The UFC 253 main card is underway, and kicked off with Hakeem Dawodu and Zubaira Tukhugov going the full 15-minutes. The first round was a bit sticky, but things heated up in the second and third as both men started to let their strikes go. By the end of the final round, it was Dawodu who was marching forward and taunting the gassed Tukhugov. When the smoke cleared, it was Dawodu who walked away with the split decision. Dawodu has won five-fights in a row and demanded a top-10 opponent for his next matchup.
Quite a bit of feeling out went on in the opening round. Tukhugov landed sporadically with his left and right hands. Dawodu had a tough time connecting, as Tukhugov was staying defensively sound. It was a rather uneventful round. The second round saw more engaging from both fighters. Things started to pick up as the fighters were going combo for combo. Tukhugov was working his boxing while Dawodu was more focused on landing kicks after his punches. Tukhugov hit a takedown towards the end of the round, but didn’t do much with it other than control.
Dawodu took the center of the Octagon in the second round, and stayed with his leg attack. Tukhugov played the outside until he felt he was ready to shoot in. Dawodu did solid job of avoiding the ground and making Tukhugov expel a lot of energy. Dawodu began taunting his foe who was obviously fading, trying to instigate a brawl. He even walked towards Tukhugov with his hands at his side screaming curse words at one point.
**It should be noted that Tukhugov missed weight by four-pounds