Aliaskhab Khizriev, also known as “The Black Wolf,” is making waves in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight division with an impressive 12-0 record. The Russian is scheduled to take on Makhmud Muradov in a featured UFC Fight Night 235 attraction on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Beyond his stellar statistics and dominant performances, here are five things you might not know about this rising mixed martial arts star
Khizriev’s journey to the UFC was marked by explosive beginnings. In 2018, he claimed the interim welterweight title at Fight Night Global 85 in Moscow by knocking out Rousimar Palhares in 58 seconds. Fast forward two and a half years, and he secured a UFC contract by dispatching Henrique Shiguemoto in just 50 seconds on Week 6 of Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020.
Known for his suffocating wrestling style, Khizriev excels in chain wrestling, particularly with his single-leg takedowns. His patient top game allows him to methodically work through opponents’ guards. Should they attempt to create distance, Khizriev unleashes a barrage of heavy blows to further assert dominance. His grappling prowess is complemented by excellent submission defense and exceptional clinch work, making him a formidable force on the ground.
While Khizriev’s southpaw standup game may be rough around the edges, it is by no means lacking in effectiveness. Utilizing low kicks, head kicks, knee stomps and powerful overhand lefts, he strategically inflicts damage and sets up his wrestling attacks. Although his standup might not be top-tier, his wrestling alone positions him as a valuable addition to the UFC’s middleweight division.
Despite his impressive record, Khizriev has spent very little time in the cage since 2017. He has only fought on three occasions since then, with two of those victories wrapping up inside the first minute. This scarcity of recent fights leaves room for speculation about how he has evolved as a fighter.
Beyond his achievements in the Octagon, Khizriev holds degrees in finance and management. This educational background adds depth to his persona, highlighting his commitment to personal development beyond the confines of combat sports.