By: Eric Marcotte
UFC Moscow Report: Zabit Magomedsharipov defeats Calvin Kattar
On Saturday the 9th, the UFC held its first event at the CSKA arena in Moscow, Russia. The card was original to be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Alexander Volkov, and former UFC champion Junior dos Santos. In late October, dos Santos was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a severe staph infection in his leg, which necessitated surgery. Volkov was moved to the co-main event of the card, against short-notice replacement; the controversial Greg Hardy. This fight would mark Hardy’s 5th fight inside the octagon this year. With dos Santos out of the main event, the decision was made to move the bout between featherweight contenders Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar into the final slot. The fight remained three rounds, which is a rarity for main events in the UFC.
John Gooden provided commentary for the event alongside Dan Hardy and Paul Felder. Performance bonuses were awarded to Magomed Ankalaev and David Zawada. Fight of the Night honors went to Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar. The reported attendance for the event was 11,305.
*Davey Grant def. Grigorii Popov by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
*Pannie Kianzad def. Jessica-Rose Clark by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Roosevelt Roberts def. Alexander Yakovlev by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*David Zawada def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov by triangle choke at 2:50 of Round 1
*Karl Roberson def. Roman Kopylov by rear-naked choke at 4:01 of Round 3
*Rustam Khabilov def. Sergey Khandozhko by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Magomed Ankalaev def. Dalcha Lungiambula by KO at 0:29 of Round 3
*Shamil Gamzatov def. Klidson Abreu by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
*Anthony Rocco Martin def. Ramazan Emeev by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Ed Herman def. Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Danny Roberts def. Zelim Imadaev by KO at 4:54 of Round 2
*Alexander Volkov def. Greg Hardy by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
GRIGORII POPOV (13-2, 136) VS DAVEY GRANT (10-4, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Grant switched stances often early and connected with a trio of beautiful kicks to the body. Grant caught a kick from Popov and brought him to the ground. Popov momentarily returned to the feet, but Grant aggressively pursued another takedown. The clear first round for Davey Grant.
Grant started the second round well. A low kick and a straight right both appeared to hurt Popov, and Grant dragged him back to the ground. Popov grabbed the right arm of Grant and attempted a kimura. He switched to an armbar, but Grant worked his way out of the submission attempt. I had Grant up 20-18 going into the final round.
The grappling continued into the third round, with Popov unsuccessfully rolling for a kneebar. Grant worked his way on top and began to climb the back, but Popov shook him off. Popov outstruck Grant in the third, but never had him in any significant danger. I scored the opening bout 29-28 Grant.
WINNER: Davey Grant by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Davey Grant’s career has been marred by injuries, with this being just his fourth fight since the TUF 18 finale in 2013. He looked good in this fight, and this marked his second win in the promotion.
JESSICA-ROSE CLARK (9-5, 1 NC, 135) VS PANNIE KIANZAD (12-5, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
This was a rematch of a 2015 unanimous decision victory for Kianzad at Invicta FC 13.
Clark’s best weapon in the first round was the straight right. Kianzad landed at a higher rate, and she likely a won a somewhat uneventful first round. Her timing was getting better as time went on, and you could see the effect of her jabs on Clark by the end of the round.
Kianzad landed a 5-strike combination that backed Clark up against the cage. Clark landed a pair of right hands later in the round, but this was another good round for Kianzad, who just appeared to be the more technical striker. The third round was more of the same. Kianzad started working the body as well, and always seemed a step ahead. 30-27 Kianzad.
WINNER: Pannie Kianzad by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Kianzad showcased good boxing in this fight, and out-pointed Clark every round on my scorecard. This was her first win in the UFC and is now 1-2 in the promotion. Clark has fluctuated between bantamweight and flyweight, and it is unclear which division she will continue her career in.
ALEXANDER YAKOVLEV (24-8-1, 156) VS ROOSEVELT ROBERTS (8-1, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Yakovlev attempted to call a timeout after he felt he got poked in the eye, and referee Leon Roberts had none of it, warning Yakovlev not to call his own timeouts. Roberts was the aggressor and was landing with short combinations and a hard-right hand. He seemed to stun Yakovlev against the cage and engaged in the clinch to no significant advancement nor success. A good first round for Roberts.
Yakovlev changed levels, surprising Roberts, and taking him down. He quickly worked into side control. Yakovlev landed some hard elbows to the body. Roberts scrambled out and was ankle picked right back down to the ground. As Yakovlev went back to work, Roberts attempted an armbar, but Yakovlev worked out of the submission and started throwing down ground and pound strikes. Much better round for Yakovlev and the fight was tied on my scorecard heading into the final round.
