UFC 223: Nurmagomedov vs Iaquinta – Results

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-43 & 50-43)

It doesn’t take too long for Khabib to get the fight down to the ground where he keeps it for the best part of the first round, he keeps Al against the cage and lands the left hand at will. Al manages to get back to this feet a couple of times but is quickly reintroduced to the ground and the relentless wrestling of Khabib. Dominant round for Khabib but he hasn’t landed the overwhelming damage that he did to Edson Barboza back in December.

Al manages to keep the fight on the feet for the first minute of the second round, landing hammer strikes to break the first attempt but he is quickly swamped and dragged back up against the fence where Khabib continues to land strikes at will. Al tries to find a way back to his feet but it just opens up his back and Khabib needs no invitation. He attempts a rear naked choke but Al escapes. Khabib quickly flattens him out and starts dropping strikes. Al is fighting it as best he can but Khabib is just on another level. 20-16 after two rounds.

It takes Khabib nearly two minutes to go in for his first takedown and Iaquinta stuffs it. Al has his moments on the feet but not enough to take the round. You have to think Khabib is letting Al feel comfortable before he drags him back to hell.

Round four sees the fight continue on the feet. Al hasn’t made the critical error that Barboza made by not attempting leg kicks. Al does try to take Khabibs leg before quickly giving up. Khabibs jab has been money the whole fight but he isn’t following it up with anything and begins to slow towards the end of the forth.

Round five is wild. Khabib continues to strike with Al, Khabib finally remembers that he is a wrestler and after an intense exchange on the feet, he finally gets Al back down where he attempts several submissions. It ends with Khabib on Al’s back.

 

Rose Namajunas defeats Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

A tentative opening to this fight, both fighters showing respect for each others ability. Rose is trying to circle Joanna but does get caught when she comes forward with lightning fast combinations from the former champion. Rose pushes Joanna back with two straight kicks and follows them up with a right hand over the top that lands. It doesn’t rock Joanna but it certainly gives her food for thought going into the second round. With seconds left in the round, Joanna lands a hard left hook of her own that catches Roses coming forward.

Rose begins to edge ahead in the second, landing the cleaner shots on Joanna. After everything we have seen in the past three years since UFC 185, its hard to imagine anyone landing with the success that Rose is but here we are. Joanna calls for a break in the action after an eye poke but the referee doesn’t see it so he doesn’t stop the action. With seconds left in the round, they clinch where Joanna lands a few knees. Close round but Rose probably claimed it.

Rose opens round three with an overhand right that throws Joanna off balance, she quickly recovers. That overhand right seems to always be there for Rose when they exchange. As we begin to move towards the championship rounds, Rose seems to be slowing down. Joanna is pressing the action and countering Rose whenever she moves forward. Her mouth is now open and she is breathing heavily through it. Championship rounds next.

As we move into the championship rounds, the momentum of the fight has swung in favour of the former champion. Her output has remained consistent whereas Rose has slowed down considerably. Joanna continues to kick the lead leg of Rose and follow up with combinations. As we move into the fifth round, I have it two rounds a piece. This is a massive five minutes.

Rose digs deep early, landing some jabs followed by a few stiff jabs. Both ladies know whats at stake and they are both showing urgency. With a little over three minutes to go, Rose lands a massive uppercut to the chin of Joanna. The former champion is still targeting the lead but gets countered every time she goes for it. After twenty-four minutes, both ladies are still standing almost in the middle of the octagon and exchanging combinations. Rose lands a massive takedown with less than thirty seconds to go which could be enough to steal the fight. What a fight.

Renato Moicano defeats Calvin Kattar via unanimous decision (29-28, & 30-27 x 2)

Very close first round with little separating the two fighters except the leg kicks from Moicano. The leg kicks begin to add up resulting in Kattar switching up his stance in round two to protect his lead leg. Moicano continues to target the leg without much fear for repercussions as Kattar is struggling to load up on his strikes.

Kattar comes out swinging in round three but is continually met with strikes and kicks to his injured leg for good measure from Moicano. Kattars purpose has become nothing more than a punching bag for Moicano. Can’t keep up with the Brazillian who strikes at will. Moicano should get the nod from the judges here.

Zabit Magomedsharipov defeats Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27)

Magomedsharipov and Bochniak are some of the few fighters who actually benefitted from the Conor McGregor incident in the loading bay of the Barclays Centre with their fight being moved from the fight pass only prelims to the main card. Zabit is one of the most highly touted prospects in MMA right now having won performance bonuses in his two UFC fights so far.

Zabit opens up like many predicted he would, putting on a striking clinic on Bochniak. In the second, the clinic from Zabit continues. His striking speed is incredible and finds Bochniak at the end of all his strikes. Bochniak drops his hands and sticks his tongue out at Zabit who can’t really believe whats happening. With ninety seconds left, Zabit side steps in and gets Bochniak to the ground in a visually beautiful way. If there is a name for it, I haven’t heard of it. See below.

