Combat Docket Prospect Report: Askar “Bullet” Askarov

Askar “Bullet” Askarov is a flyweight fighter fighting out of Russia. He currently has a pro record of 9-0 and has finished all his fights, 6 by submission and 3 by T/KO. He fights out of the Fighting Eagle gym, previously mentioned as Muslim Salikhov’s gym in my prospect article on him. Askarov has fought mainly for Russian regionals, with one fight coming in an Azerbaijani regional, and has settled into Absolute Championship Berkut’s flyweight division. He was also born mostly deaf, becoming the only MMA fighter I know with such issues since Matt Hamill.

Some quick stats:

  • MMA Record: 9-0-0
  • Current Win Streak: 9
  • Nickname: “Bullet”
  • Age: 24
  • Weight Class: Flyweight
  • Affiliation: Fighting Eagle
  • Height: 5’6″ (167cm)
  • Fighting out of: Khasavyurt, Russia

Askarov has won and defended the ACB flyweight title at ACB 48, and being in ACB he has unsurprisingly faced high level competition, including veterans of major organizations who had a lot more experience than him. Askarov has shown unusual finishing ability for flyweight, finishing all 9 of his opponents. While he hasn’t quickly blitzed anyone really, he hunts for the finish throughout his fights and always gets it, and has shown an ability to finish late in fights and with rare submissions.

As Askarov has fought mainly for ACB, a fairly big promotion, it is easiest to find his fights after he started fighting there. Askarov’s first ACB fight was against Vyacheslav Gagiev, an underwhelming 1-2 fighter. Gagiev was the only fight Askarov has had in ACB against someone without a respectable record.

Askarov started off standing and avoided wild lopping swings from Gagiev. Gagiev eventually drove through with a powerful takedown but Askarov worked a kimura grip and came close to locking in a tight armbar. Gagiev struggled out and returned to his feet but Askarov pushed him up against the cage. They moved away from the cage and Gagiev tried to take Askarov down again but Askarov blocked it, took his back, and rained down ground and pound. Gagiev got up but ended up in a headlock while trying to take Askarov down. Askarov tried knees & a guillotine transition that brought Gagiev down though the submission was not applied. Askarov got a side back mount type ofposition and attacked with more hammerfists, while the referee did an excellent job in warning Askarov away from back of the head shots. Time expired for the first round. In the second round, the previously somewhat technical fight broke down into a brawl before Gagiev had another takedown attempt stuffed. Askarov got back mount with body scissors again and pounded on Gagiev until the referee stopped the fight.

Possibly the biggest fight of Askarov’s career to date was his 8th career fight against UFC veteran Jose Maria Tome for the ACB Flyweight Championship. The action started on the feet and went a bit slow. Tome pressured Askarov in the striking butstruggled to connect with any meaningful strikes. Askarov fired back and got a take down, but ended up in a heel hook attempt. Askarov escaped and when it back to the feet Askarov took Tome down again with a slam type maneuver. Tome struggled up but was taken down again and Askarov took his back with body scissors. Tome defended well but couldn’t get out while Askarov threw some strikes that didn’t appear too damaging until round 1 ended. Sergei Kharitonov appeared in the crowd looking bored.

Round 2 was again on the feet and Tome continued to miss with wild striking while Askarov got a leg kick in & took him down. Askarov got warned for apparent 12-6 elbows & they scrambled. It ended up back on the feet where Askarov damaged the leg of Tome more with kicks. Tome got taken down again, but scrambled to his feet fairly quickly. Tome tried to take Askarov down against the fence but couldn’t, then missed more wild strikes. The two started brawling and ome continued to look wild and ineffectual. This continued to the end of round 2.

Round 3 started on the feet again and Tome landed a straight punch that may have been his best shot up to that point in the fight. Tome threw more wild swings that missed while Askarov landed far more accurate and more damaging punches. A cut became clear on Tome’s face under the left eye. Tome got briefly tripped but got up. Tome started throwing noncommittal strikes to keep Askarov off him which worked but didn’t give him any effective defense. The two continued to exchange with few or no meaningful strikes landing until round 3 ended with a quick takedown by Tome.

Round 4 started with Tome getting taken down again but defended and went for a heel hook. It didn’t work and they scrambled. tome ended up in a front headlock and got hit with an uppercut when he got out. The standup went back to a slower pace with Askarov controlling the fight. This continued for a good while. Tome caught an Askarov kick but did nothing with it and got taken down. The fight returned to the feet and Tome continued to land virtually nothing until the timer ran down.

Round 5 had Tome come out faster and he landed a few heavier strikes. Askarov kneed Tome and almost got a standing guillotine. Tome popped out and leaned on Askarov against the fence, and then attempted to pressure him. However, Tome left himself open and got dropped with a right hand, then Askarov dove on him and landed in position to get an anaconda choke, which Tome tapped to. Askarov then celebrated by being carried around like a surfboard by his team.

This was practically a perfect performance, as Askarov took out a UFC veteran with far more experience than him and looked better than him everywhere. The fight was probably a blowout on the scorecards but Askarov didn’t play it safe and finished with both his striking & submission skills, and the anaconda isn’t too common of a submission, especially in round 5.

While I felt a bit too pressed for time to describe the whole fight, in Askarov’s next fight he scored an even rarer submission on another veteran with submission skills of his own, Anthony Leone. He achieved back mount and when the RNC wasn’t there Askarov unleashed a particularly hellish Twister that seemed to turn Leone’s whole spine sideways.

Overall Askarov is an incredible prospect. His stand up game is good, his submission skills are really impressive and he has gotten tough submissions on very good fighters. He also has a great amount of ability to finish for the flyweight division. Askarov is apparently fighting for Titan FC in August so he seems to be interested in fighting outside the European circuits. The UFC seems like the place Askarov has to end up, and I believe he’s ready to be signed now.

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