Eldar Eldarov, Dagestan, and 'the best coach in the world'
Eldar Eldarov is days away from his first world title shot, vs. Mounir Lazzez for the Super Lightweight title at Brave 23: Pride and Honor. On 4/19 in Jordan, he aims to become the first representative of Bahrain to claim a pro world title in MMA and fulfill a life-long ambition of reaching the pinnacle of the sport he loves.
Eldarov currently holds the head coach position at the famous KHK MMA gym as well as coaching the Bahraini national MMA team. Eldarov came to Bahrain more than four years ago from Dagestan, where he developed his world-class wrestling skills and trained combat sambo under the legendary Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov with an eye to eventually becoming the best in the world.
"When I was 14-years old, my older brother introduced me to my coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who was the national coach for combat sambo," explained Eldarov. "Until now, he's the best martial arts coach in Dagestan, in Russia, and I could say in the world. He's in my corner in all of my fights."
Eldar remembers his early days with fondness, despite having a strict schedule to make sure he would practice wrestling and as well make time to study.
"I started training at age 6 and went to school at 7," said Eldarov. "It is a tradition that kids always have to do sports in Dagestan. But not just that, we had to study too. My father was very strict to me, but I finished university, and I'm a lawyer too. It wasn't just about sports, I studied and trained. Some people become successful in sports, others don't, but we all start in sports."
The call to go to Bahrain came from his personal friend and fellow Brave CF fighter Hamza Kooheji, who invited him to help with training for the biggest fight of his career up to that point. After Hamza came out victorious in a historically-significant bout for the sport in Bahrain, Eldar ended up moving permanently. He quickly adapted to his new surroundings, made lifelong friends and started to coach the Bahraini amateur team.
When His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa's vision to build a world-class MMA team came to fruition, Eldar was called upon to help the gym achieve its goals. Between his coaching commitments, he also forged one of the best MMA records in Brave, with three dominant victories in as many outings.
Now he will briefly take a step back as a coach to focus on making history. If Eldar beats Lazzez at Brave 23, he will not only become the first fighter to claim a world championship for Bahrain, he will become the first-ever world Super Lightweight champion.
Primarily known as a wrestler, Eldarov has made visible improvements in his overall MMA game, adding specific trainers for boxing and Muay Thai, as well as wushu world champions as sparring partners, showing he's not underestimating Mounir Lazzez's powerful striking.
The general feeling in his coaching team is that he's ready to surprise Lazzez should the fight remain standing, and Eldar himself is confident that he could be the first man to KO 'The Sniper'.
Brave Combat Federation has been at the forefront of positive changes in the sport of mixed martial arts and recently opened up the Super Lightweight division, created to give fighters more options to fight at their optimal weight. Eldarov will have the chance to write his name and Bahrain's into mixed martial arts history. And Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov will be in his corner.