The truth is not much to write about Rustam Babayev vs Todd Hutchings as Rustam won all 6 rounds without much problems. 35 years old Rustam was clearly better than +50 years old Todd. Rustam’s style for direct pinning was too much for Todd’s mainly defensive style. Rustam is not only offensive but also very explosive. Todd is mainly an endurance puller and is not very explosive. Once the GO comes Rustam already brings Todd’s hand far enough to not to allow Todd to apply his incredible joint pressure. Rustam attacks with wrist curling while Todd tried hook with supination first then his wrist curl. This gave Rustam enough of time to bring Todd very near to the pad before he applied his power. Rustam’s wrist curl was too dominant as even when Todd was high on the grip it was even easier for Rustam top in Todd. Todd was more effective when he tried inside but again his move depends on his supination and when he supinates without wrist curling he loses the control of his pronator and Rustam ends him from there. After the score was 5-0 Rustam also showed his outside skill that he uses time to time, successfully.
It is near impossible to weigh as much as Rustam does and start the match better than he does as I mentioned that his explosiveness and offensive style is second to none. Basically, you must be fast enough to catch his offense, make him tired and then beat him. Or as Gasparini did last year you need to unable his wrist but not many can do such thing. Even when Gasparini did that Rustam was either pinned him but couldn’t control his elbow or Rustam was very near the pad when Gasparini stopped him.
The question is who can beat Rustam around his weight? Zoloev is one of the candidates but he needs to be in good form and Sasho from Bulgaria. Zoloev’s powerful wrist curls can stop Rustam before it is too late and Zoloev has done this before and usually the endurance game is giving better chance to Zoloev. The other candıdate is Sasho, his elbow joint strength is incredible while his wrist is not as strong as Zoloev’s. He may have harder time to stop Rustam but once he stops Rustam most likely he will not be pinned. So my guess is Rustam will have higher chance in earlier rounds while Sasho’s chance of winning will increase in later rounds. Sasho vs Rustam supermatch would be very interesting one.
Rustam for sure is one of the strongest pound for pound puller and I am glad to see him pulling again.