Saparbek Safarov

Russia

Weight-cutting issues scrap fight
MiddleweightUFC
November 13, 2020
Safarov had issues cutting weight and will no longer face off against Julian Marquez on Saturday, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
It's not the first time the matchup has run into difficulties, as it was originally scheduled to take place in August before being postponed for unclear reasons. Whether or not the pairing will be rescheduled yet again remains to be seen.
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Marquez fight pushed back
MiddleweightUFC
August 20, 2020
Safarov's scheduled middleweight matchup against Julian Marquez has been moved from Aug. 29 to Nov. 14, Farah Hannoun of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Specifics of the situation were not disclosed, though Hannoun later suggested that "Safarov was forced out." Safarov had already lost his middleweight debut against Rodolfo Vieira in March and was lined up for a similar fate according to the oddsmakers, checking in as a (+225) betting underdog.
Books fight with Marquez
MiddleweightUFC
July 13, 2020
Safarov (9-3-0) is scheduled to face Julian Marquez (shoulder) in a middleweight fight Aug. 29 at UFC's event in Las Vegas, Farah Hannoun of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Safarov sports a 1-3 record since joining the UFC in 2016, with his lone win coming via unanimous decision over Nicolae Negumereanu in March 2019. He'll at least have less rust to shake off than Marquez (7-2-0), who hasn't fought in more than two years while recovering from a pair of surgeries to address the torn lat he sustained in his loss to Alessio Di Chirico at "The Ultimate Fighter 27" finale in July 2018.
Struggles continue in new division
MiddleweightUFC
March 7, 2020
Safarov lost to Rodolfo Vieira via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:58 of Round 1 at UFC 248 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Safarov's middleweight debut went as many expected. He actually connected with one huge strike in the early going that had Vieira in trouble, but that punch appeared to do nothing more than infuriate the Brazilian, as he quickly forced Safarov to the mat and worked for the stoppage. You can't really get on the Russian for this performance given the fact Vieira is one of the most talented mat specialists in the world today, but Safarov is now 1-3 in the UFC and his lone victory came over somebody named Nicolae Negumereanu. 33 years of age and having struggled in multiple weight classes, there is no guarantee Safarov gets another shot with the company.
Debuting at middleweight
MiddleweightUFC
January 7, 2020
Safarov (undisclosed) will face Rodolfo Vieira in a middleweight bout at UFC 248 on March 7, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Safarov picked up his first UFC win in March when he defeated Nicolae Negumereanu via unanimous decision at UFC London before he was forced to withdraw from a fight scheduled for UFC Shenzhen in August due to an undisclosed injury. Safarov showcased his takedown skills against Negumereanu as he snapped a two-fight losing streak. Vieira made his UFC debut in August when he defeated Oskar Piechota via submission (arm-triangle choke) at UFC Uruguay. Vieira struggled slightly on his feet in his first fight with the promotion, but he was able to gain enough of an advantage through his grappling to secure a win. Safarov carries an advantage in reach while the two fighters are even in height.
Pulls out of Shenzhen
MiddleweightUFC
August 2, 2019
Safarov withdrew from his scheduled fight against Da Un Jung at UFC Shenzhen due to injury, Nolan King of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
It's unclear exactly what sort of injury Safarov suffered, but it has forced him to pull out of the event less than a month in advance. Fortunately, the UFC wasted no time finding a replacement, as Jamahal Hill has already stepped in.