Greetings, fight fans! The time finally came for probably the most anticipated fight at featherweight, but did UFC Fight Island 6 deliver?
It may not have been the most action-packed or competitive affair, but I'd say the shocking resurgence of Brian Ortega definitely made it worth it. The big question coming into the fight was about how he'd be look after not only suffering his first pro loss, but a pretty disheartening one at that; the answer is about as good as anyone could come back from a loss. But we'll get to that shortly. Elsewhere on the card, Jessica Andrade immediately announced herself as a contender at women's flyweight as the last of four total finishes that sandwiched seven-straight decisions that ranged from ultra competitive to total dominance. All in all a decent card, so let's get down to what the hell happened!
The Main Card
Ortega returns completely new fighter, shuts out 'The Korean Zombie'
#2 Brian Ortega def. #4 Chan Sung Jung by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
What happened?: Buoyed by major sweeping improvements in his striking, Ortega just never let Jung get into his rhythm. Ortega used a technical, diverse, creative and intelligent volume striking game to baffle Jung and keep him a few steps behind the entire fight.
How did that happen?: Ortega said he completely overhauled himself after his loss to Max Holloway, and the resulting performance showed that he definitely didn't pull any stops. From his newly-shaved head to his new coaches, to his better-than-ever striking game, he flat out looked like a different man than the one we saw nearly two years ago. He seems much, much better for it inside the cage, and judging from his post-fight interviews, outside of the cage as well.
"I understand you leave the game for two years and you get counted out, but I'm here to remind everyone."@BrianTCity saw the changes he made turn into success and feels ready to challenge for the featherweight title once again.#UFCFightIsland6 #InAbuDhabi @VisitAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/XPVwze9f7N— UFC News (@UFCNews) October 18, 2020
Brian Ortega had a choice...and I guess he chose correctly.
One thing that really stood out to me was that he fought most of the fight out of a southpaw stance, which initially seemed to be reaction to Jung's low kicks, but he proved to be pretty tricky and effective from there, and it was clearly something he worked on a lot. The two started off firing low kicks in a pretty measured contest. Before long Ortega's lead right hooks started to find a home over Jung's lead hand, and his attention was really gotten when Ortega caught a body kick and briefly floored Jung with a left hand that really let him know that some power was coming back at him.
Jung started to open up in round two, coming forward with flurries that didn't land too flush, but forced Ortega to cover up and allow him to dictate the pace. He was really starting to find his range with some nice right hands and a hard uppercut that got Ortega's attention, but he got a little too loose and almost had a deja vu moment when he lunged in with a lead left hook that Ortega slipped, and ran into a beautifully timed spinning back elbow that floored him again, this time hurting him pretty badly. Ortega pounced on him and landed some good follow-up shots, but Jung was able to quickly get to his feet and actually land a really nice right uppercut-left hook combination. Ortega responded by switching to his wrestling and taking Jung down a couple times before the bell, which really showed the effect Ortega's striking had on him because he's typically much harder to take down and Ortega isn't typically that effective a wrestler. The elbow that landed also took advantage of the same tendency of Jung that got him knocked out against Yair Rodriguez: When he he lunges in with combos, sometimes he just drops his hands and leads with his chin to follow up. Here he threw the left hook and just dropped both hands almost to his waist, which leaves him completely open to usually lower-percentage moves like spinning elbows. Even still, Ortega set it up with feints and landed it beautifully.
Dammit, not again!
I think being dropped by the elbow, Ortega's use of a sharp right jab, and the clever reaching for Jung's lead leg really set the tone for the rest of the fight. Normally dangerous counterstriker, Jung found himself overwhelmed by the diversity of Ortega's stand up, so he couldn't just sit right outside of the pocket waiting for counters like he normally does because Ortega would constantly force him to react to and/or defend a wide berth of attacks. It completely threw him off and forced him to reset far more than he normally does and stay more on the outside where he's less effective. It had already been proven early that when he seeks to close the distance with combinations, Ortega was adept at countering him, and had to constantly look out for the takedown, which Ortega would feint, but then commit to before Jung could get comfortable enough to try and counter. It was a masterful performance of diverse attacks and mix ups that confused Jung in a somewhat similar way to how Cory Sandhagen used those qualities to confuse another lower-output, powerful counterstriker in Marlon Moraes last weekend. Jung did have some success through the rest of the fight landing some solid left hooks and straight rights, but it was mostly the stinging jab and long left hand of Ortega, and his frequent switching up of attacks to the head, body, and legs that pretty much ran away with the fight and made for a shockingly dominant performance that took place mostly in what people considered Jung's wheelhouse. You'd never guess that now, seeing that Ortega more than doubled-up on Jung in significant strikes (127-to-62).
Other thoughts: I've seen some reactions to the fight blasting Jung for not being aggressive, and as usual with knee jerk fan reactions, I don't think that's the intelligent take here. Jung didn't just arbitrarily decide not to be aggressive, he was discouraged from doing so by Ortega. We saw that one of the first times he really decided to open up and get aggressive, he was dropped and hurt pretty badly, so it makes sense that he's not in a hurry to just barrel into the pocket again. Typically his game isn't to just close the distance anyway; he's a stalking counter puncher that mostly uses his pressure to get his opponents to react and throw something at him that he can counter. Ortega just didn't bite on anything that worked for him, and usually punished Jung when he tried to force the issue. Being as aggressive as people demanded likely would've just gotten him hurt worse and/or finished, and it was clear the whole fight that he was looking for openings to get into the fight but was couldn't find or create any.
