“Suddenly Everything Seemed Possible” – Murad Ramazanov Reflects On His Road To MMA Success


Murad Ramazanov is another elite product of Dagestan’s mixed martial arts scene who has his sights set on a ONE world title, and he could be one step closer to promotional gold if he defeats one of the hottest MMA prospects in the world today.

The 27-year-old takes on Roberto Soldic in the Croatian’s promotional debut at ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin, and a win over “Robocop” could potentially make Ramazanov the top contender in the welterweight division.

Although he has a tough challenge ahead, the soaring Russian is ready to make a statement when he steps into the Circle at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

Before he takes on Soldic on Friday, December 2, live in prime time in the US, hear how Ramazanov’s competitive spirit was forged at one of combat sports’ greatest hubs. modern.

A happy childhood in Dagestan

Dagestan’s tough terrain breeds tough people, but Ramazanov admits he was one of the luckiest in his region growing up.

He came from a close-middle-class family in the capital of Makhachkala, where his father ran a successful shoe business and his mother looked after him and his siblings.

Ramazanov says:

“I grew up in a wealthy family, the youngest of three children. I have a brother and a sister. I was a late child. The age difference [between me and] my sister is 15, and with my brother, 16. Of course, I was spoiled as a youngest.

“I was a naughty kid and a bit arrogant, and my parents let me get away with it a lot. But my parents gave me a good foundation in life. I understood early in life what was right and which was wrong. They taught me to treat others with respect.

With the sea and the mountains close at hand, Ramazanov grew up both outdoors and on the streets, where he could burn off his energy.

However, things weren’t so great when he was sitting in a classroom, but luckily his love for physical activity helped him find a purpose to pursue in life.

He says:

“I was playing outside with friends. We had sleepovers, played football, watched movies, sometimes we argued. I was wrestling in the street with other boys, it was normal.

“I wasn’t a very good student because when I was bored I couldn’t sit still and be diligent and learn. When I was bored, I couldn’t make an effort. It’s good that I found my place quite early in the sport.

From boxing to wrestling and beyond

Before finding his passion in wrestling, Ramazanov started out in boxing. Having learned “the sweet science” at the age of 10, he won a few regional accolades before stepping away from the sport.

With an admittedly short attention span, he grew bored and lost the love for boxing training, but he wasn’t quite ready to take up the local hobby of freestyle wrestling either, despite his former wrestling father trying to push him in that direction.

Ramazanov says:

“Until I was 12, my dad couldn’t get me into a wrestling gym, even though I was still physically fit.

“Freestyle wrestling is the number one sport in our region. Many Olympic champions come from the region. But at that time, I didn’t want to do it because of the way old school coaches were with their students.

“They could beat them with a rope, be very rude, shout, pull their ears. I was not used to this kind of treatment. My father raised me only by example and conviction. He always treated himself and others with respect.

However, a new coach soon piqued Ramazanov’s interest in Greco-Roman wrestling, and it was through this new mentor that he found his calling in combat sports.

Motivated by a coach who resonated with him, the young Russian had an obvious aptitude in his new venture and won numerous regional, national and international competitions.

He says:

“When I was 12 my dad took me to Greco-Roman wrestling where there was a younger coach. He had a different approach. My dad told me I could train for a week and that if I didn’t like it, I could quit, but I really got into it very quickly.

“[Greco-Roman] the wrestling classes were completely different. My new coach, Ponomarev, was able to explain everything in a semi-playful way. He was able to find a key for each of us.

The transition to MMA

Ramazanov’s wrestling success caught the eye of scouts at a famous sports boarding school in Moscow, and he made the big decision to step away from home to give his all.

However, when things took a turn for the worse, he returned home and found the style that would completely change his life.

Ramazanov says:

“When I came back from Moscow and took a summer break from the Greco-Roman wrestling club, I decided to join my friends for grappling and jiu-jitsu lessons.

“I was walking past their gym on my way to wrestling. Yusup Saadulaev was a trainer, many MMA fighters frequented the gym, and I could see them training through the big front window. I always thought it would be interesting to train there.

However, mixed martial arts did not have the same prestige as Greco-Roman wrestling, and Ramazanov’s parents wondered if it was the right decision for him, but he had already fallen in love with the sport and he didn’t. there was no turning back.

He says:

“In general, my father was supportive and believed in me, but there were times when I felt like [my parents] left me. I don’t blame them – I used to lose a lot.

“My mother cried sometimes when I came home with a completely blue forehead from the beatings. She said, ‘Have you stopped fighting to get hit on the head like that?’ My parents couldn’t even understand what I was doing, they didn’t believe me, but I told them I was going to achieve something.

“At that time, my cousin Timur Valiev [and future MMA World Champion] Habib [Nurmagomedov] started to become famous. They were my models. Watching them made me believe in building a career like them. Suddenly, anything seemed possible.

Get on the big stage

It wasn’t their first choice, but Ramazanov’s parents got on board when they saw how much their son loved MMA and how successful he was starting to be.

After moving through the professional ranks, the Dagestan athlete worked his way to a perfect 8-0 roster to earn his call to The Home of Martial Arts, and it vindicated his choices when he entered the circle for the first time.

Ramazanov says:

“Before signing with ONE, I had followed them for a while because I liked the strict rules and because guys from my club like Marat Gafurov and Yusup Saadulaev were fighting there.

“When I went to Singapore for my debut, I was impressed with how the staff treated us, the athletes, and how we were welcomed by [ONE Chairman and CEO] Chatri Sityodtong.

Now it’s the ONE Welterweight World Championship that’s at the top of his agenda, and an impressive performance against Soldic would put him in line for a shot at new king, Christian Lee.

Possessing a perfect 3-0 record in the promotion, Ramazanov feels set to go for gold now, but he’s also happy to make his undeniable point by knocking out one of the sport’s hottest properties during of his next outing.

He says:

“I think I deserved [the World Title shot after beating Zebaztian Kadestam]but if the management of the company decided that I had to crush another guy on the way to the top, that’s fine.

“I think one more fight and I should have a shot at the title.”

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