PFL’s Magomed Magomedkerimov: ‘I’m the Next Champion’

Magomed Magomedkerimov

PFL Magomed Magomedkerimov returns to action August 13.

Suddenly PFL welterweight Magomed Magomedkerimov has a new opponent on the horizon, but something tells me he doesn’t have much to say about it.

Heavy traveled to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida to chat with Magomedkerimov at his training camp as he prepared for his appearance in the PFL’s upcoming welterweight tournament on August 13.

PFL Welterweight Semifinalist Magomed MagomedkerimovKelsey chatted with PFL welterweight Magomed Magomedkerimov who will face Joao Zeferino in the playoffs. Magomedkerimov talked about missing out on repeating his champ status in 2019 due to injury, his upcoming fight and being friends with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Enjoy! #realtalkwithkelseyandrachel #mma #pfl The PFL playoffs are on August 13, 19 & 27 and will…2021-07-22T23:00:44Z

Magomedkerimov is 9-0 in PFL fights across his career, but he didn’t have much to say about continuing his dominance in 2021.

Heck, he didn’t have much to say about anything.

Part of that, of course, is that English is a second language for Magomedkerimov. But even when speaking through his Russian translator, Magomedkerimov was a man of few words.

“I feel good. I’m ready. I’m the next champion.”

That’s the basic message Magomedkerimov wanted to communicate, and it’s something he’s been communicating without words inside the PFL’s cage, too.

Magomedkerimov’s Connection to ‘The Eagle’

Magomedkerimov is connected to retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The two have been friends since childhood.

They still keep in touch, but Magomedkerimov didn’t have much to say about “The Eagle” other than confirming when I asked if he ever managed to take down Nurmagomedov as a kid.

“Yes,” Magomedkerimov said. “We trained wrestling together.”

Okay, so talking the talk just isn’t Magomedkerimov’s style. But walking the walk sure is.

The 31-year-old 2018 PFL welterweight champion fell out of the playoffs last season due to an injury, and one way or the other it looked like the same thing might happen again this year.

Magomedkerimov’s first PFL fight this season was derailed due to visa issues, so the second one became vitally important if he hoped to grab PFL gold again in 2021.

But Magomedkerimov’s knee was practically kicked inside out twice in the opening round of his bout. Amazingly, Magomedkerimov shrugged those moments off like they were nothing on his way to defeating Curtis Millender at PFL 5.

The fighter shrugged those scary moments off again when I asked him how he made it through them. It was almost as if he couldn’t understand why someone might be in awe of such elite badassery.

“I’m good. No problem,” he said.

In fact, it seemed like Magomedkerimov had never even considered having his knee forcibly bent backward by kicks might somehow keep him from accomplishing his mission.

He needed the first-round finish to make the playoffs this year, and he was going to get it.

I did at least get the guy to admit he was human.

“Did it hurt?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

So maybe the best way to say it is that Magomedkerimov is unflappable.

In that way, Magomedkerimov might also be connected Nurmagomedov.

Magomedkerimov Returns on August 13

Magomedkerimov is the oddsmakers’ choice to become PFL champion this year at 170 pounds. He was originally slated to face Joao Zeferino on August 13, but his opponent was forced to pull out of the fight due to an injury.

Now Magomedkerimov will face Sy Sadibou. The winner of Magomedkerimov vs. Sadibou will face the winner of the main event fight on August 13 between Ray Cooper III and Rory MacDonald.

The PFL playoffs card on August 13 also includes lightweight action in the men’s division.

As for Magomedkerimov’s new opponent, Sy competed in the PFL’s regular season in 2021, but he didn’t score enough points in his lone victory to qualify for the playoffs. But Sy gets his chance now because he was essentially serving as the backup fighter on the same card.

Regardless something tells me Magomedkerimov is unconcerned about who or what is waiting for him in the PFL playoffs on August 13.

He’s a man of few words but of much action.

Magomedkerimov believes he’s on his way to capturing PFL gold again, and he’ll take the$1 million prize that comes with it.

He’s just not all that into talking about it.

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Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel

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