Yakovlev immediately searched for a takedown, and Roberts threatened a guillotine, which allowed him to momentarily assume the top position on the ground. Roosevelt and Yakovlev exchanged some heavy blows against the cage. Yakovlev worked the body and then completed another takedown. Roberts worked his way back up and completed a takedown of his own. This was a close round, but Roberts ended on top in a dominant position, and I scored the fight 29-28 in his favor.
WINNER: Roosevelt Roberts by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
Roberts striking was sharp early, and when he started threatening submissions, he nullified Yakovlev’s offense. Roberts is now 3-1 in the UFC.
ABUBAKER NURMAGOMEDOV (15-2-1, 170) VS DAVID ZAWADA (16-5, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT
Abubaker Nurmagomedov was cornered by his cousin, the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov took Zawada down within a minute, following a perfectly timed level change. Zawada threw up a triangle choke and threatened an armbar which forced Abubaker tighter into the choke. Zawada forced Nurmagomedov to submit in the first round.
WINNER: David Zawada by triangle choke at 2:50 of Round 1
This was a great win for David Zawada against a fighter with a notable name. It was endearing to hear Zawada speak about how happy he was that no one got hurt in his post-fight interview. This was his first win inside the UFC and is now 1-2 in the promotion.
ROMAN KOPYLOV (8-0, 185) VS KARL ROBERSON (8-2, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Roberson applied the pressure in the first. The round was somewhat uneventful, but Roberson was landing the better strikes, and occasionally threw in combination, as opposed to Kopylov, who was, for the most part, one and done. 10-9 Roberson.
The kicks to the leg of Kopylov were starting to add up for Roberson. The low kicks were the story of the round, and Kopylov was having difficulty getting anything to work for him. Not the highest paced fight, but on a technical level, this was a great round for Roberson.
Kopylov started the final round much more aggressive. He was landing strikes in combination and managed to check a kick to the leg. Roberson went right back to working the leg when the opportunity arose. Kopylov poked Roberson in the eye badly, and Roberson was bleeding heavily from the eyelid. I was shocked that the fight was not stopped. Referee Vyacheslav Kiselev took a point from Roman Kopylov. They started trading heavily and aggressively. Roberson took Kopylov down with a body lock, took his back, locked in the rear-naked choke, and finished the fight.
WINNER: Karl Roberson by rear-naked choke at 4:01 of Round 3
I thought this was a fantastic win for Roberson, who dominated every round, got fouled in a fashion that very well could have stopped the fight, and finished Kopylov a minute later. Roberson is now 4-1 in the UFC, and this marked Kopylov’s first professional loss.
RUSTAM KHABILOV (23-4, 171) VS SERGEY KHANDOZHKO (27-5-1, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT
Khabilov was throwing bombs with his right hand. He backed Khandozhko into the cage, looking for the takedown. Referee Rich Mitchell gave several warnings to Khabilov to advance position, but he was unable to and they were separated. Not an action-packed round, but clearly Khabilov’s.
Khandozhko soon found himself in the exact same positon he spent the majority of the last round, against the cage. After two and half minutes, Khabilov finally secured the takedown. Khandozhko would do a good job of returning to his feet when taken down, but mounted no offence two rounds into the fight. The crowd was not loving this fight.
Khabilov took Khandozhko down quickly in the third, but the soon returned to the clinch battle against the cage. They separated and Khandozhko landed a well-timed hook. Another takedown for Khabilov not long after. Khabilov was warned for a fifth time this fight for inactivity. I scored the fight, 30-27 Khabilov.
WINNER: Rustam Khabilov by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
This was far from the greatest fight of all time. Khabilov was the aggressor and that won him the fight. I’m not sure what round Khandozhko won on two of the scorecards, yet Khabilov was so inactive that I would not argue against it. Khabilov is now 10-3 in the UFC.
MAGOMED ANKALAEV (11-1, 205) VS DALCHA LUNGIAMBULA (10-1, 204) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Ankalaev controlled the distance early, backing Lungiambula into the cage and chipped away at him. Lungiambula backed him off with a powerful punch and backed Ankalaev onto the opposite side of the cage. Ankalaev reversed the position and attempted a takedown, but Lungiambula threatened a guillotine that kept them on the feet. They traded some powerful strikes to end the round, and this was a tough one to score. I gave the edge to Ankalaev.
Ankalaev pursued the takedown in the second and eventually sat him against the cage. He began landing some strong elbows from the top. This was a very dominant round for Ankalaev, and Lungiambula seemed to have no answer once this fight went to the ground. Ankalaev opened up a cut on the right eyebrow of Lungiambula.
Lungiambula started the round aggressively, but Ankalaev quickly quelled any momentum by landing an Anderson Silva style front kick to the face that, followed by a right hook that floored Lungiambula and stopped the fight.
