UFC 159 results recap: Rustam Khabilov vs. Yancy Medeiros


Capping of the prelims of UFC 159, Russian lightweight phenom Rustam Khabilov took on Yancy Medeiros and another fight ended due to injury.

I'm going to say first and foremost that I underestimated Rustam Khabilov, but that everyone else underestimated Yancy Medeiros. This fight actually looked a lot like I thought it would, with Medeiros using his insane size at lightweight to keep Khabilov from totally dominating him, and using his fluid striking to pepper Khabilov in open exchanges. But Khabilov is a different kind of animal from most grapple-centric fighters.

He's like the Sambo version of Damian Maia, a controlling, back-hugging robot built to suplex people. Medeiros didn't make it easy, but he didn't stop Khabilov from doing his thing either. Unfortunately after a few minutes of tense grappling and striking exchanges Medeiros posted hard off of his left hand trying to prevent himself being dragged down, and broke/dislocated his thumb in the act. The result, Rustam Khabilov defeated Yancy Medeiros by 1st round TKO (injury).

High point:

Short fight, but Medeiros' striking looked good at 155, and Khabilov continues to impress with his grappling variety and unassuming power.

Low point:

The injury. This fight had all the makings of a really interesting contest, but we didn't get to see it.

What's next?

Part of me wants to see a rematch, but given Khabilov's unusual style and dominating victory over Vinc Pichel I think the UFC will want to push him hard, much like they're doing with Khabib Nurmagomedov. He's probably uninjured from this fight, so I'd suggest a quick turnaround against Adriano Martins, or perhaps Takanori Gomi.

For Medeiros, he probably has a bit of injury time coming to him, but if he can heal up quickly a fight against Daron Cruickshank would be a good reintroduction to the division.

Watch it now, later, or never?

Watch it now. The injury stoppage is really too bad, but there's enough little things to see in the two minutes plus this fight lasted to whet your appetite for both these fighters. This fight is well worth the short amount of time it will take to watch it.

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