Top prospect out-wrestled Olympic champ Kyle Snyder, now set for pro MMA debut

In 2019 Rasul Magomedov out-wrestled Kyle Snyder, now he's turning to pro-MMA with a scary resume.

By: Jack Wannan | 4 months ago
Top prospect out-wrestled Olympic champ Kyle Snyder, now set for pro MMA debut

It’s not too often that someone is a highly touted MMA prospect before they even make their professional debut. Fighters like Aaron Pico, Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman, and Bo Nickal—often it takes a pedigree for fans to start getting hyped that early in someone’s career. There’s one fighter on the horizon who’s starting to get that kind of attention; Rasul Magomedov already has a lengthy undefeated amateur MMA record. And brings a reputation as a combat sambo champion as well.

Most notably, however, was a 2019 wrestling match, where the Dagestani athlete took on famed US Olympic wrestling star Kyle Snyder. In a shocking upset at the Ivan Yarygin Golden Grand Prix, Magomedov became just the 12th person to defeat Snyder on the mats. Shortly after that impressive feat, he turned his attention to MMA, racking up 13 wins on the IMMAF circuit.

Now in his late 20s, Magomedov will turn to professional MMA in the next chapter of his career. And in just a few weeks, we’ll see how that new venture will begin.

Rasul Magomedov set for Brave CF pro MMA debut

Magomedov is expected to make his professional debut at Brave CF 72 in Bahrain later this month. He’ll take on Mohamed Hisham Baraka, who is returning for the first time since winning his pro debut in 2019 via first-round stoppage.

Magomedov made his amateur MMA debut in 2021. He mostly fought in tournaments governed by IMMAF over the nearly two years that he competed. During this time, he earned a good medal at the 2021 world championship, plus a gold at the 2021 European Championships and 2022 Asia Championships.

The talented amateur MMA talent last appeared in February of 2023 at the 2022 IMMAF World Championship finals, where he earned three wins in just five days to secure the world heavyweight amateur title. It seems that achievement marked the end of Magomedov’s stellar amateur career, and his time at heavyweight as well.

Instead, Magoemdov will be moving down to the 206-pound limit at light heavyweight when he steps inside the Brave CF cage in a few weeks.

Despite no wins on his pro record just yet, the MMA prospect is eyeing the top of the sport. In an interview with MMA Fighting, he talked about envisioning himself at the top of the light heavyweight standings someday.

“I’m watching the light heavyweight rankings worldwide and I don’t see any unbeatable name in the top 10,” he said.

Victory over Kyle Snyder

Rasul Magomedov’s experience in IMMAF is maybe the most relevant thing to discuss when anticipating his professional debut, however it’s not nearly the most notable.

His victory over Olympic gold medalist was a big surprise back in 2019. Synder, an incredibly decorated talent on the collegiate wrestling level and world stage, won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics for 97 kg wrestling. In 2017, Snyder became the first American to win the Ivan Yarygin GP since Steve Mocco’s run in the tournament back in 2009. He followed that up with another sweep of the 2018 bracket, becoming the first American to ever win the GP title twice. Snyder also left the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with a silver medal.

Snyder has, at times in the past, toyed with the idea of his own MMA career. However in spring of 2022, he walked back that idea, stating that he only sees himself wrestling in the future.

While nowhere near as prestigious as Snyder’s achievements, alongside his amateur MMA accolades, Magomedov appeared in the 2021 World Sambo Championships, earning gold in the 98 kg division.

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About the author
Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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