WINNER: Magomed Ankalaev by KO at 0:29 of Round 3
This was truly a spectacular knockout. Lungiambula looked like he was out on his feet from the front kick and the hook that put him down just sealed the deal. Ankalaev looked amazing in this fight. He is now 3-1 in the UFC.
SHAMIL GAMZATOV (13-0, 206) VS KLIDSON ABREU (15-3, 206) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
I thought Abreu looked very good on the feet early. He was attacking different levels and seemed especially smooth with his striking. Abreu landed a looping hook to the body. Gamzatov connected with a series of low kicks, but I did not think the offense he mounted was enough to win him the round.
The dynamics were similar in the second, with the two grapplers showcasing their striking. Abreu threw a combination of hooks that stunned Gamzatov, as well as a trio of strikes that culminated in a low kick that briefly stumbled him. Whenever Gamzatov started to pressure forward, he would walk right into Abreu’s counter-attack. Abreu took Gamzatov to the ground to end the round.
Abreu continued to work kicks to the leg into his combinations that continuously caught Gamzatov. Gamzatov connected with a right hand that was likely his best strike of the fight. Nonetheless, there was a lot of swinging at air, and I thought Abreu did enough to win the final round, as well as the fight.
WINNER: Shamil Gamzatov by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
What were these scorecards? Abreu looked great in the opening two rounds, although he had clearly slowed by the third. His striking looked as good as it ever has here. I thought this was a rather clear win for Abreu, and was very surprised that two judges saw the fight for Gamzatov. Nonetheless, this was Gamzatov’s UFC debut, and he moves to 13-0 professionally.
RAMAZAN EMEEV (18-3, 171) VS ANTHONY ROCCO MARTIN (16-5, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT
Martin was really hyping himself up during the introductions.
Emeev landed a powerful jab early that Martin shook off. A significant short right hand from Martin connects. Emeev shot in for a takedown and Martin countered with a kimura. Emeev was holding his hands together by a finger. Emeev worked his way back up and landed a pair of knees to the head of Martin against the cage. Emeev kneed Martin low, and referee Marc Goddard separated them. Very close round, but I narrowly scored it for Martin.
A pair of low kicks did a lot of damage to the left calf of Emeev. Emeev shot for a takedown and Martin countered with a guillotined attempt. Emeev quickly worked out of it and they grappled against the cage. Emeev appeared to complain to Goddard that Martin was greased mid-fight. Martin kept working on the leg, and it was swelling heavily. Emeev shot for another takedown and Martin once again countered with an attempted kimura as time expired. 20-18 Martin, on my scorecard.
Emeev connected with a lead left hook. Martin was not attacking the calf as aggressively as the previous two rounds, and it allowed Emeev to catch up on the strikes. He defended both of Emeev’s attempted takedowns. I gave the third round to Emeev, but ultimately scored the contest 29-28 Martin.
WINNER: Anthony Rocco Martin by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
I thought Martin looked good here, both in the grappling and striking departments. He has now won 5 of his last 6 fights, the only loss coming to Demian Maia. Martin dedicated the fight to his mother, who is battling stage 4 breast cancer.
KHADIS IBRAGIMOV (8-1, 206) VS ED HERMAN (25-14-1, 206) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Ibragimov wasted no time before swarming Herman with strikes. He forced Herman into the clinch against the cage but absorbed some knees to the head. Ibragimov kept looking for the takedown but was taking a lot of damage pursuing this. They finally separated with a minute to go, and Herman landed a series of hard kicks to the leg. I thought Herman won this round on account of the damage inflicted.
These two were trading wildly this round. Ibragimov’s nose and lead leg were really bothering him, but he was connecting with the heavier strikes early in the second. Herman engaged Ibragimov against the cage and landed a number of hard knees. These guys were doing so much damage in this round. This round was crazy, but I thought Herman edged it out.
Both fighters were exhausted, but that did not keep either man overly hesitant. Ibragimov momentarily got Herman to the ground, but Herman scrambled up almost immediately. Herman threatened a standing guillotine and used the position to nail a few more knees into the skull of Ibragimov. Ibragimov took Herman down once more, but it was Herman who was landing the strikes and attempting submissions from his back. He powered his way back to the feet and the two fighters ended the fight against the cage. Great fight and I scored it 30-27 Herman.
WINNER: Ed Herman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
This was a fantastic brawl. Aside from a lone appearance in Strikeforce, Herman has been a fixture in the UFC since 2006, and it is amazing to see him still having fights like this. The crowd was disappointed by the result but showed respect to Herman after these three rounds of violence.
ZELIM IMADAEV (8-1, 171) VS DANNY ROBERTS (16-5, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT
Roberts searched for the takedown early, but Imadaev defended it well. They exchanged knees to the body in the clinch. Roberts lost his footing on a kick and Imadaev threw a flurry of strikes his direction. Roberts secured a takedown, but Imadaev got right back up. Imadaev reversed a final takedown attempt from Roberts to end the round on top. Close round, but Roberts landed the bigger strikes, including a big elbow on a clinch separation, and I scored the round in his favor.
