his 170-pound debut against Chris Spang next month at UFC on FUEL TV: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi.
This will make Amagov’s (11-2-1) Octagon debut, as well, after going 3-1 under the Strikeforce banner. The decision, as he told FightLine.com recently, was one made years in the making.
“I think that welterweight is the right place for me as I was always under weight while fighting in light heavyweight and middleweight,” he said. “I usually weight around 190, so I never cut much for middleweight. My coaches (Greg) Jackson and (Mike) Winkeljohn, as well as management team, have suggested 170 for a while. I think it’s the right place for me.”
Amagov, who is just 26 years old, comes from a fighting family, as both his brothers – Musa and Beslan – compete in MMA. He made his U.S. debut with a decision victory over Ronald Stallings in 2011 before knocking out Anthony Smith later that year.
In 2012, Strikeforce paired him with former champion Robbie Lawler and Amagov was defeated via first round TKO, but he responded to finish Keith Berry to close out the year. That was his last fight, almost eight months ago.
“I have been training and working with Winkeljohn on my striking (since last fighting),” Amagov said. “I think this fight will be on the feet. I see a lot of opportunities for me in this fight.”
Joining the welterweight division could provide plenty of Top-10 foes for Amagov to collide with, as the weight class is at its deepest in recent memory. The recent UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz card boasted six of the top 170-pound fighters in the world, and the newcomer took notice.
“Welterweight is loaded with good fighters,” Amagov said. “(Johny) Hendricks was very impressive on his feet and it was a good fight between him and (Carlos) Condit. Carlos is an amazing fighter, very tough. (Georges St-Pierre) did his thing and once again proved that he is a true champion.”
The Russian contingent has made quite the impact in the UFC and Bellator over the past year, as Amagov is joined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Azamat Gashimov in the Octagon, while Shahbulat Shamhalaev will compete for the Bellator featherweight title on April 4.
“There are a lot of talented Russian fighters who were unknown for quite some time,” Amagov said. “A lot more fighters will come to the UFC and Bellator, thanks to my manager Sam Kardan.”