While the UFC Moscow show dragged at times with inaction, the main event was quite the opposite. You know what you’re going to get from both Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar - high volume and some flash. And that’s what we got in Moscow today.
Zabit busted out all sorts of crazy stuff - jump knees, pinning elbows and hook kicks. Not all of them connected, but they looked pretty. Kattar relied on his boxing, and it really took over in the third. Unfortunately for him, it was a little too late. Magomedsharipov largely controlled the first two rounds by mixing in the sizzle with a solid double jab and good body work.
As mentioned, Kattar really turned it up in the third and Zabit looked human for basically the first time in his UFC career. But a mistimed jump knee that put him on his back with a minute to go sealed his fate, and Magomedsharipov took home a unanimous decision win.
- I really wish that could have been five rounds.
- Alexander Volkov picked up a fairly dominant decision win over Greg Hardy in the co-main event. Volkov was in control of the striking throughout, using good distance control and a very effective kick to the body whenever Hardy moved. Hardy injured his right hand in the first and while he did his best to adjust, it was obvious that he was outgunned. His jab did look good though, and he took a bunch of heavy shots that didn’t rattle his chin at all. He has a lot of work to do still though before he deserves opportunities like this as a late replacement.
- I wasn’t overly impressed with the Danny Roberts - Zelim Imadaev fight over the first half. There were a few flurries here and there that didn’t really connect from both men, and some cage work. But late in the seconds, Roberts landed one of the hardest shots of the year. Imadaev spun around from a lethal left hook and went down. Before Roberts could follow up, the ref waved it off because Imadaev was done.
- Khadis Ibragimov got handled by ageless Ed Herman. Basically Herman just had to weather a big early storm and a couple of long combos. He used a very effective leg kick and good clinch work (particularly a bunch of knees) to batter his opponent and take a wide decision.
- Anthony Martin and Ramazan Emeev was an average but not great bout. Martin used the submission threat well to stay off his back, and while the striking numbers seemed close, it’s clear that Martin got the best of it. Following the fight, he stated that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer in an emotional moment. Best wishes to Rocco’s mom.
- The main card opener was a solid and close light heavyweight both between Shamil Gamzatov and Klidson Abreu. Both of them had some nice moments in the fight, and it really could have gone either way. In the end, while Abreu landed the harder shots overall, the judges leaned towards the home country fighter.
Preliminary Card (written by Mookie)
- Magomed Ankalaev was smashing Dalcha Lungiambula on the ground in round two, then the light heavyweight prospect proceeded to destroy Dalcha with a vicious front kick KO early in round three. It was so violent and exciting that John Gooden, Paul Felder, and Dan Hardy all got up out of their seats. That was awesome.
- Rustam Khabilov and Sergey Khandozhko threatened to have an exciting scrap based on round one. Reality set in and Khabilov did his usual thing, which is use his wrestling and grappling to impose his will on his opponent and take a decision. So many of his fights look identical that they’re all just a blur at this point.
- Karl Roberson is a damn warrior. He took a nasty eye poke from Roman Kopylov in the final round that could’ve justifiably ended the fight and taken this to the scorecards (and I think he would’ve won a technical decision). Not only did Roberson continue, he tapped Kopylov with a sweet rear-naked choke with a minute to go.
- Wow! Abubakar Nurmagomedov’s UFC debut did not go to script. David Zawada came in and pulled off a stunning upset by locking up a tight triangle choke early in round one, forcing the cousin of lightweight champ Khabib to tap out. He was damn near inconsolable after such a surprise result. Props to Zawada for an outstanding win in enemy territory.
- Roosevelt Roberts and Alexander Yakovlev had a nice, back-and-forth grappling battle that ultimately was won by Roberts in the final round. A deserved decision win to get him back on track after he was bested by Vinc Pichel in his last outing.
- Pannie Kianzad made it 2-for-2 against Jessica-Rose Clark, outstriking her and making the most of her physical advantages to get a shutout unanimous decision win. The third time is the charm for Kianzad, who picks up her first ever UFC win.
- Davey Grant hasn’t fought much in his UFC career, but the English bantamweight made a rare appearance on Saturday and picked up an entertaining split decision win over Gregorii Popov. Not sure there was a strong case for Popov getting a card in his favor, but the right guy won.