The second round began as the previous round ended, with Roberts shooting for a takedown but giving up position on the ground. Roberts escaped and landed a straight left, but he ate another flurry of strikes, forcing him to shoot. They exchanged takedowns, and neither could hold the other down. As Imadaev was getting aggressive, Roberts connected with a left hook that spun Imadaev around, planting him face-first on the ground. Terrific knockout.
WINNER: Danny Roberts by KO at 4:54 of Round 2
This was a good fight, and I thought, for the most part, these two were evenly matched. That being said; What a knockout. He had a nasty cut on the right side of his head that I had not noticed in the fight. Roberts is now 6-4 in the UFC.
ALEXANDER VOLKOV (30-7, 251) VS GREG HARDY (5-1, 1 NC, 265) – HEAVYWEIGHT
This marked Greg Hardy’s fifth fight of the calendar year, a record for the UFC heavyweight division. Hardy’s previous fight was three weeks ago against Ben Sosoli, which was originally a unanimous decision win for Hardy before it was overturned to a no-contest due to Hardy’s illegal use of an inhaler between rounds. On the flip-side, this marked Volkov’s first fight of 2019, with his last appearance in the cage being his knockout loss to Derrick Lewis last October. Volkov got a big reaction from the hometown crowd.
The fighters exchanged jabs early. Hardy tried to explode and life Volkov for a takedown, but it was almost as though Volkov was too tall. Volkov connected with a clean 1-2. Volkov was landing some kicks to the body, and would occasionally throw it high. Hardy was successful with a pair of left hooks. Somewhat tentative first round, but I thought Volkov edged it out with his kicks.
The commentators mentioned that Hardy stated his right hand was injured between rounds. Hardy connected with an overhand right, despite the injury. Volkov’s output was not particularly high but continued to work the body with kicks. Volkov did good work with his jab towards the end of the round and was up 20-18 going into the third on my scorecard.
Hardy threw a flurry of strikes to start the third but was largely ineffective. Volkov’s jab was really starting to find a home. He landed a pair of low kicks then followed it up with one to the head. Volkov landed a jab that hurt Hardy. When Hardy went for a low kick of his own, Volkov went high. 30-27 Volkov, on my scorecard.
WINNER: Alexander Volkov by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Volkov fought a very technical fight, and I think the best way to describe it, would be to say that Greg Hardy was never out of the fight, but he was never really in it either. The injury to the hand definitely did not help, but Hardy seemed unprepared for a fighter on the level of Volkov. Nonetheless, this will certainly be a learning experience for him.
Volkov is now 5-1 in the UFC. Running back the originally scheduled bout with Junior dos Santos would make sense. Francis Ngannou also expressed interest in fighting Volkov.
ZABIT MAGOMEDSHARIPOV (17-1, 146) VS CALVIN KATTAR (20-3, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT
This was a three-round main event.
Magomedsharipov landed a trio of low kicks within the first minute. He was throwing a wide variety of kicks on each level. Kattar connected on a couple of straights throughout the round but did not offer much more than that early. Zabit went for an elbow to the head, then ducked in for a hook to the body. They traded shots to end the round, including a spinning back fist from Magomedsharipov. I scored the round 10-9 for Zabit.
Zabit’s variety of kicks was impressive here. He briefly pursued a takedown, but Kattar defended it well. Magomedsharipov briefly got Kattar down with a crazy trip, but he worked out of it very quickly. The setups from Magomedsharipov seemed to allow him to work his way inside while keeping Kattar on his feet. 20-18 Magomedsharipov going into the third.
The movement and work to the body that Zabit displayed were very impressive. Kattar was beginning to put more pressure on, aware that he likely needed a finish in this final round. Kattar defended another weak takedown attempt from Magomedsharipov. Kattar was starting to connect with more of his offence but was having trouble cornering Zabit. They exchanged some hard strikes in the pocket. Kattar ran in for a flying knee, but Magomedsharipov landed on top. Kattar threw a ton of strikes from the bottom but was largely ineffective. I thought Kattar won the final round but scored the fight 29-28 for Zabit Magomedsharipov.
WINNER: Zabit Magomedsharipov by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
It is unfortunate that this fight was not scheduled for five rounds, but was entertaining while it lasted. Zabit looked deserving of his ranking, and I think a fight against Yair Rodriguez would make a lot of sense. Magomedsharipov’s cardio may be somewhat of a concern, and he needs experience in a five-round fight, before fighting a man like Max Holloway, whose output in the later rounds can be overwhelming even for the most experienced featherweights. Nonetheless, that’s the fight he called for. He is now 6-0 in the UFC.