Khabib Nurmagomedov is the UFC lightweight champion after a dominant five-round unanimous decision victory over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 on Saturday. Nurmagomedov showed a suspicious defense in the permanent game, but he was never really in danger, beating the last minute substitution in the five rounds, some so convincingly that they were 10-8 or even 10-7.
Nurmagomedov officially won, 50-44, 50-43, 50-43. And he considered it appropriate to call both Georges St-Pierre and Conor McGregor in the post-fight interview.
In the main event, Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jędrzejczyk combined for a fight of the year candidate that was in the five rounds. In the end, Namajunas beat Jędrzejczyk to hold on to the UFC UFC Women's Championship, getting a 49-46 on all three cards.
"I'm better, man," Namajunas said, after admitting that Jędrzejczyk possibly suffered from a bad weight cut at their first meeting. That first meeting was a first round knockout win for Namajunas.
This seemed like it could be more of the same as Namajunas was very quick and active during the first two rounds, landing the most accurate shots and avoiding Jędrzejczyk.
SB Nation scored the third and fourth rounds for Jędrzejczyk, as he began to find the moment when Namajunas slowed down. But in the fifth, Namajunas recovered and hit some hard shots that seemed to affect Jędrzejczyk's ability to see clearly, and convincingly won the fifth round.
Upon entering the main event, Iaquinta was coming off a five-game winning streak that included a first-round knockout of Diego Sanchez in his last fight.
Joe Lauzon's corner threw in the towel after the second round of his first card-opening game against Chris Gruetzemacher, and it was the right decision. Gruetzemacher had control of the fight and possibly had a 10-7 round in the second. After that it was an exciting three round bout between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Kyle Bochniak. Magomedsharipov used his range to spray Bochniak in three rounds, although his opponent never gave up and kept moving forward for a very impressive pairing.
It was a unanimous decision victory for Magomedsharipov. Another excellent game plan was shown in the next fight, a unanimous decision by Renato Moicano over Calvin Kattar. Moicano controlled the fight with brutal kicks that took away all the power of Kattar.
On the preliminary card, Evan Dunham was surprised by a technical knockout in the first round by Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who landed a large knee in the body that started a mix of strikes that led to the arrest. The highlight, however, was the final preliminary fight, between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Felice Herrig. Kowalkiewicz managed to win a narrow split decision, but it was an exciting roundtrip fight.
A wild week, for mostly wrong reasons, comes to an end for the UFC. Originally Nurmagomedov was scheduled to face Tony Ferguson in the main event of Saturday's card, but that fight was canceled when Ferguson suffered an injury. The UFC then considered withdrawing Nurmagomedov from the card to establish a potential showdown with Conor McGregor, who Ariel Helwani of the MMA Fighting reports was working to reach a new agreement with the company before the event.
That went south quickly, when McGregor attacked the bus carrying Nurmagomedov as well as several other fighters on the card, throwing a dolly through one of the windows. McGregor was responding to a perceived snub of Nurmagomedov, who has an altercation with McGregor's friend, Artem Lobov, at a hotel on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, several people were injured as a result of this assault, including Michael Chiesa and Brandon Moreno, who had to withdraw from their fights against Anthony Pettis and Ray Borg, respectively. Lobov, who was ready to face Alex Cáceres, was also taken off the card. McGregor was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal conduct, and is expected to hold his next hearing on June 14.
Max Holloway was installed as a replacement for Nurmagomedov, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission found him medically unfit to compete during his short notice weight cut. The potential battles against Pettis and Paul Felder also failed, which led Iaquinta to intervene. As a result of all this, several fights were played on the card, and the company did not have enough fights to even run the UFC Fight Pass catwalks. .
Below, you can find the action point by point of our live blog, and below is a complete list of the results of the combat card UFC 223: Khabib against Iaquinta.
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. To the Iaquinta by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-43, 50-43)
Round 1: Iaquinta fails with a heavy hand. Short blow to the left of Nurmagomedov, and a failed attempt to shoot down. Shoot another and get only one leg. It seems that Iaquinta is going to escape, but Nurmagomedov has a deadly grip on his leg, and finally throws him towards his back. He is quickly in lateral control. Iaquinta gives up and hurries, managing to stand up against the fence. Iaquinta is trying to get a kimura, but Nurmagomedov moves away from her. Strong shots in the face of Nurmagomedov, who is holding Iaquinta against the fence. More hard blows from Nurmagomedov. Iaquinta walks through the fence and stands up, but Nurmagomedov hits him hard. Iaquinta returns to stand, but has no time to land anything.
