Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Blows Khabib Nurmagomedov and Al Iaquinta met last night (April 7, 2018) at UFC 223 inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
How can I capture all the pre-combat? madness in an introductory sentence of five sentences? If you do not know the full breakthrough, MMAmania has approximately 12 articles so you can catch up. Ignoring the nonsense and focusing on the athletes, Nurmagomedov finally had his long-awaited opportunity to fight for the UFC belt. Meanwhile, Iaquinta had the odds against him, but it was an unexpected opportunity to immediately place himself in the mix of titles.
Fighting in a low position, Iaquinta stalked Nurmagomedov to open the fight, looking for power hooks. Iaquinta also threatened to shoot down, trying to use the level changes to shoot punches.
Nurmagomedov fired and grabbed his ankle, finally lifting him over his head and knocking down his enemy. Iaquinta stirred quickly, but Nurmagomedov held on and brought him back to the mat. Iaquinta continued working to get up, but Nurmagomedov did not stop harassing him with only one leg. Throughout the whole uproar, Nurmagomedov took his shots and did real damage.
Iaquinta survived the round without being brutalized, but things did not go well either.
Iaquinta could defend a couple of shots before the inevitable happened, but Nurmagomedov would not be denied. This time, Nurmagomedov placed both hooks while Iaquinta stirred, taking her back completely. He almost locked himself in a naked back choke, but Iaquinta resigned his mount. Nurmagomedov continued to chase the end through strangulation and earth blows, but Iaquinta remained firm and in fact did a decent job to avoid damage.
He survived the round, dominated but still undamaged.
Iaquinta went flying, while Nurmagomedov chose his uncomfortable and anti fight with jabs and kicks. Nurmagomedov began to throw jabs consistently, which allowed Iaquinta to time a couple of punches in the right hand. Nurmagomedov took a single shot, but otherwise chose to attack, largely hitting his enemy.
Nurmagomedov won the round, but choosing to get up with Iaquinta was definitely the riskiest path.
Iaquinta defended a couple of shots to start the fourth, but Nurmagomedov kept hitting him. "Raging Al" began to find its range a bit, landing some hooks. He used a particularly nice configuration, firing a cross-hook after a partial one-leg attempt. Unfortunately for Iaquinta, the volume of Nurmagomedov was much higher, and he won another round.
On the positive side, Iaquinta had five minutes left to score the knockout, and had defended the recent takedowns of Nurmagomedov.
Iaquinta landed with better consistency to start the fifth, including a hard left hook to the body. In fact, he was actually winning exchanges for the first time in the fight. However, that did not last long, as Nurmagomedov raised it with a great burst, cutting Iaquinta open and knocking it down once more. Nurmagomedov found his back, blocking his enemy and burning a ton of time off the clock. Iaquinta kept fighting and did everything possible to escape the position, but Nurmagomedov finished the fight mounted on the back.
There was no doubt who won each round of this fight.
Nurmagomedov won every part of this fight out of approximately 60 seconds in the fifth round. Even at that moment, Nurmagomedov decided that he had had enough with Iaquinta's small rally, and he raised it with a series of ferocious blows and threw it to the ground with authority. Nurmagomedov took breaks, of course, but he completely dominated every time he really tried.
Joe Rogan may be disappointed, but Nurmagomedov crushed Iaquinta on the rug and hit him on the feet. He also showed intelligent weapons like the uppercut and the front kick that took advantage of Iaquinta's position and opened the knockdown.
Nurmagomedov called Georges St. Pierre, but that's a damn foolish thing. Keep booking Tony Ferguson's fight until it happens or one of them withdraws.
Iaquinta is a game like hell. He did everything possible to defend the takedowns, and his defense on the canvas kept him in the fight. He was never brutalized there as Edson Barboza or Michael Johnson. Instead, he was able to survive to see the later rounds, where he did find some success.
It was not enough, but most never expected it to be like that. Iaquinta closed the hardness and skill, and in any case, proved that he can hang out with the elite class of Lightweights.
Last night, Khabib Nurmagomedov lived up to his potential by becoming a champion with 26-0. Can someone beat the Dagestani athlete?
To complete UFC 223 : "Nurmagomedov against Iaquinta" results and play-by-play, click HERE!