Siyar Bahadurzada: The Diamond in the Rough

Jeff EngelhardtCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2008

There are fighters who learn to survive on the street and take their killer instinct into the ring or the octagon.

There are fighters who spend countless hours in the gym training and honing their skills until they have mastered the necessary skills to become a champion in the difficult realm of mixed-martial arts.

Then there is Siyar Bahadurzada.

Bahadurzada is still a relatively unknown fighter, even amongst the most dedicated mixed-martial arts fans. But from the moment he enters the arena, he becomes larger than life. He is one of the few fighters who have the "X factor" to be an instant star and the skills to defeat any opponent.

Bahadurzada is a native of Afghanistan where he learned to survive conditions most fighters off the streets couldn't imagine. Bahadurzada said himself that the danger of MMA is what attracts him and without danger in his life, he would not be able to survive. A statement like that is testament to the type of man he is and the experiences he has been through in his life.

Bahadurzada moved to the Netherlands in 1999 where he still lives today. Siyar began to train under Martijn de Jong at the Tatsujin dojo. De Jong is well-respected in the Dutch community as an MMA authority and quickly took Bahadurzada as his top student. Bahadurzada also trains at Team Golden Glory with world-class fighters such as Semmy Schilt, Alistair Overeem and Sergei Kharitonov.

Bahadurzada's top training instruction has led him to a stellar career so far. He has fought his way to a 13-1-1 record and is the current Shooto Light Heavyweight Champion (185 lbs). Shooto has a tremendous track record of producing some of the best fighters in the world including Takanori Gomi, Anderson Silva, Shinya Aoki, "Mach" Sakurai, Caol Uno and Jake Shields.

More impressive is the way Bahadurzada fights. His high-energy style can be compared to Forrest Griffin, but he has the control and confidence of an Anderson Silva. Out of the 13 victories, 10 were due to stoppage. Six wins came via submission while the other four were from TKO stoppage.

It's in his hands where the danger lies. There are hardly comparisons in boxing abilities between mixed-martial artists and pro boxers, but Bahadurzada has counter-punching abilities that can be considered world-class on an MMA stage. There seems to be an internal clock that goes off in him while engaged in the stand up as he releases his hands as his opponent feints or steps back.

His clinch is powerful and his ju-jitsu is slick and fluent. While he does not possess traditional judo techniques, he has shown efficiency in being able to quickly throw his opponent of their feet.

Every fighter has a weakness however, and he is no exception. Bahadurzada is best on his feet when he is on the defensive and counter-punching, but when he initiates he tends to throw wide and keep his hands low. He has yet to be caught and put to sleep, but the possibility is there.

I have no doubt that Bahadurzada would be the most important acquisition the UFC could make. Above Fedor, Barnett, Lindland, and the other big names on the market. This man is easily one of the most dangerous middleweights on the planet and could be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world if given the opportunity to prove himself against top competition.

It's too early to say he would be a threat to the greatest fighter in the world, Anderson Silva, but I am confident within two years in the UFC he would have a better chance than any other fighter to get to that level.

His skill has to be seen to believe. There is something clearly special about this man in his fighting and beyond that. He is one of the select few that were put on the earth to do one specific thing and that is to fight. When he throws punches and kicks, or transitions into submissions, it seems as easy as walking. There is no fear of losing or injury in his approach and he fights by one simple motto.

Preparation, Dedication, Victory...In that order.

This is my first blog on this site and I hope you all enjoyed it. I highly suggest watching clips of his fights on Youtube and if you can order Shooto DVD's because he is worth the time and money.