Two years back, Kadi Magomedov gained prominence on the world stage after defeating four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake and ending up with a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Now, the wrestler is all set to make his debut in mixed martial arts with Bellator.
Magomedov, whose full name is Magomedkhabib Zainudinovich Kadimagomedov, hails from Dagestan- which has produced some of the best fighters in MMA of all time, and the 28-year-old is the latest from the province to be stepping inside the cage.
I have a dream to be No. 1 in wrestling and No. 1 in MMA: Kadi Magomedov
While he has inked a deal with Bellator MMA, Magomedov will not cut ties with wrestling, as he eyes winning a gold at the 2024 Olympics. In Tokyo, he clinched the silver in the Men’s freestyle 74 kg category before losing the gold medal clash to Zaurbek Sidakov, and will be making his MMA debut as a featherweight.
“A long time ago, I thought about it this but now I think is a great time to join MMA and fight in the best promotion in the world. I’m very thankful for my manager and for Bellator giving me this opportunity,” said Magomedov in an interview with MMA Fighting, “I’m not going to leave wrestling. I’m going to continue competing in wrestling and MMA.”
Carrying the Magomedov family name, which has deep ties with the Nurmagomedov family, Kadi Magomedov actually represented Belarus at the Olympics, but will be training with the Nurmagomedov camp for his MMA career.
“I’m going to train with the Nurmagomedov team and in the Nurmagomedov school. I’ve trained with these guys a long time and they give me a lot of benefit,” Magomedov went on, “I don’t want to rush and I don’t want to hurry up. I want to do a little bit of sparring and wrestling but I don’t like to wait a lot. Probably I’m going to fight soon.”
In starting his MMA journey, Magomedov’s target is to break the record of another fellow Olympian- Henry Cejudo.
“I have a dream to be No. 1 in wrestling and I want to be No. 1 in MMA,” said Magomedov. “I want to beat [Henry] Cejudo’s record and I’m a little bit angry about him. I want to beat his record.
“Yes, I think a lot about this. All week I think about this. I go to sleep and think about this. This is my dream now,” he concluded.