Ali Abdelaziz is one of the most influential managers in the world of mixed martial arts. The founder and president of Dominance MMA management company is famous for having world-class fighters under contract. Such is the case with former double champion Henry Cejudo, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, among several other titleholders and contenders.
Recently, Abdelaziz was asked to point out which of the prospects he represents show top talent, much like Khamzat Chimaev has been showing inside the Octagon in the past few weeks.
Abdelaziz spoke to Andy Whitelaw of Asian MMA (as transcribed by BJPenn.com) about his take on Chimaev and who he views as the next big star out of the fighters he represents.
“[With] Khamzat, everybody always says ‘Where has this guy been?’” Abdelaziz said. “I’ve got 10 Khamzats.”
Abdelaziz also revealed a potential future superstar that could surpass the accomplishments of Khabib himself. The Egypt-born manager named the ‘Eagle’s’ cousin, Usman Nurmagomedov, as a prospect to keep an eye on.
“The guy to really look out for right now that nobody knows about is Usman Nurmagomedov,” Abdelaziz said. “He’s 9-0, all finishes. He’s an absolute killer. He’s a Muay Thai specialist, and Khabib’s [cousin]. If you have the same blood as Khabib, you have good wrestling.
“I’m telling you, he is actually a better than Khabib,” Abdelaziz added. “He is better than Khabib. I’m telling you, people should watch for him. He’s an absolute killer. He’s got it all. He’s got the striking, he’s got the grappling, he’s got the jiu jitsu, he’s got the look, he’s got the swagger. He’s knocking people out with elbows.
“He’s the guy really to look out for. He’s a phenom. He’s a combination of Khabib, Jon Jones, [Israel] Adesanya. He’s a combo of all them.”
Nonetheless, the younger Nurmagomedov might not be the future face of the UFC. Abdelaziz recently pointed at ONE Championship as the promotion that will most likely get the prospect’s signature on paper.
“I’m having serious conversations with ONE Championship too,” Abdelaziz said. “He me might be the next big thing coming from ONE Championship.”
Many worldwide renowned fighters have transitioned to the Asia-based organisation; Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson, and Brandon Vera have all contributed to the increase in ONE Championship’s popularity outside of Asia.
As a growing promotion with an already world-class talent pool and considerable fanbase, ONE Championship will surely be the place for Usman Nurmagomedov to develop into a top-level fighter.
Do you think Usman Nurmagomedov will exceed Khabib’s accomplishments, as Ali Abdelaziz’s predict?