ABU DHABI – Shara Magomedov’s highly anticipated UFC debut was a successful one.
The unbeaten Russian middleweight debuted Saturday against Bruno Silva on the preliminary card of UFC 294 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Magomedov won a 30-27 unanimous decision. He did so with his high-level striking, making up for the several times he was taken down by the Brazilian.
UFC CEO Dana White liked what he saw overall from Magomedov, but did have a critique.
“He’s a bad boy,” White told reporters at the UFC 294 post-fight press conference. “He’s tough. His first fight in the UFC, I don’t know how he’s from Dagestan and has zero takedown defense, but other than that he looked incredible. I like the kid.”
White is high on the potential for “Bullet” in the octagon, but says wrestling defense is a must he’s got to work on if he wants to unlock it at its fullest.
“I don’t know if he’s the future of the sport, but he’s definitely got a future here,” White said. “He’s got to work on his takedown defense. In the UFC, you have to have the full game. Obviously his kickboxing is nasty: Leg kicks, head kicks, elbows, obviously. But he’s got to tighten up his wrestling game, or he’ll get beat here very quickly.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.