SB Nation scores lap 10-8 for Nurmagomedov.
Round 2: Iaquinta comes out with a lower stance, to defend against the knockdown. Nurmagomedov launches again for the heel knockdown, but fails. However, Iaquinta does not have time to breathe, as Nurmagomedov simply shoots for another takedown and hits Iaquinta. He lands a little ground and pounds, and Iaquinta tries to walk the fence again. After a minute of this, he leaves his back and Nurmagomedov jumps. He flattens it and throws hard blows from the side. Iaquinta is limiting the damage, but he can not do anything but survive. The round ends with Iaquinta tied completely.
SB Nation scores the round 10-8 for Nurmagomedov.
Round 3: The right jab of Nurmagomedov is connected. Left hand on top of the lands of both fighters. Iaquinta fails with a wide and heavy left hook. Nurmagomedov's head kick is blocked. Short left hook of Nurmagomedov lands. Attempt failed to shoot Nurmagomedov. The right hand on top of Iaquinta lands and does some damage, but Nurmagomedov is fine. Two hard blows to Nurmagomedov's nose. Good body shot of Nurmagomedov. Iaquinta lands a good right counterattack while blocking a low kick. Short to the left of Nurmagomedov. The round comes to an end with Iaquinta swinging a big hook that simply fails.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Nurmagomedov.
Round 4: The fast left jab continues to land hard from Nurmagomedov, who is trying to intimidate Iaquinta here. He's not shooting for the takedown, but he can probably get it whenever he wants after those first two rounds. Iaquinta had his best round in the third, but he was not close yet. Straight left from Iaquinta sneaks through. Nurmagomedov goes for only one leg, but shoots from far away and Iaquinta comes out of it. Iaquinta shoots to knock him down, and Nurmagomedov leaves him, but Iaquinta marks him with a left hand that definitely caused some damage. But Nurmagomedov shakes it and lands three consecutive jabs. Straight left from the lands of Iaquinta. Nurmagomedov responds with a great jab and another. Iaquinta lands a hook near the end of the round. Closer, again, but still not a victory for Iaquinta.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Nurmagomedov.
Round 5: The jab continues to land for Nurmagomedov, and Iaquinta's face is still bloody. Iaquinta lands hard on top, but Nurmagomedov handles it. Iaquinta fails with a wide fist that rotates backward. Iaquinta simulates an attempt to shoot down and throws wild hooks, but Nurmagomedov is fine. He is a little stiff and keeps his chin too far away, but he is not in danger. Nurmagomedov begins to build something, a great combo that stumbles on Iaquinta. He runs and throws a knee that falls on the upper part of the body, and Iaquinta is thrown against the fence. The blood is coming out of his face, and Nurmagomedov is at the top against the fence. Nurmagomedov takes his back, with hooks. He wants to finish and tries to choke on his back. However, you can not get under your chin. It remains in the tip until the end of the fifth.
SB Nation scores lap 10-8 for Nurmagomedov, for a total score of 50-42 for Nurmagomedov.
Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jędrzejczyk by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Round 1: They do not touch gloves to start, but both take the center of the octagon. Jędrzejczyk's leg kick lands very well. They both have an idea of things, nothing really lands in the first two minutes. Both want the counterattack, although Jędrzejczyk has thrown many short shots. Namajunas lands a hook to the body, and Jędrzejczyk connects with another kick in the leg. Good leg kicked by Jędrzejczyk, who also gets out of the way of the Namajunas tracking hook. However, the great right hand of the lands of Namajunas, and a second, but Jędrzejczyk handles it. The left hook of Namajunas rubs, and she fails with her right hand. Namajunas keeps Jędrzejczyk out of balance with his movement. The right hook followed by a hard counter leaves the lands of Jędrzejczyk at the end of the round. It was probably the biggest shot of the round, but it's still the round of Namajunas.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Namajunas.
Round 2: A kick from Namajunas followed by a heavy-two combo, and the time is almost perfect. Jędrzejczyk connects with a kick in the leg. Another kick in Jędrzejczyk's leg. He left the right lands for Namajunas, the right hook fails but the second left hits hard. Kick of Jędrzejczyk. The left bar of Namajunas falls short. They are riveted and Jędrzejczyk connects with a hard knee to the body. Jędrzejczyk says he took one eye, but the referee says no. The left short hook connects with Jędrzejczyk, but Namajunas lands a good counter on the left. Jędrzejczyk stands still when he throws the right, and Namajunas will win if she continues to do so. Hold on to the fence, and Jędrzejczyk connects with a good knee for the body. This is a tough round to score!
