This time last year Allamurad Karayev was a student in Kuala Lumpur who trained regularly but had never given too much thought to competing in mixed martial arts, it was more of a hobby albeit one he showed exceptional aptitude at. The sport has come a long way in Malaysia since then and no-one has achieved more than the 20 year old from Turkmenistan who has established an impeccable 9-0 professional record with nine stoppage wins out of nine.
There are not many flyweight fighters in the world with records which can compare with Karayev's and while the sport is still very young in Malaysia and the competition not as intense as in more established scenes there is no doubt that he has made a very encouraging start to his fighting career.
You only need to see his fights to know that he is very confident in his hands and packs genuine one punch knock out power but he says his style is difficult to define,
"It's hard to say exactly what my style is because back in my country we used to practice boxing style but here I started doing Muay Thai. I would say Muay Thai but with emphasize more on punching rather than kicking. I started learning martial arts when I was 9 years old. Like most of the fighters in the world I stared with Karate. Then after that when I was 13 I stared doing Judo/ Sambo and after that I came to Malaysia when I was 16."
Whatever Karayev's style there is no questioning its effectiveness. He has seven wins by KO or TKO and two by submission with the most recent (yet to be added to sherdog) coming by way of KO after less than 30 seconds, the third time he has finished a fight with a single punch.
His international debut had to be delayed when he broke his thumb while winning the F3 four man bantamweight tournament in February, forcing him to pull out of a fight for DARE Championship in Bangkok. He feels ready to break out onto the international scene and hopes the opportunity will come sooner rather than later in the city he currently calls home,
"ONE FC is the biggest MMA event in Asia and my dream is to become a ONE FC star, I would love to fight in KL. In front of my fans and in front of my friends, teammates and everyone in Malaysia."
ONE Fighting Championship 4: Destiny of Warriors is taking place at Stadium Negara on June 23rd and after fighting in nightclubs and badminton courts in KL Karayev would relish the opportunity to do battle in front of 8,000 or so Malaysian fight fans.
He may not be Malaysian but he has been living there since four years and has already acquired a fan base who refer to him by his nickname of 'Pretty Boy'. There is no shortage of talent in ONE FC's 125 lbs division including Rey Docyogen, Geje Eustaquio and Andrew Leone and if Karayev does get the call he will inevitably face a serious step up in opposition.
One potential obstacle which could prevent Karayev taking his career to the next level is that he is an award winning student who has to fit his training around his academic timetable but he believes he can continue to balance the two commitments,
"It's kind of hard sometimes when it comes to exams and presentation. But I am trying my best to do good in both studies and sport. My teacher in college always update the board by putting my pics there whenever I win and my classmate always come to watch my fights. After my university I wanna do my MBA and fight at the same time. I hope I can manage to do that!"
Karayev is a member of the fight team at Muayfit which has numerous mixed martial artists competing at various promotions including Malaysia Fighting Championship, DARE and ONE FC. He believes that the influx of experienced fighters is one of the main reasons that MMA has developed so rapidly in Malaysia,
"MMA in Malaysia is growing really fast. There are MMA event every month and a lot of guys with good potential.. Some of the new fighters improve really fast because they have opportunity to train with a pro fighters like Arnaud Lepont, Eric Kelly, Mark Striegle, Will Chope, Dorian Price, Peter Davis, Chian Kai Jee and Luc Doberman."