The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Las Vegas, Nevada tonight, July 17, 2021, for UFC on ESPN 26.
The event was headlined by a lightweight showdown between potential future champion Islam Makhachev, and the only opponent on a win streak to accept a fight against him, Thiago Moises.
Makhachev is a product of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and he has all the attributes his teammate, and new coach Khabib Nurmagomedov. He is however quite different in some areas as well.
However, Moises attempted to interrupt his coming out party tonight. He came into this fight on a three-fight win streak, while the Russian came in on a seven-fight win streak.
This is also the first time either man has been scheduled in a five-round affair.
Continue reading to see how this lightweight main event went down:
Official Result: Islam Makhachev def. Thiago Moises via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:38 of round four
Makhachev comes out pressing the action and is doing a good job of cutting off the cage, forcing Moises backward.
Moises opens with the first strike of the fight, a right head kick, which was returned by Makhachev.
Makhachev’s striking is looking very sharp early on, and it even forces Moises to tie him up. However, he’s getting ate up in the clinch with Makhachev’s knees to the body.
Makhachev secures a beautiful takedown with just over a minute left in the round and remains on top until the end.
Makhachev comes out looking sharp on the feet in round two as well. He’s not dominating Moises, but it’s certainly much improved. Moises again presses Makhachev into the fence, and even secures a double leg takedown, to our surprise.
The Russian prodigy reversed it almost immediately however, and Moises spent about two minutes in bottom turtle position before being mounted and nearly submitted (armbar) at the end of the round.
We’ve known Makhachev to be more of a distance striker in his career, but he’s looking incredible striking in close. He’s doing a beautiful job of mixing it up with a variety of strikes to every target possible.
It appears he isn’t too worried about being hurt again, after being KO’d by Adriano Martins in his second UFC fight back in 2015.
Moises again presses Makhachev into the fence, but he’s eventually reversed and taken down.
It’s three rounds down for Moises right now.
We could’ve expected that, but the fight is not exactly the fight we expected. Most expected Moises to have the advantage on the feet, while we expected Makhachev to initiate the grappling exchanges.
Makhachev is dominating every aspect of the fight at this point. He came in having only absorbed 67 significant strikes throughout his UFC career (nine fights), and Moises had landed just eleven thus far.
Islam Makhachev secures a nice takedown early in round four, and after mauling Moises for about 80 seconds, he sinks in a rear naked choke and finishes the fight. He becomes the first man to finish Moises in his career, and does so during his first time ever inside a fourth round by submitting a BJJ black belt.
It’s time some ranked opponents accept a match up with this man.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.