The UFC Moscow prelims just concluded with promotional newcomer Khalid Murtazaliev battering 10-year UFC veteran C.B. Dollaway at the end of the second round. Despite Dollaway in full-fetal mode absorbing unanswered strikes, the referee Herb Dean allowed the beating to resume until the round expired. Only after Dollaway was unable to stand up after the round did the official move in to assess whether or not the fight needed to be stopped. Thankfully, the referee stopped the bout and Dollaway was spared any further unnecessary punishment. That was a bit hard to watch to be quite frank.
Petr Yan and Jin Soo Son left it all inside of the Octagon in Russia, with each man giving it their best up until the final bell. Yan was hitting Son with everything he had, but Son just smiled in his face and kept coming. Yan went on to win the unanimous decision, but the toughness of Son might have overshadowed Yan’s victory just a bit. Son is clearly a chip right off of the old Korean Zombie block.
Also on the prelims, Rustam Khabilov and Kajan Johnson had a back and forth affair, with each man having their moment but neither man really taking over. When the smoke cleared, it was Khabilov who walked away with the split decision. Tough outs Mairbek Taisumov and Desmond Green went the full fifteen minutes tonight in a back and forth battle. When it was all said and done, all three judges gave all three rounds to Taisumov, but the bout was much closer than the results indicate.
Earlier on the card, Magomed Ankalaev made good on his second UFC appearance by dusting off Marcin Prachnio with a sensational knockout in the first round. Jordan Johnson remained undefeated when he stopped Adam Yandiev with a second-round arm triangle. The 10-0 up and comer now sits at 4-0 inside of the promotion, and 1-0 at middleweight. Ramazan Emeev put on a solid showing against Stefan Sekulic, even picking up a score of 30-26 on one of the scorecards. Opening up the UFC Moscow, Merab Dvalishvili dominated Terrion Ware on the ground for three-straight rounds to pick up three 30-25’s and also his first win inside of the promotion.
Khalid Murtazaliev def. C.B. Dollaway by TKO at 5:00 of round 2: Middleweight
Dollaway was able to close the distance and get a bodylock takedown on Murtazaliev to open the bout, but Murtazaliev was too scrappy to stay down. A viscous body kick crushed the midsection of Dollaway, causing the UFC veteran to backpedal. Murtazaliev shot in for the takedown, and after escaping a guillotine, looked to control his foe on the ground.
Murtazaliev opened up the second round with a spinning back kick to the body of Dollaway, but gave up the takedown shortly after. Dollaway worked hard for an anaconda choke, but gave up the top position when he lost the hold. The referee warned Murtazaliev about grabbing the fence but allowed the bout to remain on the floor. Murtazaliev began to dominate on the ground, smashing Dollaway with pressure and breaking him with ground strikes. Dollaway was down on the mat covering up in fetal mode, absorbing unanswered blow after blow, but the referee refused to step in and stop the fight for some reason. After the bell sounded, Dollaway remained on the ground, clearly out of it, and then the referee finally waived it off.
Petr Yan def. Jin Soo Son by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Bantamweight
These bantamweights got right in each other’s face, trading tight combos back and forth. An unfortunate eye poke to Son caused a pause in the action, so the doctor came in to give the eye a look. The bout resumed with Son taking the back while standing, but Yan was able to get free and find open space. Son seemed to really be enjoying himself as he was smiling just about the entire time.
Yan let his hands go early in the second stanza, tagging Son with several hard shots to the face. Son kept smiling but Yan kept throwing. Son found top position with a well-timed takedown with about two-minutes remaining in the round. Yan reversed the position with about 20 seconds remaining, with Son making it back to his feet before the bell sounded.
The smiles of Son never faded, and he kept taunting Yan and returning fire. Yan continued to let his hands go, and even connected flush with a spinning elbow, but somehow Son managed to stay on his feet. Yan threw everything at Son, but he just wouldn’t go away. Son kept throwing; Yan kept throwing. What a fun and exciting fight!
Rustam Khabilov def. Kajan Johnson by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Lightweight
Khabilov was the aggressor right out of the gate, looking to close the distance behind his strikes. Johnson use his kicks to keep Khabilov off of him, but continued to fight off of his back foot. Khabilov found a bit of success with his boxing, but the strikes of Johnson prevented him from grappling.
