UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Oleinik is looking to be a stacked card from top to bottom. At the main event spot, we have heavyweight finishers Derrick Lewis and Aleksei Oleinik. However, in the prelims, we have an amazing bout between lightweights Nasrat Haqparast and Alex Munoz.
Tale of The Tape
|Nasrat Haqparast||Tale Of The Tape||Alex Munoz|
Having recently moved his training camp to the famed Tristar gym in Canada Nasrat (11-3) will be looking to find his way back into the win column after his loss to Drew Dober (23-9). The German-born, Haqparast, has found success at the highest level of MMA at only 24 years old. Nasrat has spent his off-season in his home town of Hamburg. However, this has not stopped him from communicating with his team in Canada as they have used Zoom to train overseas.
With a corner of Firas Zahabi and Georges St Pierre (26-2), it is fair to say that Nasrat has quite the backing behind him to become a star. Nasrat has recently gone as far as to say that he has the best team in the world. Georges described Nasrat as his little diamond. Georges went on to say that he is fast, accurate and carries so much power that it really is not long before he finds himself with a title shot.
Nasrat credits his toughness in the octagon to his tough childhood. 35 years ago Haqparast’s parents came as refugee’s from Afganistan to Germany in order to have a better future for their children. Nasrat has stated that being a refugee leads him to a tough upbringing and that has made him mentally strong.
Haqparast first fell in love with MMA as a teenager as he took up Kickboxing. At first, he was forced to kickbox by his parents as he was really overweight and this made them worried. Nasrat was described as a “small, chubby kid with lots of courage” by his first Kickboxing coach.
At first, Nasrat found it crazy that guys at the gym trained with such small gloves. However, after staying behind to watch a few sessions he decided that he would like to be like these guys at the age of just 14 years old.
At just 16 years old his coach remembers an incident in sparring where Nasrat collided with his opponent and broke his nose. Haqparast continued to win the rounds despite having a broken nose. This was when everybody at the gym realized that they have a real prospect.
After realizing that taking on professional MMA Nasrat and his brother began to travel the world. They started to train at MMA gyms all around Europe in the hope to develop their skills. The two of them usually targeted Sweden and Canada to gain more striking experience. They began to train with fighters at the top of the game and even UFC champions as they traveled around Europe.
Nasrat found a home at Tristar gym where he made a special connection with St Pierre and Zahabi. Whilst in Hamburg Zahabi will make videos with Georges of different techniques that Nasrat should learn. They will then watch the videos and practice the skills with his brother for hours to perfect each skill in preparation for the fight. Zahabi will spend hours learning about the opponents for Nasrat and together they find a way to win.
At just 24 years old Nasrat has had some pretty good MMA experience. Nasrat began his MMA career in 2012 at just 16 years old. Unfortunately for Nasrat, that fight ended in a loss however was only just to get a taste for the sport. After, an 8 fight win streak came from Nasrat as he displayed his huge punching power. All 8 of those fights came via finish and usually via punch.
In 2017 Nasrat then made his UFC debut in 2017 where the quality difference immediately became apparent for Nasrat. His debut ended in a unanimous decision loss to Marcin Held (22-7). Since then Nasrat went on a 3 fight win streak. The fight to remember was his Overhand Left KO of Joaquim Silva. This was the fight where Nasrat really made his name known on the main stage. Nasrat walked Silva down with huge punches and earned a vicious KO and a £50,000 bonus.
Drew Dober was the next step up in class for Nasrat in addition to the fight being on the main stage as it was the under-card for Mcgregor vs Cerrone. Unfortunately, Dober was able to counter the big shots of Nasrat with an accurate straight right and to the chin that put Nasrat of balance and allowed Dober to get the finish on the ground. Will Nasrat be able to make his way back into the win column against Munoz this weekend? Have your say below.
However, on the other side of the octagon, we have the undefeated Alex Munoz (6-0). Munoz will be making his full UFC debut this weekend against Nasrat. However, Munoz has had some UFC experience before. He will be risking his undefeated record and a 6 fight win streak this weekend.
After coming through the DWCS, Alex Munoz has a considerable amount of hype behind him. Coming from the prestigious camp of Team Alpha Male, and with the praises of Urijah Faber (35-11) and co, he’s one we’ve heard about for a while.
Facing Nick Newell (16-3) on the Contender Series, he, unfortunately, wasn’t awarded a contract, despite winning. Nonetheless, he didn’t sit on his laurels. Eager to get back in, he picked up a fight against Troy Lamson (13-4) at Trinity Kings 8.
Dismantling Lamson in a typical Team Alpha Male fashion, Munoz showed his power boxing and beautiful double legs takedowns. Its this exact style that’s going to cause major problems in the UFC.
He’s powerful and knows how to box. His best weapon is his double-jab into a right hook. It’s short and sharp, but with thudding power. Wrestling is his main Forte and he will be looking to show that off, Saturday night.
With only one finish in his MMA career, Munoz uses his wrestling to win the rounds. However, he is never happy to just lie on top of his opponents. You are very likely to see Munoz constantly looking to pass guard and either land punches or look for submissions. He is normally very active on the ground and if he can take Nasrat down he may find success.
Going into this fight Munoz is a moderate underdog and I feel that is fair. Despite the fact that Munoz has great wrestling and that is an area we have seen Nasrat struggle. The only thing is that Nasrat just seems to be on a higher level. He enters the octagon with great confidence and makes his presence known really early in the fight.
A factor to this fight is that in MMA ring rust is real. It has been 6 months since Nasrat last fought but I feel the ring rust could be for Munoz. This is because his last fight was over 10 months ago and he is beginning to build quite an inactive reputation. Munoz has been fighting for the last 5 years and only has 6 MMA appearances which are nothing compared to Nasrat’s 10 at that time. This inactivity could play vital this weekend.
Something to note for this fight is that the UFC regard Nasrat very highly and paint him as a huge star in years to come. Whether this is because of his partnership with Georges St Pierre or because of his incredible power and determination for greatness. However, this can also be said for Munoz also. Munoz was scheduled to face Luis Pena a few months back who is a real force in the lightweight division. If the UFC thinks that Munoz is matched up with Pena they clearly hold him in very high regard.
Stylistically it is known that Haqparast can struggle against southpaw fighters. We saw this with Drew Dober last time out. Munoz is a southpaw that loves to throw out that double jab. The two things that Nasrat has struggled with in the past are avoiding the southpaw jab and wrestling. Stylistically this is a hard fight for Nasrat.
However, as we mentioned before Nasrat has Firas Zahabi in his corner. Firas specializes in finding ways to get past opponents. He will also know that with this stylistically hard fight a win would shut up many haters and really help Nasrat in his search for a title.
A huge factor for this fight is that Munoz will be looking to set up a takedown at every opportunity. This is because it has been something that Nasrat has had trouble with in the past. It should also be noted that Nasrat is fighting his first fight without having George St Pierre in his corner who is an amazing wrestler.
However, something that many people don’t know is that Nasrat has found a new wrestling partner in Germany. This may come to a surprise but Nasrat has been working his wrestling with one of the greatest wrestlers in history. The one and only, Olympic gold medalist, Mark O Madsen (10-0). With the help of Madsen, Nasrat should hope that he is not taken down in this fight.
So, do you guys think that Nasrat will be able to find himself back in the win column? Or will Munoz be able to steal the German hype? Let us know down below.
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