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Namajunas.
Round 3: A good leg kicks from Jędrzejczyk to start the round, but he eats a big right hand for her clouds. The corner of Namajunas told her to stay out of the clinch with Jędrzejczyk, and it seems that she is trying to achieve it. Two jabs land from Jędrzejczyk, who manages to avoid the weight of a rotating fist from Namajunas. More strong kicks from Jędrzejczyk, and then a kick in the head. Jędrzejczyk has clearly found his time, although Namajunas is not exactly fading. Nice body kick from Jędrzejczyk. The right hand on top of Jędrzejczyk lands in Namajunas. The impulse seems to be changing!
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Jędrzejczyk.
Round 4: Hard inside the Jędrzejczyk kick, and then another. The legs of Namajunas are very red from the kicks of the legs. Kick left to the body from Namajunas during a blast where Jędrzejczyk landed a hard right shot. Good right hook of Namajunas while she recoils. Jędrzejczyk with a good left stroke, then another. Another kick in the leg. Namajunas staggers from the next kick. Jędrzejczyk brings together a good combo. Namajunas does not move so much, it's slowing down. Jędrzejczyk smiles greatly and is urging Namajunas to pitch, which is surprising given the knockout of his first fight. Jędrzejczyk left blow. Left to the body, and she eats some of a Namajunas hook. Kick of Jędrzejczyk when the round ends.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Jędrzejczyk.
Round 5: Namajunas comes forward again, and lands a hard left on the top. Jędrzejczyk smiles and moves him, and connects with a blow of his own. One-two above the lands of Jędrzejczyk, and they get into a wild blast, with Namajunas connecting hard with his right hand on his nose. Jędrzejczyk seems to be having problems with his nose, which is now leaking blood. A great uppercut from Namajunas, which is not moving so well but is throwing with much more power. Jędrzejczyk is starting to return, landing a couple of punches. She may be having trouble seeing from her left side, and Namajunas is throwing more right hands as a result. Jędrzejczyk gets a good counterattack when Namajunas comes on. A hard left blow from Jędrzejczyk, and another … and another. But Namajunas lands a good left over the top. Namajunas goes in for a takedown and gets it with 20 seconds left. Jędrzejczyk quickly gets his back to the fence and receives multiple shots from the position. WHAT FIGHT!
SB Nation scores the round 10-9 for Namajunas, for a total of 48-47 for Namajunas.
Renato Moicano def. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1: A period of feeling here for the first minute or so, both fighters are simply testing their range. Kattar labels it with a hook and Moicano responds with a burst of his own, although nothing lands. Good shot of Moicano body. Both fighters want to land the counterattack. Moicano connects with a good counter on the right hand when Kattar enters, and as he walks away, a kick lands on the body. A couple of good kicks from the land of Moicano, and he has to keep going like that. Kattar wants that well above, but does not find his mark when the round ends. Really close round.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Moicano.
Round 2: Moicano enters the round doubling in the kicks. They are hitting hard, and Kattar will have trouble planting the power shots he is capable of. He is standing much straighter now, and pulling his leg back more drastically to try to avoid them. Kattar's left blow lands, but Moicanno lands two more kicks, both just above the knee. Kattar stumbles for a kick inside the leg. Kattar is pulling out her right hand and occasionally connecting, but there is no power behind her. Moicano is executing his game plan perfectly.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Moicano.
Round 3: Moicano comes forward with some punches for a change, and gets a couple of hooks. He dodges an overhand from Kattar, and gets into a big kick in the inner leg. More and more kicks from Moicano. A lot of swelling in Kattar's legs, especially in the inner leg. Combo of one-two punch from the lands of Moicano. Excellent uppercut of Moicano, followed by a right hook and another uppercut. Kattar partially blocks the last two, but they hurt. Kattar tries to rush for a knockout near the end, but can not get it.
SB Nation scores the round 10-8 for Moicano, for a total score of 30-26 for Moicano.
Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Kyle Bochniak by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1: Bochniak rushes to close the gap in the tallest and heaviest Magomedsharipov. Launches wide hooks, but can not land at all. He eats a short revolving kick to the body of Magomedsharipov. Kick left to the body of Magomedsharipov, while Bochniak fails with a hook. Magomedsharipov's left stiff blow goes to another back kick in the body. Try a big kick in the foot, but Bochniak crouches down. Two kicks to the body of Magomedsharipov, and a rangey jab. Bochniak simply fails with a massive hay counter. That would have been brutal for Magomedsharipov, but he avoided it. Bochniak lands a good hook combo in the upper part of the body. Two quick ground kicks Magomedsharipov to the leg and body. Magomedsharipov lands a good kick to the side of the head, but Bochniak blocks it partially. The right hand on top of the land of Bochniak, and Magomedsharipov throws a rotating fist that simply rubs it. Both land with their right hands when the round ends.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Magomedsharipov.
