A packed UFC on ESPN+ 37 card will take place on “Fight Island” tonight, Saturday, October 10.
Headlining the 14-bout event in a matchup between top-five ranked bantamweights Marlon Moraes and Colby Sandhagen. The co-main event features a featherweight bout between Edson Barboza and Makwan Amirkhani inside the Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Kicking off the main card is a featherweight matchup. Ilia Topuria is set to take on Youssef “The Moroccan Devil” Zalal in what’s anticipated to be an absolute barn burner. This will be Topuria’s debut in the UFC. He enters this bout with a highly decorated undefeated record. With 8 wins coming by stoppage, Topuria presents a sincere threat to Zalal.
Youssef Zalal made his UFC debut in February of this year and has been on a tear since. Taking short notice fight time and time again, Zalal continues to shine. Currently riding a 4 fight win streak with 3 wins inside the Octagon, Zalal looks to capitalize on his prosperous UFC future.
Here is how the featherweight bout between Ilia Topuria and Youssef Zalal went down at UFC on ESPN 16, including round-by-round scoring. For full results of the event, check them out right here.
Both fighters touch gloves and this bout is underway. Zalal leads with a lead leg head kick that is blocked. Zalal attempts the flying knee but Topuria lands a check right hook. Zalal stays light on his feet moving in and out with his attacks. Topuria looks to land early and heavy with hard one-twos down the pipe. Topuria is landing his overhand right several times while Zalal looks for his rhythm and range. Topuria changes levels for the takedown against the fence. Zalal is able to get the reversal briefly. However, Topuria takes Zalal to the floor, gets full mount, and looks to go to work. Zalal scrambles out as the two work for the position. Topuria transitions from submission to submission, beautifully. Zalal works his way through and gets back to his feet for a moment before being taken down again to end the round.
MyMMANews scores round one for Topuria. 10-9
Topuria throws a right hand from the gate. Zalal switches his levels this time for the takedown attempt. Against the fence, Zalal peppers shos to the face while working. Zalal stays on his takedown attempt. Topuria is able to work his way out as Zalal shows signs of fatigue. Zalal attempts a flying knee but gets tagged and Topuria lands heavy. Topuria gets Zalal back to the mat and goes to work. Topuria secures a mounted guillotine with ease. Zalal scrambles and reverses to take Topurias back momentarily. With time winding down, Zalal looks for the heel hook as the bell sounds.
MyMMANews scores round two for Topuria. 10-9
Zalal throws a stiff jab followed by a lead knee. Topuria returns with his own 1-2 to the takedown. Topuria looks for the armbar but is nullified as Zalal scrambles out. Zalal gets back to his feet and looks to get back in the fight. He moves forward with punches as Topuria changes levels looking for the takedown again. Zalal catches the guillotine and holds on for life. Topuria works his way out as the two scramble from position to position. Zalal gets back to his feet and creates distance looking to finish a tired Topuria. They both land their respective punches with Zalal attempting a flying knee once more as a hail marry, only to be taken down before the bell.
MyMMANews scores round three for Youssef Zalal. 10-9
Official Result: Ilia Topuria defeats Youssef Zalal via unanimous decision. 29/28. 29/28. 29/28