Mamed Khalidov has reportedly been offered a UFC contract.
Khalidov is, along with Mariusz Pudzianowski, the main star of the Polish promotion KSW. He has been keen on a move to the UFC to test himself, but Polish sources say the deal that the UFC has offered is not particularly compelling in financial terms.
That makes for a difficult decision for Khalidov. He is very valuable to KSW and earns good money there - $30,000 per fight according to one source - but there is little in the way of native opposition for him to face. KSW has been bringing name internationals for him of late, but all the currently relevant middleweight talent is in the UFC.
As a fighter, Khalidov wants to challenge himself and make his name and to do so he will need to move beyond the confines of KSW, good as the show is, and enter the UFC middleweight division. Much the same reasoning was behind Hector Lombard’s recent move from Bellator FC to the UFC.
But if the UFC is not offering as much as Khalidov can make fighting for KSW - at least initially - then he has to consider whether the opportunity that a UFC contract offers is worth taking a hit in revenue. Khalidov has competed for Strikeforce previously, but that deal was non-exclusive; UFC contracts are not.
Khalidov - currently in his native Chechnya, where his family still reside - has apparently declared the initial UFC offer to be ‘laughable’, which does not bode well for a move to the US. At the same time, he is a pragmatist who no doubt understands that his value in the US will not be anywhere near what it is in Poland and Eastern Europe.
Several UFC veterans number among Khalidov’s wins, including Igor Pokrajac, Jorge Santiago and Matt Lindland. With a 25-4-2 overall record and a five-fight win streak over international-level competition, Khalidov is more than worthy of a UFC spot - and the fact that he is a highly-aggressive finisher is also a bonus.
But when all is said and done, a prizefighter has to get the right money and unless the financial package is varied we might not get to see Khalidov tested in the UFC anytime soon.