UFC Moscow Review
The UFC returned to Moscow as hometown favourite Zabit Magomedsharipov faced off against Calvin Kattar in a 3 rounder main event at the CSKA Arena.
Shamil Gamzatov 13-0 29 vs. 15-3 26 Klidson Abreu (light heavyweight bout)
In a battle of prospects, undefeated Dagestani Shamil Gamzatov made his UFC debut against Brazilian counterpart Klidson Abreu. The buzz around him will to grow, as the 29 year-old improved to 14-0. The fight started tentatively as they both tried to gauge the distance in this battle of southpaw vs. orthodox with a battle of low kicks early on as they tried to figure each other out. Abreu threw a head kick and flying knee that missed, in the only action of a very slow first round. The 26 year-old Abreu continued to set the pace and advance on the front foot and managed to take Gamzatov down with a double-leg in the last 30 seconds of the second round. Gamzatov pressured in the third round, landing a good combination of punches and beginning to initiate clinches, but although it seemed like it was to little to late, the judges awarded him the decision. They scored it 28-29, 29-28 & 29-28 and with it, the split decision, meaning Abreu now holds a record of 15-4.
Ramazan Emeev vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (welterweight bout)
The Russian Ramazan Emeev was on a 7-fight win streak, having dominated the Russian domestic fight scene, whilst Martin had won 4 of his last 5 since moving to 170lbs. The Minnesota native was visibly hyped before the fight and started quickly but Emeev began to counter with crisp strike early on. He shot in for a takedown and was caught by Rocco in an kimura that was incredibly tight that looked to be almost fight-ending but somehow was able to escape, bringing a low pop from the crowd, as he bloodied the nose of Martin Toward the end of the round. In the second, Emeev was caught in a guillotine but able to survive. The leg kicks of Rocco caused massive swelling to Emeev's calves and Martin used Emeev's takedown attempts as a way of landing uppercuts. Both fighters had success in the third round, but the sporadic punching outbursts by the 32 year-old Russian look to have been matched by Martin's hard sprawls. They gave it all they had until the final bell, and the 29 year-old Martin got the unanimous decision 29-28, 30-27 & 29-28. Anthony Rocco Martin moves to 17-5, whilst Ramazan Emeev is now 18-4
Khadis Ibragimov vs. Ed Herman (light heavyweight bout)
In an entertaining fight, 39 year-old veteran Ed Herman fought the Russian prospect Khadis Ibragimov, who was looking to bounce back from his first defeat. The Russian started very aggressively, but took a knee to the head early on from the clinch, suffering a broken nose. In the second round, they were both entangled in a clinch against the cage. Ibragimov was bothered by the injury to his nose and Herman began to turn on the style in the 2nd round, landing tough punches and knees from the clinch, further damaging the Russian, The veteran then grabbed a hold of his opponent's neck as he attempted to tire him out. The prospect managed to see the final round, but was completely exhausted as Herman began to walk him down. Both men still threw for the fences and Ibragimov briefly secured a takedown but the veteran scrambled up and continued to cause damage to the Russian opening up a cut on his forehead that poured blood whilst he had a standing guillotine locked in against the fence, The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27 & 29-28 to Ed Herman as he prevailed in the bloody encounter to improve to 25-14, 1nc whilst Khadis Ibragimov suffered a second straight loss to and is now 8-2.
Zelim Imadaev 24 8-1 vs. 16-5 32 Danny Roberts (welterweight bout)
In a battle of the strikers, 24 year-old Zelim Imadaev looked to get back into the W column, after suffering defeat last time out. Roberts attempted the first takedown, but it was stuffed by the man from Chechnya , leading to gritty clinch work against the cage from both. Roberts almost got caught with a flying knee after a momentary slip, but took down Imadaev and then again right at the end of the round. Both men's striking looked good as they showed respect for each other's skills. Roberts was taken down at the beginning of the second round, but was straight back on his feet as they went to work in the clinch, at times separating to throw single shots as the fight became way more technical as the fight. In the final 10 seconds of round 2, Roberts landed a sensational left hook that brutally dropped Zelim forcing the referee to wave off the fight as the 32 year-old Englishman got the knockout to improve to 17-5 and Imadaev needs to go back to the drawing board as the 24 year-old suffers back-to-back defeats and is now 8-2
Alexander Volkov 30-7 31 vs. 5-1, 1nc 31 Greg Hardy (heavyweight bout)
In the co-main event, the heavyweight contender Alexander Volkov met the American Greg Hardy, a short-notice replacement who fought just 22 days ago. The fight started tentatively as both fighters were wary of the power of each other. Hardy, in only his 7th MMA fight, went for an early takedown but didn't commit. Volkov landed a good head kick but hardy threw two big right hands as he kept Volkov at range. Hardy seemed to have broken his wrist after checking a body kick and in the second round, Volkov went to work with chopping kicks to the legs and body of the former NFL star. Hardy continued to throw that right hand but it didn't have the power. Hardy came out swinging in the third round but Volkov was able to negate the attack in a slow-paced fight that never really caught fire. The Russian began to utalise his straight punches as he fought off the back foot and began to land his accurate kicks to the body. In the final minute, the veteran Volkov picked hardy apart from range, and all three judges gave him the unanimous decision 30-27. Volkov moves to 31-7 and will probably look to fight a top 5 opponent next. Whilst this set-back leaves Hardy at 5-2 with 1nc.
Zabit Magomedsharipov 17-1 28 vs. 20-3 31 Calvin Kattar (featherweight main event)
In the highly anticipated main event, Zabit Magomedsharipov finally met the American Calvin Kattar, after their fight was originally called off last month, in a 3 round man event. Zabit fought off the back foot early on, throwing accurate kicks an straight punches as he controlled the range early on. The Russian put on a clinical striking display for most of the first round, using his reach advantage to throw strikes and stay out of danger but Kattar had success in the last 30 seconds as both fighters got into a scrap at the end of the round. Zabit started quickly in the second, as he tried to set up some strikes but the fight began to become more tentative. Zabit changed levels for the takedown and beautifully tripped Kattar to the mat, with skill but the American was not deterred.
Zabit's footwork seemed to cause trouble for Kattar and confuse him, stopping from throwing his best weapon, the jab. Kattar began to push the pace in the third round and get onto the front kick but the effortless kicks from Zabit to the legs and body seemed to be . Zabit tired heavily as Kattar went searching and visibly shook the Russian with a combination of several hard punches but Zabit was able to get a takedown in the last 30 seconds, and that proved decisive. All 3 judges scored the fight 29-28 to Zabit. The 28 year-old moves to 17-1 and said in his Octagon interview that he wants to fight the winner of Holloway-Volkanovski, who fight on December 14th. Calvin Kattar looked good, but ultimately came up short and the 31 year-old American is now 20-4.