Islam Sniped Volk: Abdulmanap’s Legacy

Islam Sniped Volk: Abdulmanap’s Legacy

Ozed Opia



When asked about Islam's strategy against Alex Volkanovski, almost the whole world said the same thing: "Take him down, keep him down, drown him." That has been the age-old plan against superior strikers. But what we witnessed against Volkanovski was a departure from this tried and true strategy. With a brutal (still suffering from flashbacks) head kick KO, landing flawlessly above Volkanovski’s guard, Islam’s striking prowess was on full display.


Diving deeper, we notice a pattern. The saying goes, "Show me your friends, and I'll tell you who you are." Let’s put this into perspective. Islam trains at the esteemed camp once helmed by Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. This camp produced arguable MMA GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev, bantamweight stand out Usman Nurmagomedov, and Bellator Lightweight Champion Umar Nurmagomedov. It's easy to presume Islam's striking might be compromised due to his sole loss coming by knockout and Khabib's grappling-centric style — as he has been billed the second coming of Khabib. However, his recent performances defy that assumption. Two back-to-back dominant standup performances against who many believed to be the pound for pound King, highlight Islam's evolved and almost confusing Muay Thai skills.


Let’s take a step back. Consider Umar, for instance. While possessing elite grappling, he often leans on his powerful kicking arsenal, sometimes relying almost solely on it. Usman's striking? It's art in motion. From question mark kicks that lead to title retention, to devastating clinch knees that lead to finishes. He displays Muay Thai proficiency at its finest. Islam's decimation of Volkanovski with that precise head kick isn't an anomaly; it's a testament to the evolving strike game in Dagestan's MMA realm.


The phrase "Iron sharpens iron" resonates deeply here. As Islam mentioned post-UFC 294, their camp’s internal competition is deep and fierce. With each sparring session and technique shared, they're honing each other to perfection. Speculations once deemed hyperbolic, like Islam being a superior version of Khabib, now seem grounded in reality.


Skills apart, there’s another element crucial in MMA: Fight IQ. The way Khabib and Islam dissect opponents is nothing short of genius. Their grappling isn’t just about takedowns and control; it’s a cerebral endeavor. They present foes with complex problems, anticipate decisions, and capitalize even before moves are made. Combine this high Fight IQ with striking, and the outcome is what we witnessed against Volkanovski. After his head kick had been blocked numerous times by Volk, Islam exploited a tiny vulnerability, a space above Volk’s guard, and the result was devastating.


What does this evolution mean for Islam? He's not just a grappler anymore; he's a dual threat. He’s staked his claim, out-striking the best in consecutive bouts. From the looks of it, he’s on track to becoming the most skilled fighter in the UFC's storied history.


For the MMA landscape, this evolution paints a vivid picture. Previously wary of Dagestan’s grappling juggernauts, now there’s a more rounded fear: Dagestan's MMA dominance. The four horsemen, as they seem, have changed the game, bringing Abdulmanap's legacy to the forefront. His vision, a blend of grappling mastery and striking prowess, is the new paradigm. Opponents aren't just wary of being taken down; now, they have to fear kicks and punches from unexpected angles.


In conclusion, the MMA world is witnessing a seismic shift. Dagestan, under the shadow of Abdulmanap's genius, isn't just producing world-class grapplers; it’s ushering in a new breed of fighters – versatile, cerebral, and deadly. The MMA community needs to recalibrate its strategy, not just for grappling but for the full spectrum of MMA. The era of Dagestan’s dominance is here, and it’s multi-dimensional. It’s the evolution of MMA. 

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