The reasons for the comparisons to Khabib Nurmagomedov are clear. Mark O. Madsen is an elite wrestler, with a storied career outside the UFC. He is still undefeated and competes at 155lbs – Khabib’s old stomping ground.
Admittedly, Madsen is yet to test himself against the top 15 of the division, but the Dane is making his way up towards the rankings. Having already picked up wins over Clay Guida, Vinc Pichel, Danilo Belluardo and Austin Hubbard, Madsen will now square off against Drakkar Klose, on the undercard of UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Allen.
However, in a recent interview with LowKickMMA, Madsen stated that whilst flattered by the comparisons to Khabib, his focus is on carving out his own legacy, rather than replicating that of a fellow fighter. When asked his thoughts on the matter, ‘The Olympian’ had the following to say:
“I’m gonna be the only Mark O. Madsen in the UFC. I do take it as a compliment, being compared to Khabib. Khabib is, in my book – he’s the GOAT. Amazing fighter, coming from a wrestling background. The things he’s done in the sport is amazing. I respect Khabib, I respect his team. So let’s put that aside. I’m gonna be the next Mark O. Madsen. I’m gonna be the only Mark O. Madsen in the UFC.”
Mark O. Madsen on the rise of MMA in Denmark
MMA has taken slightly longer to be accepted in Europe compared to how it has been received in America, but with the recent legalization of the sport in France, as well as the surge of European talent that has emerged over the past few years, MMA is quickly becoming a mainstream sport.
Mark O. Madsen’s home country of Denmark is a perfect example of this. Whilst MMA was once a niche sport that had an extremely limited following, fighters like Madsen have helped popularise it. He had the following to say on the topic:
“Well, I’m proud of being a frontrunner, in some sense. I mean, we have a lot of amazing Danish fighters, fighting in the UFC, fighting in Bellator. MMA in Denmark has been growing over the years and it’s always fun to be part of something successful. Something that is growing, something that is developing into – let’s call it ‘more mainstream.’ MMA in Denmark has been a little niche for a long while, but it’s becoming more mainstream now, which is a very cool thing to be a part of.”