Johnson continued to play the matador, sticking his foe and moving out of the way as Khabilov pressed forward. Khabilov was finally able to close the distance and grab ahold of Johnson, resulting in top position. The round expired with Khabilov standing over Johnson as Johnson taunted from the ground.
Johnson answered the bell appearing to be really fresh. Johnson took the center, ready to strike, and caught Khabilov with a couple of sneaky and well placed knees. Khabilov blasted a takedown, but Johnson immediately rolled back up to his feet. With about 90 seconds remaining in the round, Khabilov charged in for another takedown, planting Johnson on his back. Johnson was throwing up his legs for sub attempts, but was unable to secure anything before time ran out.
Mairbek Taisumov def. Desmond Green by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Lightweight
Taisumov came out attacking the inside leg of Green and looked to pick him apart with his kicks. Green would over-extend himself whenever he did decide to strike, but often the movement was too telegraphed which allowed Taisumov to skirt out of harms way.
Green showed up in round two more active and throwing more volume. Taisumov was able to easily fend off the first takedown attempt from Green. A little cut formed around the eye of Taisumov, caused by the punches of Green. An accidental cup kick from Taisumov caused a pause in the action. When the bout resumed, Green went in for another takedown attempt, but Taisumov was wise to it, and dropped Green with a right hand in response. Green would recover to finish up the round on the feet.
The lightweights were back and forth for the final round. Green scored multiple times with his southpaw left hand with Taisumov keeping up with his kicking attacks. Taisumov was the one pressing forward and fended off the lone takedown attempt from Green in the final round.
**It should be noted that Taisumov missed weight by five pounds
Magomed Ankalaev def. Marcin Prachnio by KO at 3:09 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Ankalaev took the center of the Octagon and started marching forward, backing up Prachnio to the fence. Prachnio threw a couple of naked head kicks, but couldn’t seem to get Ankalaev to relinquish the forward pressure. A right hand from Ankalaev stunned Prachnio, and then a head kick sent him crashing to the canvas. A few followup ground strikes were all that was needed to seal the deal and walk away with the victory.
Jordan Johnson def. Adam Yandiev by submission (Arm Triangle) at :42 of round 2: Middleweight
Johnson clipped Yandiev with a heavy shot to start the fight, which resulted in him taking top position. Yandiev attacked the neck to get himself up off the ground. From winging and missing with looping hooks, Yandiev gave up the top position. Johnson worked from the top, controlling his opponent and slipping in ground strikes when appropriate until the round ended.
Yandiev was warned about grabbing the fence before the second round started. It took about 30 seconds for Johnson to take top position, and then about another 10 seconds to lock up an arm triangle. Yandiev respectfully tapped out.
Ramazan Emeev def. Stefan Sekulic by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28): Welterweight
Emeev worked his way into the clinch where he worked for a takedown. Sekulic did a sound job of staying vertical and getting himself back into open space. A crisp right hand landed flush for Emeev that wobbled Sekulic, followed by a head kick that dropped him. despite a frantic ground attack, Emeev was unable to convert before the round ended.
Sekulic was able to press Emeev up against the cage early in the second round, and then picked up a brief takedown. Once back on his feet, Emeev pressed forward but with less output than we saw out of him in the opening round. Sekulic spent a lot of time on his back foot without landing anything to back off Emeev.
In inadvertent eye poke from Sekulic occurred within the first 30 seconds of the final round, but the fight quickly resumed. Emeev used a Kimora sweep to find top position, but Sekulic was able to scramble back up to his feet. Sekulic just wasn’t able to get things going.
Merab Dvalishvili def. Terrion Ware by unanimous decision (30-25 x3): Bantamweight
Dvalishvili was quick to get the fight to the ground where he deployed a smothering top game. Several ground strikes landed before Ware was able to scramble back up to his feet, but it was only a matter of time before Dvalishvili put Ware back on the mat. Ware showed off tons of heart, making it back to his feet again, but ate a mean flurry before the round ended.
Ware seemed to be limiting his volume out of fear of the takedown, which ultimately ended up with him getting taken down anyway. When Ware did scramble up off of the ground, he wasn’t able to create any separation from Dvalishvili. The time spent vertical for Ware was limited, as Dvalishvili realized another takedown to finish up the round on top. It didn’t even take a full 30 seconds for Dvalishvili to blast another takedown in the final round. Dvalishvili was all over Ware, landing a plethora of strikes before time expired.