It was a fight Al Iaquinta wasn’t supposed to be in – literally, at the start of the week, and figuratively by the time the bell rang. But there he was, in the fifth round against Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title fight.
Nurmagomedov (26-0 MMA, 10-0 UFC) pitched a shutout with relative ease against Iaquinta (13-4-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC) to become the UFC’s new lightweight champion. But the fact Iaquinta took him 25 minutes as a heavy underdog in a title fight he took on a day’s notice no doubt put his stock on the rise. Nurmagomedov won with a pair of 50-43 scores and a 50-44, meaning he took a pair of 10-8 rounds from two judges.
The side drama about the fight was that in taking the lightweight belt, Nurmagomedov ended the title reign of Conor McGregor, who won the championship in November 2016, but never defended it. (That McGregor would be stripped after UFC 223 was a decision made prior to the Thursday bus attack he allegedly was part of looking for Nurmagomedov – an attack that has him awaiting a June court date on three assault charges.)
The lightweight title bout was the main event of today’s UFC 223 show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1.
Nurmagomedov went to the outside and Iaquinta fired a right hand at him. He put a couple punches together right after that, then slipped away from a Nurmagomedov takedown attempt. A minute in, though, Nurmagomedov got a single-leg and easily took Iaquinta to the canvas. He went to work in half-guard, then moved to side control. Iaquinta had to give up his back fairly quickly, but scrambled back to his feet. Back on the canvas, Nurmagomedov dropped short punches onto Iaquinta’s face. With 75 seconds left, Nurmagomedov dropped Iaquinta down again and started to maul him.
Nurmagomedov got another pair of takedowns early in the second round with plenty of time to work. Midway through the round, Iaquinta gave his back with Nurmagomedov draped on him. Nurmagomedov went after the neck and worked for a rear-naked choke. He couldn’t get it, but got full mount. When Iaquinta turtled back over, he alternated from punches to choke attempts. Iaquinta survived the round, but it was more dominance from Nurmagomedov.
Iaquinta caught Nurmagomedov with a right hand two minutes into the third round and popped his head back. A right hand over the top came right behind it. Iaquinta’s face was bleeding down onto his chest, but he stayed in the pocket. Nurmagomedov talked to Iaquinta and waved a finger at him, and with two minutes left the New York crowd started up a “USA!” chant for Iaquinta, from Long Island. Iaquinta tried to check a kick, then landed a counter right hand.
Two minutes into the fourth round, after staying on his feet all of the third, Iaquinta stuffed another Nurmagomedov takedown attempt. He stuffed another one not long after that. In the fifth, Iaquinta landed a body punch and one up top. Then a combination got through a minute in. Another Nurmagomedov takedown attempt was stuffed by Iaquinta near the midway point of the round, but not long after that Nurmagomedov finally took him down for the first time since the second round. Iaquinta worked hard for a late rear-naked choke, but couldn’t get it.
Nurmagomedov kept his unbeaten streak with his 26th straight win, and 10th straight in the UFC. Iaquinta had a five-fight winning streak snapped.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 223 results include:
- Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-43, 50-43)
- Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
- Renato Moicano def. Calvin Kattar via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Chris Gruetzemacher def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Evan Dunham via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:53
- Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Devin Clark def. Michael Rodriguez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan, Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Brooklyn.)
Source link : http://mmajunkie.com/2018/04/ufc-223-results-khabib-nurmagomedov-dominates-al-iaquinta-lightweight-champion-conor-mcgregor
Publish date : 2018-04-08 05:28:46