As for Ortega, initially I thought the wholesale changes he made after his last fight might have been an overreaction to his first loss, but after this fight it sure looks like the perfect move for him. He talked about finally sticking to a gameplan (or even having a clear gameplan, for that matter) for the first time in his career, and having a team free of drama and in-fighting, the former of which really explains a lot about his run up to now. Judging by how he looked with a much more structured approach in this fight, he may just have turned into championship material.
This was also good to see, though I really don't think they ever had any significant beef to begin with.
Next for Ortega: I really didn't like the idea of him going away for a couple years and suddenly being a title contender when Holloway is not on top anymore, but he deserves the title shot after that performance. Reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski is a fresh fight for him that presents new challenges, and honestly if he shows up the way he did tonight he could potentially give the champ a run for his money.
Next for Jung: The loser of Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Yair Rodriguez makes sense for him. If it's the latter, I'm sure he wants to get that win back.
Andrade becomes instant flyweight contender, bulldozes her way through Chookagian's ribs
#2 (Strawweight) Jessica Andrade def. #1 Katlyn Chookagian by TKO via strikes (4:55, R1)
What happened?: Andrade mostly did Andrade things, immediately pressuring and closing the distance on Chookagian, and taking her down commandingly before working the body standing and putting her away with blistering punches to the liver.
How did that happen?: Again, it was mainly classic Andrade, but she happened to find the finish here. She looked to get inside immediately, which was pretty smart considering Chookagian's eight-inch height and six-inch reach advantages, and she immediately closed in with a left hand before grabbing a hold of Chookagian and dragging her to the mat. Chookagian typically has an aggressive, attacking guard and this time was no different, but much like she is in the clinch, Andrade was pretty much able to power out of situations where she'd get wrapped up by merely standing up and picking Chookagian up before trying to slam her down. Once Chookagian was able to get to her feet she wasn't able to land much of consequence other than a nicely-timed knee that caught Andrade ducking in, and she was keen to keep flashing that knee as Andrade does tend to dip her head not only when she shoots, but when she throws hooks inside.
The pressure really started to mount for Andrade with quick combinations to the body and head before she drove in for a single leg and lifted Chookagian up for her patented high crotch slam. As Chookagian scrambled to her feet and landed another knee, Andrade landed a sneaky right hook to the body that produced one of the worst reactions ot a body shot I've seen in a while. Chookagian's mouth gaped as she winced and clunched at her midsection, before turning around and running away. Suddenly coming back to the realization that she was in a fight, she spun around to meet Andrade, who ran in and leapt into her before firing off another hard right hook to the same spot that dropped her to her knees in agony, prompting the referee to step in. Andrade couldn't have asked for a better debut at 125 lbs, and showed that she might just be even more dangerous at this weight.
I don't think Chookagian is very good at poker.
Other thoughts: I had heard some concerns that perhaps Andrade's power wouldn't carry over to flyweight, which would give her difficulties considering it was a major part of her game at strawweight, outside of her pressure, which also figured to be harder to implement at 125 lbs against much taller, rangier opponents. I didn't see either of these as much of an immediate issue. For one, she started her UFC tenure fighting up at at 135 lbs., and although she was much smaller than her opponents, she wasn't exactly being overpowered consistently out there. If anything her losses were mainly due to her being less developed as a fighter and exposing herself to being punished much more often. I didn't think her paltry height and reach would be major issues either because, quite frankly, outside of the champion Valentina Shevchenko and few others, the division isn't exactly known for nuanced defensive range strikers. Chookagian is considered one of the better fighters in the division at using her reach, and Andrade still got inside of her reach with little trouble.
Without having to cut that extra 10 lbs, Andrade might be just as much of a tank, and we know her cardio is surprisingly good for someone who keeps up the pace she does and leans so much on physicality, so although it might not lead to another title, she's clearly made an immediate splash in her new division. It's also pretty neat that with this win Andrade is the only woman in UFC history to record wins in three different divisions.
Is there anything she doesn't do with power?
Next for Andrade: She just mowed down the #1 ranked contender in the division, and since there really isn't anyone else directly in line, she figures to be next in line for a title shot against the Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia winner. I don't think I'm getting ahead of myself too much in presuming that'll be Shevchenko, and if so the resulting fight would likely be an even more one-sided version of Andrade's failed title bid at strawweight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but she'd at least make it fun while it lasted.
Next for Chookagian: This was her second dominant loss in three fights, and she's already fought much of the top 10. If Lauren Murphy loses to short notice opponent Liliya Shakirova, Chookagian should fight her next, or she could even fight Shakirova in that case.
