Finally competing in the PFL Finals, Chris Wade would not get the happy ending he was hoping for thanks to a dominant Movlid Khaybulaev.
Inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida, Khaybulaev would rely on his wrestling game to stop Wade in his tracks. The latter had no answer against Khaybulaev, who was relentless. Winning via unanimous decision, Khaybulaev became the PFL Flyweight Champion.
A dejected Wade did not shake the hand of Khaybulaev after. Missing out on making the finals twice due to unfortunate circumstances, Wade was upset at seeing someone else get their hand raised in front of his family and friends.
Wade would attempt to take control of the fight early via his infamous kicks. Khaybulaev had other plans in mind. He would land combination shots that snapped Wade's head back. He would then shoot to the floor and would suffocate Wade for the majority of the round.
When he wasn't on the ground, Khaybulaev would look to take out Wade with his fists. Wade's chin would be tested several times by Khaybulaev, and he would end up bleeding above his nose. Attempting a small comeback of his own, the pro-USA crowd erupted when Wade connected, if only for a brief moment. When it seemed like Wade had him figured out, Khaybulaev would change the narrative.
Putting on a clinic against Wade on the floor, Khaybulaev would be forced up several times by the referee. It did not matter, as he would control other aspects of the fight. Once the final bell rang, Khaybulaev, who showed his support for the Nurmagomedov family, felt on top of the world.
When it came to the stats, Khaybulaev landed 110 shots compared to Wade's 79. He also landed eight takedowns compared to zero for Wade, while landing 36 ground strikes.
The unbeaten Russian earned wins over former champion Lance Palmer and Brendan Loughnane to make it to the finals. Wade, who is now 3-2 in his last five fights, beat Bubba Jenkins to advance.