2012 World MMA Heavyweight Scouting Report: #3 – Alexei Kudin

Photo by Elena Bondarenko Name: Alexei Kudin Nickname: -- Age: 27 Height: 6'1" Location: Minsk, Belarus Junior dos Santos' dominating rise to the top…

By: Leland Roling | 11 years ago
2012 World MMA Heavyweight Scouting Report: #3 – Alexei Kudin
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Photo by Elena Bondarenko

Name: Alexei Kudin
Age: 27
Height: 6’1″
Location: Minsk, Belarus

Junior dos Santos’ dominating rise to the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division has caused many fans to re-think what weapons elite heavyweights need in order to compete at the highest level. Obviously, a well-balanced skill-set is the desired goal, but the daunting task of mastering both the striking and grappling is an unrealistic goal for 99% of the fighters in the sport. Right now, strikers with phenomenal takedown defense are the alpha dogs in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Eastern European kickboxer turned mixed martial artist Alexei Kudin (9-4) is ascending the international ranks utilizing the same style that pugilists like Overeem and Dos Santos have been implementing inside the Octagon. After beginning his foray into MMA with a 1-3 record back in 2002 when he was only 17 years old, he returned in March of 2010 at a M-1 Challenge event in his home country of Belarus, punching Denis Ivanets into submission in only one minute and fifty-eight seconds.

A year after his initial return, he ramped up his efforts to carve a career out for himself in the sport. Over the course of a single year, Kudin fought eight times, six of those battles taking place in one night tournaments. Under the Pro FC banner, Kudin knocked out both Wojciech Bulinski and Semion Borsh at the East European leg of the ProFC Grand Prix Global tournament. He moved on to the ProFC Grand Prix Global Finals in early December, beating down Dmitry Poberezhets in the semifinals and crushing Kazbek Saidaliev in two minutes and twenty-two seconds in the final. Fourteen days later, he entered the WUFC Challenge of Champions tournament, edging 2011 World MMA Scouting Report prospect Konstantin Gluhov before being defeated by Shamil Abdurahimov’s brother, Magomed Abdurahimov, in the tournament finale.

Despite the recent setback, Kudin, since his return, has recorded a 8-1 record in two years, showcasing proven knockout power and a technically superior striking game in comparison to most of his opposition. The seven-time world champion in Muay Thai mixes it up well on the feet, throwing body blows, heavy kicks to the legs and body, and hooks to the chin.

On the ground, Kudin needs extensive work, mainly on his ability to escape to his feet from his back. Opponents have been able to put him on his back with success, but his ability to keep their posture down and force inactivity has helped him so far. That won’t be so easy against stiffer competition, especially against anyone with a solid shot that can grapple. Luckily, there aren’t many heavyweights with those skills currently in the sport in Europe.

Kudin has enormous potential if he can improve his takedown defense and add some semblance of a grappling base to his arsenal. It seems crazy to rank Kudin so high without a decent ground game, but the fact of the matter is that Kudin has successfully laid waste to opponents who continually try to bring him to the ground in the past. He’s good enough in the scramble to land stunning shots, and his power gives him a major advantage in every fight. With some time, Kudin could reach a level of skill that stacks up against the stiffer competition that awaits him in the U.S.

Footage of Alexei Kudin after the jump…

Flyweight Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight
#1 –
#2 –
#3 –
#4 –
#5 –
#6 –
#7 –
#8 –
#9 –
#10 –
#1 – Rony Mariano
#2 – Aljamain Sterling
#3 – Chris Holdsworth
#4 – Josh Hill
#5 – Fabiano Fernandes
#6 – Claudio Ledesma
#7 – Sirwan Kakai
#8 – Kyoji Horiguchi
#9 – Leandro Hygo
#10 – Pedro Munhoz
#1 – Hacran Dias
#2 – Joey Gambino
#3 – Brandon Bender
#4 – Lance Palmer
#5 – Jim Alers
#6 – Anthony Gutierrez
#7 – Max Holloway
#8 – John Teixeira
#9 – Cody Bollinger
#10 – Bubba Jenkins
#1 – Fabricio Guerreiro
#2 – Alessandro Ferreira
#3 – Adriano Martins
#4 – Justin Salas
#5 – Neilson Gomes
#6 – Eduard Folayang
#7 – Zorobabel Moreira
#8 – Anton Kuivanen
#9 – Jordan Rinaldi
#10 – J.P. Vainikainen
Welterweight Middleweight Light Heavyweight Heavyweight
#1 – Andrey Koreshkov
#2 – Dhiego Lima
#3 – Brandon Thatch
#4 – Nordine Taleb
#5 – Hernani Perpetuo
#6 – Brock Jardine
#7 – Alan Jouban
#8 – Mohsen Bahari
#9 – Andre Santos
#10 – Stephen Thompson
#1 – Antonio Braga Neto
#2 – Marcelo Guimaraes
#3 – Claudio Silva
#4 – Bojan Velickovic
#5 – Ildemar Alcantara
#6 – Michal Materla
#7 – Elvis Mutapcic
#8 – Tor Troeng
#9 – Jack Hermansson
#10 – Tim Ruberg
#1 – Wagner Prado
#2 – Phelipe Lins
#3 – Tom DeBlass
#4 – Misha Cirkunov
#5 – Kyle Cerminara
#6 – Robert Drysdale
#7 – Artur Alibulatov
#8 – Thiago Perpetuo
#9 – Steve Bosse
#10 – Juha Saarinen
#1 –
#2 –
#3 – Alexei Kudin
#4 – Levan Razmadze
#5 – Chris Birchler
#6 – Ruslan Magomedov
#7 – Adam Parkes
#8 – Richardson Moreira
#9 – Jan Jorgensen
10 – David Oliva

Alexei Kudin vs. Kazbek Saidaliev

Alexei Kudin vs. Dmitry Poberezhets

Alexei Kudin vs Wojciech Bulinski

Alexei Kudin vs Semion Borsh

Share this story

About the author
Leland Roling
Leland Roling

More from the author

Related Stories