This week we bring you a prospect report from a new CombatDocket.com writer, Tim Dunkedon, aka @stupidskeleton! (Quick round of applause!) He digs deep on a Russian WW fighter making waves with some amazing spinning kicks and KOs, and shows how this man is worthy of further scrutiny. Settle in for some great highlights!
Muslim Salikhov, nicknamed “King of Kung Fu”, is a 13-1 welterweight fighter fighting out of Buynaksk, Russia. (If you know how Buynaksk is pronounced please let me know?) He trains out of the Fighting Eagle gym along with fellow prospect Askar Askarov and former M1 welterweight champion Murad Abdulaev. His background is in Sanshou and he is well established there, becoming the first non-Chinese “King of Sanda” tournament winner and winning several other related tournaments.
Some quick stats:
- MMA Record: 13-1-0
- Nickname: King of Kung Fu
- Current Streak: 11 Wins
- Age: 33
- Weight Class: Welterweight
- Affiliation: Fighting Eagle
- Height: 5’11” (180cm)
- Fighting out of: Buynaksk, Russia
Salikhov was recently been put on everyone’s radar after knocking out Melvin Guillard (above) with a brilliant spinning hook kick in the Kunlun Fight promotion. However, this was not his first finish with a spinning kick. Previously, he had knocked out another UFC veteran, Ivan Jorge, with a spinning back kick that caught him on the chin, similarly to the Barao/Wineland finish. Incredibly, Salikhov has finished 4 of his last 6 fights with spinning back or hook kicks.
Salikhov is an extremely proficient finisher in general as he’s finished 12 of his 13 career wins and is currently on a streak of 10 first round finishes, which is nearly unheard of, especially at lower weight classes. His 2 submissions have come against low-level competition, but his strikes have finished many experienced fighters quickly.
Salikhov has shown other skills than his kicks in his finishes. In his recent fight against (I believe) Akoundou Epelet Evy, he was able to repeatedly take him down, with traditional takedowns, slams, and once even catching Evy’s kick and sweeping the other leg. After several takedowns he was able to quickly apply an arm triangle choke and force the tapout, shown in this mislabeled fight “vs Obera” below:
Previously he finished Filip Kotarlic in M1. In this fight, Kotarlic managed a brief takedown but Salikhov was able to bounce up very easily and then countered Kotarlic’s further wrestling attempts. Salikhov then starched Kotarlic with a single punch.
Salikhov’s sole career loss came early in his career against Kris Hocum. This fight took place back in 2012 for Beirut Elite Fighting Championship. Here, Salikhov defended a few takedowns early but Hocum was able to slip a spinning back kick attempt and secure a takedown that quickly got Hocum into full mount. Salikhov defended well for the position, but couldn’t escape and attempted to turn over, leaving his neck undefended and getting caught in an RNC. It seems likely looking at footage, and considering that the loss was fairly long ago, that Salikhov has improved in the fields he struggled with here since.