Four years ago, Azamat Murzakanov found himself booked on a UFC card — a fight that never came to fruition, and ultimately it was the only UFC bout that he would be booked for in that stint. Murzakanov has barely had cage time over the last few years for a variety of reasons, but even then, he’s now earned himself another shot in the UFC.
Murzakanov earned a contract on the premiere of “Dana White’s Contender Series” season five, following a three-minute knockout of Matheus Scheffel in the main event.
Believe it or not, Murzakanov’s time in combat sports goes beyond the mid-2010s. In fact, he had his first official MMA fight in February 2010, needing just 10 seconds to knock out Anzor Khakimov (0-1).
He wouldn’t compete in MMA again for another five years, but that professional debut ultimately marked the start of a solid run for him. He’d win all six fights prior to that first UFC opportunity, with five of the outcomes being finishes – all in the first round.
Just a couple of months after defeating Georgy Sakaev (0-6) in ACB, Murzakanov was booked to face Joachim Christensen (15-8) at a June 2017 UFC Fight Night event in Oklahoma City, OK. But that’s when things began to fall apart.
Murzakanov never made it to that scheduled fight, being forced off the Oklahoma City card due to an injury. Then, a few months later, he was flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation, eventually being revealed as him testing positive for boldenone metabolites 5β-androst-1-en-17β-ol-3-one and androsta-1,4-diene-6β-ol-3,17-dione in an out-of-competition sample.
Fortunately for Murzakanov, that same month he competed in a one-night, four-man tournament at Brave CF 29. That night, he defeated veteran kickboxer and former GLORY heavyweight title challenger Guto Inocente (10-6) by unanimous decision before a first-round knockout of Mohammad Fakhreddine (14-4) to win the tournament.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic then hit, pretty much shutting regional MMA down for a while. But after nearly two years away from the cage, Murzakanov got the “Contender Series” opportunity and made the most of it, putting his power on display.
It may have taken longer than originally planned, but Murzakanov will finally make his way to the Octagon in his next fight. He wants to make up for all the lost time, and it should be fun to see what he can do in there.