Saygid Izagakhmaev, who trains out of Khabib Nurmagomedov's Eagles MMA Gym, will be making his promotional debut against James Nakashima at ONE: Heavy Hitters on January 14.
In a report by Sports Illustrated, Nurmagomedov revealed he will be cornering Izagakhmaev and expressed his excitement at visiting the Lion City.
“I’m going to be with him in Singapore and it’s going to be my first time there. I’ve been almost everywhere around the world and Singapore is one of the countries where I want to go.”
Izagakhmaev holds an impressive professional record of 19-2. While some could argue that it’s only numbers, Khabib Nurmagomedov offered a first-hand perspective of just how good the 27-year-old is.
“I grew up with Saygid the last like 15 years. He began training with my father when he was very young. I know him very, very well and we have a little bit similar fighting style after training together for so long.
“Grappling, wrestling, clinching, how we move and use our body and our hips on the ground, we do a lot that is similar. He’s a little bit taller than me and has very good boxing, with real good technique. His elbow and knee, they’re very good, too. So we have a similar base, but he is different from me, too.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov looks forward to witnessing the level of competition in ONE Championship
The Eagle Fight Club product’s first test on the global stage of ONE Championship is lifelong martial artist James Nakashima from the United States.
Following an unbeaten run across several organizations, Nakashima brought his talents to the Asian promotion and did not disappoint, racking up three straight wins in the welterweight division.
However, Khabib Nurmagomedov is confident that Izagakhmaev is the better fighter between the two.
“Nakashima is a good fighter and I’ve watched a couple of his fights. He has good wrestling but I don’t think Nakashima can control Saygid.”
Izagakhmaev is the first fighter from Eagle Fight Club to join the promotion, but Khabib Nurmagomedov hinted that he might not be the last.
“I know [ONE Championship owner] Chatri [Sityodtong] and we have a good relationship. My manager Ali [Abdelaziz] and I talked for a long time and I was thinking about ONE Championship. From my school, we didn’t have a fighter there, but we have a good opportunity now. That’s why we signed with ONE and we’re very happy.”