Round 2: Magomedsharipov retrieves Bochniak's back at the foot of the fence. It takes almost a minute, but it pulls Bochniak down and is on top with full guard. However, they do not do much there and they stand up after a while. Magomedsharipov connects with a big left hand that hurts Bochniak, but he keeps moving forward and points to his own chin. He eats another drink and throws a hook to the body. But Bochniak is cut close to his right eye and has received much more damage from more angles. Bochniak fails with a huge left hook, and Magomedsharipov uses the momentum to drag Bochniak onto his back. He is on guard again, but they are standing pretty fast again. Bochniak continues to advance, but does not throw kicks and Magomedsharipov stays out of reach.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Magomedsharipov
Round 3: Bochniak looks harsh, but rushes to the start of the round, flying one-two hook combos. None of them is landing, but Magomedsharipov has to retreat. He manages the pressure and catches Bochniak with another spinning kick. Bochniak does not slow down, and Magomedsharipov goes by, and gets the takedown. Again, Bochniak manages well from his back and get up quickly. Not for long, however, as Magomedsharipov lowers it again and in full guard. The whole face of Bochniak is bloody. Bochniak crawls and Magomedsharipov drags him again. Bochniak stands firm on the grip surprisingly well, but is not able to mount a real offense. Good jab from Magomedsharipov. Missing Magomedsharipov, who seems a bit tired. He's backing up against the fence, and he almost eats a big Bochniak hook, which seems like it can last forever. Bochniak lands a right hook flush in the jaw, and Magomedsharipov takes a deep breath to look at the clock. Two left hooks from the ground Bochniak. Magomedsharipov also begins to fly on the hooks. They both eat big fights in the end, but Bochniak got the biggest ones. The round and the fight end.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Magomedsharipov, for a total score of 30-27 for Magomedsharipov.
Chris Gruetzemacher def. Joe Lauzon through TKO (corner stop) after Round 2
Round 1: They play gloves and Lauzon throws early and fast. Get multiple combos one-two and a couple of punctures while Gruetzemacher is still getting ready. However, no serious damage is done. Lauzon launches a four-hit combo, none of which lands. Lauzon lands a nice short right elbow followed by a left jab. They end up on the floor, with Gruetzemacher at the top, but Lauzon, a dangerous jiu-jitsu practitioner, is trying to block a heel hook or a leg lock. He approaches, but he does not get it and they get back on their feet. Lauzon receives a good knee from the clinch, and Gruetzemacher lands three consecutive strokes. Gruetzemacher is keeping his hand there directly in front of Lauzon's hand. They go to the clinch and Gruetzemacher connects with a hard uppercut. Lauzon already looks a little tired. Good left claw, Gruetzemacher right hook combo. Lauzon could have marked himself. Gruetzemacher controls until the end of the round.
SB Nation scores the 10-9 round for Gruetzemacher.
Round 2: Nice kick from Gruetzemacher to start. Lauzon recoils and eats a great right, then a kick to the body. Lauzon shoots for the knockdown, fails, and fails again on the second attempt. Powerful knee for Gruetzemacher's body, and a good uppercut to follow. Two hooks to Gruetzemacher's body. Lauzon is bloody and has a severe swelling in his right eye. Gruetzemacher has total control here. Kick to the body of Gruetzemacher. Lauzon tries to connect with careless and wide hooks, and Gruetzemacher is not in danger. The referee should probably stop this for the eye to see. This is not even close. Lauzon reaches the end of the round, and Lauzon's corner throws in the towel, as they should.
SB Nation scores the 10-7 round for Gruetzemacher.
UFC 223 results of the complete fight card
Main card  Lightweight: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. To the Iaquinta by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-43, 50-43)
Weight of the woman: Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jędrzejczyk by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Feather: def. Renato Moicano. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Featherweight: Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Kyle Bochniak by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight: def. Chris Gruetzemacher. Joe Lauzon through TKO (corner stopping) after round 2
Weight of woman: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig by split decision 29-28, 28-29, 29-28
Lightweight: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Evan Dunham through TKO (knee and blows) at 0:53 of Round 1
Women's flyweight: Def. Ashlee Evans-Smith. Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Light heavyweight: Devin Clark def. Mike Rodríguez by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)