UFC Abu Dhabi adds Alonzo Menifield – Azamat Murzakanov

MMA: UFC 290 - Crute vs Menifield
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC is stacking the deck for their Abu Dhabi Fight Night that is currently scheduled for August 3rd. Yesterday, Dana White announced a ton of major matchups including Nick Diaz – Vicente Luque in a five-round co-main event as well as Tony Ferguson – Michael Chiesa which will kick off the main card.

There’s another big time matchup that will go down at UFC Abu Dhabi that White didn’t announce yesterday on social media. Vestnik MMA was the first to report yesterday that top fifteen light heavyweights Alonzo Menifield (15-4-1) and Azamat Murzakanov (13-0) will fight on the card.

Starting with Menifield, he just fought a few weeks ago at UFC St. Louis when he took on Carlos Ulberg. I actually liked Menifield in the matchup as an upset pick. However, he recklessly rushed Ulberg who is an elite counter striker. Ulberg lit him up and knocked him out in 12 seconds.

It was a really poor performance from Menifield who hadn’t lost in almost three years. Now, he’ll look to bounce back by beating the undefeated Murzakanov.

UFC Abu Dhabi

Azamat Murzakanov earned a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2021 with a first round knockout. From there, he fought twice in 2022 scoring two finishes over Tafon Nchukwi and Devin Clark. Following the Clark win, he got the biggest test of his career.

He took on former Glory kickboxer and light heavyweight contender Dustin Jacoby. Murzakanov looked good in the matchup scoring a decision win at UFC Kansas City which pushed his professional record to a perfect 13-0. From there, he was booked against former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. Unfortunately, Murzakanov had to pull out of the fight.

He was then booked against Khalil Rountree in December, but had to pull out due to pneumonia. Those unfortunate circumstances have caused him to lose time and momentum. Instead of taking on someone in the UFC’s top ten, he has to face another dangerous and motivated contender in Menifield this August.

Should Murzakanov win and remain unbeaten, my guess is he’ll only be a couple of fights away from a title shot.

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