The UFC London prelims are in the book and the matchups involved all sorts of submissions, including a cool club and sub, a flash submission, and one of the technical persuasion! The tech sub is actually what closed out this part of the card, when Makwan Amirkhani put Mike Grundy in 57-seconds with an anaconda choke. This was a massive win for Amirkhani as it breaks up a three-fight losing slump.
After being on the sideline since October of 2019, Sergei Pavlovich just made his return to competition to stop the UFC’s #10 ranked heavyweight, Shamil Abdurakhimov, with strikes in the first round. It was a massive right hand that sat down Shamil, and then a barrage of ground strikes forced the referee to step in and stop the contest. Aside from dropping his UFC to Alistair Overeem in 2018, Pavlovich has been perfect, plus all-twelve of his finishes have occurred in the very first-round.
The UFC’s #11 ranked light heavyweight, Paul Craig, ate some hard ground strikes before flash subbing the #9 ranked, Nikita Krylov, with a triangle in the opening round. It looked like Krylov was just moments away from scoring a knockout at one point, but the flash submission ability of Paul reared its ugly head yet again. Craig’s six-fight unbeaten continues on, and in his post-fight interview, he called for a five-round match with Anthony Smith in Glasgow.
Jack Shore took a tough unanimous nod over Timur Valiev. This was quite the thriller, with the grappling exchanges almost dead even, but the difference being in the standup. Valiev threw a bit of volume, but Shore scored a couple of knockdowns to help him maintain him unblemished record and move to 16-0.
Elise Reed picked up her first UFC victory by out-boxing Cory McKenna to take a split decision. One judge somehow gave McKenna a questionable scorecard of 30-27, but it felt like the right person won the fight. Reed is back in the win column and advances get record to 5-1.
The UFC London event opened up in style when promotional newcomer Muhammad Mokaev club and subbed Cody Durden in just 58-seconds. Mokaev connected with a flying knee that dropped Durden, and then wrapped up the neck until he got the finish. At just 21-years-old, Mokaev extends his young record to 6-0-1.
**See complete results below
Makwan Amirkhani def. Mike Grundy by technical submission (Anaconda) at :57 of round 1: Featherweight
Grundy shot in right away to get things going, but Amirkhani instantly attacked the neck. Makwan was able to lock up an anaconda choke, and made all of the proper adjustments to finish the hold. He didn’t get a tap because Grundy went to sleep. Eek!
Sergei Pavlovich def. Shamil Abdurakhimov by TKO at 4:03 of round: Heavyweight
The heavyweights met in the middle and began exchanging combos. Pavlovich seemed to be the crisper puncher out there, catching Abdurakhimov off guard multiple times. A huge right hand connected for Pavlovich that sat down Abdurakhimov, and then the followup ground and pound sealed the deal. Abdurakhimov protested the stoppage, but covering up wasn’t enough defense for the ref to allow the beating continue.
Paul Craig def. Nikita Krylov by submission (Triangle) at 3:57 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Krylov came out and closed the distance behind his punches. It wasn't long before he was on top in the half guard of Craig. Several flush punches landed from the top, some of which seemed to badly daze Craig, albeit briefly. Then out of nowhere, Craig aggressively threw up a triangle before Krylov knew what hit him. A few seconds later and Krylov was tapping!
Jack Shore def. Timur Valiev by unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 29-27): Bantamweight
Shore put Valiev on his heels right away, forcing Timur to fight at his pace. As Valiev would crash in with his combos, Shore would try and cut him off with a counter. Valiev punched through a kick to get on top, but Shore immediately used his butterfly hooks and double unders to stand up. Shore was doing the better work with his hands, while Valiev was doing better with the leg kicks.
Shore came out and blasted a takedown to begin the second round, but Valiev stood right back up. Valiev then hit a takedown of his own, and was able to keep it for a little bit. Shore found a way to use the cage to get up and free himself, and the striking continued. The volume was flying for Valiev, but it seemed like Shore had the power advantage. The fight drifted into the clinch, and then the bantamweights jockeyed back and forth for position until the bell.
Shore sat down Valiev with a smooth one-two to open up the final round. Valiev recovered and fought his way back to his feet, and back to throwing his combinations. Shore shot in but found himself caught in a guillotine attempt, After patiently waiting it out, Shore was able to escape, but couldn’t do anything with the position before Valiev stood back up. They went back to banging it out, with Shore dropping Valiev with a nasty left hook behind a cross-hook. Valiev again recovered, but Shore hit a takedown to get back on top. The round ended with Valiev attacking with an armbar, but getting elbowed in the face by Shore at the same time.
Elise Reed def. Cory McKenna by split decision (29-28 x2, 27-30-27, 28-29): Strawweight
Reed opened up with a series of quick right hands. McKenna came back with some rights of her own, but Reed was landing with a bit more gusto. McKenna shifted gears and closed the distance, pining Reed against the cage. She then hit a takedown, and landed a few blows before Reed got back to her feet.
Reed returned to landing her right hand to begin the second act. The punches of Reed were much quicker than McKenna’s, so Elise was the one landing first and moving away before McKenna could land more than one at a time. McKenna did hit a takedown in the final 10-seconds of the round, but Reed scrambled up and landed two more punches before the bell.
McKenna got her takedown much earlier in the final round. She got on top and started to land some ground and pound, but Reed was able to tie her up to slow down the assault. Reed worked to get back up to her feet, and landed a big right hand that caused McKenna to stumble. McKenna tried for another last second takedown, but Reed was able to remain vertical this time.
Muhammad Mokaev def. Cody Durden by submission (Guillotine) at :58 of round 1: Flyweight
Mokaev struck first here, dropping Durden with a gorgeous flying knee. He then grabbed ahold of a guillotine, and after maintaining the grip on the neck while being slammed, Durden was tapping out. Well then!