Bochniak opens the third, dancing around Zabit but is quickly brought back to Earth and reality when he goes forward straight into one of Zabits spinning back kicks. The Zabit show continues but he hasn’t done enough to fully put Bochniak away. That said these two fighters are giving the people who paid for a PPV their value for money. The last twenty seconds of the fight has to be seen to be believed.

https://twitter.com/FightingLabFL/status/982823113938399232

Chris Gruetzemacher defeats Joe Lauzon via TKO (corner stoppage) 5:00 Round Two.

With three losses in his last four fights, there is a lot on the line here tonight for Joe Lauzon. Chris Gruetzemacher (CG) has issues of his own riding a two-fight losing streak. Lauzon loads up early and lands some heavy strikes and also attempts a heel hook and kneebar early on. CG recovers and takes advantage of a heavily fatigued Lauzon who makes no effort to get his head out of the way of the combinations been thrown at him.

Round two is hard to watch as we can see that a long career full of wars has finally caught up on Joe Lauzon. He does enough to barely defend himself but it is getting sad and ugly very quickly. Thankfully for the long-term health of Joe Lauzon, the fight is stopped between the second and third. Lauzon is a warrior and owes this sport nothing. Has nothing to be ashamed of.

Prelims

Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeats Felice Herrig via split decision. (29-28, 28-29 & 29-28)

Massive fight in the strawweight division. Felice Herrig comes in tonight on a four-fight win streak and takes a massive step up in competition with former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both ladies look content on the feet, exchanging early with neither fighter taking a step back. Karolina attempts a rolling kneebar towards the end of the first but Herrig ends up in her guard, Karolina reverses her and Herrig ends up in a triangle. She escapes but finishes the round with Karolina in her guard landing punches down on her.

Karolina starts showing her striking credentials in the second, landing short elbows in the clinch and a clean spinning back fist. Herrig has her moments but Karolina seems to be the more creative striker mixing knees into the clinch.

As we go into round three, fatigue seems to be setting for Herrig who seems to be throwing her strikes with a little labour. She does hurt Karolina with about forty seconds to go but makes a fatal error and clinches Karolina against the cage, giving her a chance to clear the cobwebs. It goes to the judges who seemed to have been watching a different fight altogether.

Oliver Aubin-Mercier defeats Evan Dunham via TKO (Strikes) 0:53 – Round 1.

Evan Dunham wastes no time, landing a stiff left hand to give Aubin Mercier something to think about it. The Canadian retaliates with a knee in the clinch, follows up with a flurry of punches and then drops Dunham again with another knee.

The end comes seconds later with Oliver Aubin-Mercier landing ground and pound against a dropped Dunham. Fantastic finish from the Tristar standout.

Ashlee Evans Smith defeats Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)

Both ladies open up fast with Evans using her size advantage to control the centre of the Octagon. Evans-Smith is landing more often and with more power. Her timing is sharper and is countering Rawlings every time she comes in. Rawlings does begin to open the tap up a little towards the end of the first. She counters Evans-Smith coming forward but doesn’t seem to have the venom behind her punches to do enough damage to get Evans-Smiths attention.

Rawlings starts off the second round with a little more urgency, goes forward and has started throwing heavy leg kicks that gets Evan-Smiths attention. She lands a solid straight right on the button and Evans-Smith retaliates with a flurry of strikes. Evans-Smith tries to take Rawlings down with a poorly attempted single leg take down and eats a flurry of hammer fists for her troubles. Should be 20-18 after two for Evans-Smith.

The urgency from Rawlings continues into the third but as the commentary team points out, the heavy hands she had from her days fighting at 115lbs hasn’t followed her up to flyweight. She does land a heavy counter right near the end but Evans-Smith has probably done enough to take a unanimous decision win with her back to California.

Devin Clark defeats Mike Rodriguez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27)

Devin Clark vs Mike Rodriguez gets us underway in the light heavyweight division. Clarke starts off well, landing a takedown and keeping Rodriguez against the cage when they get back on their feet. A separation comes after about a minute of inactivity in the clinch. After the break, Rodriguez lands a monstrous leg kick that takes Clark right off his feet. Both fighters have their moments in the first. Clark manages to get the better in the clinch with short elbows and Rodriguez getting the better on the feet. Round one ends with Clark riding Rodriguez on his back with one hook in and dropping elbows with the other hand.

Clark goes back to what he knows is working for him in the second, clinching Rodriguez against the cage but Rodriguez reverses him and lands a sharp short elbow that rocks Devin Clark. Clark recovers and brings the fight back to the cage, landing short shots. Rodriguez tries to separate a couple of times with the elbow but doesn’t land it as flush as he did at the start of the round. They separate with Rodriguez landing a solid jab but Clark immediately retaliates with a takedown and lands a flurry of punches to close out the round.

Round three starts just as the last two have with Clark putting on a wrestling clinic on Rodriguez against the cage. Clark is taking full advantage of the fact that Rodriguez seems to have completely run out of gas coming into the final round. With 1:40 to go, Rodriguez seems to be all out of ideas and energy. He lands a number of knees in the clinch but none with enough conviction for Clark to slow down his attack. Devon closes out the round with a break from his wrestling to land a flurry of strikes to ensure the NYSAC send the decision his way.

Andy Cowan - Photo / Videographer for SevereMMA.com