A member of the DWCS Class of 2020, Khirziev has made just one appearance inside the Octagon thus far, submitting Denis Tiuliulin in March 2022. “The Black Wolf” is unbeaten in 14 professional appearances with some familiar names on his resume but remains a mystery man in the division after having spent the better part of the last three years on the sidelines.
The 33-year-old Muradov makes his seventh UFC appearance this weekend, aiming to build on his decision win over Bryan Barberena last summer in London. A 34-fight veteran, the well-travelled middleweight has designs on working his way into the rankings in 2024, and starting the year by bouncing Khizriev from the ranks of the unbeaten would certainly help in those efforts.
Fights like this are fascinating to me because we know the level Muradov brings to the Octagon, what it takes to beat him, and what that says about those competitors. It’ll be interesting to see if Khizriev can become one of those select few on Saturday night.
Gilbert Urbina vs Charles Radtke
The main card kicks off in the welterweight division, as former TUF finalist Gilbert Urbina and East Coast regional veteran Charles Radtke share the Octagon.
Urbina stepped in to face Bryan Battle in the middleweight finals on Season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter, suffering a second-round submission loss in the summer of 2021. He resurfaced last year at welterweight, looking sharp while posting a dominant stoppage win over Orion Cosce to register his first UFC victory.
A champion under the CFFC banner before getting the call to the Octagon, Radtke debuted at UFC 293 in Sydney, getting the better of things in a hard-fought battle with Blood Diamond. Currently riding a five-fight winning streak, “Chuck Buffalo” now gets the opportunity to compete in the “Fight Capital of the World” for the first time.
Which of these two will follow up their initial UFC triumph with a second consecutive victory and who will start the year catching a loss?
Preliminary Card Fights
Molly McCann vs Diana Belbita
Strawweights wrap the prelims as Molly McCann and Diana Belbita make their 2024 debuts opposite one another.