Dagestan: Land of Warriors

Dagestan: Land of Warriors. Secrets of fiercest Russian MMA fighters’ training system

In recent years, Mixed Martial Arts have attracted huge attention, and fighters from Dagestan, in the Russian Caucasus, have come to dominate the sport. To find out their secrets, Paul Capaldo, a 22 year old MMA fighter from New Jersey, has decided to come and train in Dagestan. He was invited by Timur Aliev, a successful MMA fighter in the United States.

Zabit Magomedsharipov with a young fan in Dagestan. Still taken from RT Sport documentary Dagestan:Land of Warriors.
In Dagestan, every boy wants to become a top MMA fighter, like Zabit Magomedsharipov.

In the first episode of Dagestan: Land of Warriors, Timur takes Paul around Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala to show him how the local fighting culture is passed on from generation to generation. At kids’ playgrounds, young boys, inspired by the success of MMA stars such as Zabit Magomedsharipov, exhibit an impressive work ethic.

Still taken from RT Sport documentary Dagestan:Land of Warriors.
The same gym in Makhachkala, Dagestan, trained some of MMA's biggest stars like Zabit Magomedsharipov and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Paul and Timur also get in some grappling during a training session at Timur’s legendary home gym. This is where Zabit and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov acquired their skills. As he catches his breath, Timur sums up the Dagestani approach: “These young guys tried to kill me. But it’s OK, it’s how we grow up!”

Still taken from RT Sport documentary Dagestan:Land of Warriors.
Timur Aliev isn't phased by the violence of his youthful opponents. That's how he grew up himself.

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