Crute brutes his way through Bukauskas in quick fashion
Jim Crute def. Modestas Bukauskas by KO via strikes (2:01, R1)
What happened?: Crute wasted no time looking for big shots, and it didn't take him long to find a big right hand and put Bukauskas away in just over two minutes.
How did that happen?: Crute started off with his trademark aggression, immediately looking for big right hands. After shooting in and failing to get Bukauskas to the mat, he began working low kicks, countering his foes own kicks with right hands over the top. This paid off quickly, as Bukauskas was caught stepping in for a body kick by a huge overhand right counter that dropped him like a ton of bricks. He quickly tried to scurry back to his feet, but ate a hard right uppercut on the way up that sent him stumbling back and a left hook immediately after that limpened his body and sent him falling into the cage, where it appeared the one follow-up shot Crute managed to land woke him up; or maybe the back of his head hitting the cage actually did that. Either way it was a quick, brutal finish for Crute, who has now won two straight since his submission loss to Misha Cirkunov, and is not 5-1 in the promotion.
Other thoughts: Not much to add here. Bukauskas had a memorable finish in a decent debut, but in retrospect this was a bit of a mismatch considering what they'd done in the division thus far, and a pretty clear step down for Crute. I didn't have high hopes for Bukauskas being much of a worthwhile prospect at light heavyweight as it is, but he learned the hard way that he really needs to take his head off the center line when he throws, and just raise his head upright with no protection when he throws those kicks. As we saw, guys can and will take advantage.
Next for Crute: He was unsuccessful in his bid against a ranked opponent, and I think his next fight should be for a top 15 spot. Ovince Saint Preux is hanging around right at #15, and that could be a worthwhile match up. He could also fight the winner of Mauricio Rua vs Paul Craig II, which could set up a potential rematch with Craig, who he submitted in his UFC debut.
Next for Bukauskas: Let's go with Aleksa Camur, who recently dropped a decision to William Knight.
Krause outworks a sloppy Silva with a bad knee
James Krause def. Claudio Silva by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
What happened?: Amid sloppy, telegraphed blitzes from Silva, Krause stayed composed even through an apparent knee injury, and just picked him apart with accurate counter punches and solid distance management for a clear-cut decisions.
How did that happen?: Krause essentially had to keep calm and play the matador. Silva is a nonstop pressure fighter, but his downright awful striking technique makes him extremely easy to counter and relatively easy to avoid in exchanges. He essentially runs forward with his chin in the air, swinging big, looping punches and hoping it leads into a clinch so he can drag the fight to the ground. To his credit, he did land some hard low kicks, some of which clearly bothered Krause after he'd already established that his knee was injured. However, his ace in the hole, which is his takedown and grappling game, was rendered ineffective pretty early by a squirrely Krause, and outside of a brief time trying to work his hooks on Krause's back while standing, he essentially couldn't even get close to making things happen in the grappling department. That just left him with his subpar striking leading him to constantly lunge in with sloppy combinations while Krause sat back and easily popped him with chopping right hand counters at will.
Silva did remain game the entire fight, and it made for a good third round for him just through sheer will and determination...and Krause's injured knee. Silva smartly worked his low kicks even more, buckling Krause a couple times and opening him up a bit more to some solid punches up top. He arguably won the round, but for most of the fight he was at a loss when he couldn't get a hold of his opponent, and even an injured Krause was able to coast his way to victory for the most part mainly on the strength of being a composed, competent striker.
Knee's messed up, no big deal.
Other thoughts: Silva has been one of the annoying banes of my existence in terms of predicting what'll happen out there with him. I picked against him in almost every one of his UFC fights just because his striking is so bad and I kept figuring he was fighting an opponent who could stay upright and make him pay; and he'd look just as horrible as I thought he would before managing to drag the fight to the ground and submitting his opponent. I finally decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and pick him even though I thought Krause could keep it standing and outstrike him, just as I thought Silva's other victims would do. Of course the one time I side with Silva he loses in the exact manner I always incorrectly imagined him losing his other UFC fights. MMA, ladies and gentlemen!
As for Krause, he looked solid and pretty slick on the feet, but nothing to get excited about. He's definitely made good strides and is clearly a much more thoughtful fighter with his years of coaching under his belt, and I wonder how much he really wants to make a serious run vs how much he just enjoys being a fighter-coach. I appreciate his willingness to take short notice fights and pretty much take on anyone, but I also feel like he still has potential in there that he may not be making full use of.
Next for Krause: I feel like Krause is all over the place now. Is he staying at welterweight? He brought to light during the post-fight conference that he has beef with Joaquin Buckley, and would go bak up to middleweight to fight him, but again, I feel like he's wasting his time a bit. He hasn't lost at 170 lbs since 2017, how the winner of Sean Brady vs Belal Muhammad?
Next for Silva: I like a matchup with Abdul Razak Alhassan. He his hard enough to maybe cause Silva to think twice about his crazy blitzes, but is prone enough to overextending and brawling that Silva could feasibly get inside and work his grappling. However, he also has the judo background to potentially keep things upright and punish Silva. It'd be an interesting one.
Martinez spoils Almeida's return with a commanding decision win
Jonathan Martinez def. Thomas Almeida by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
What happened?: It was a closer affair than the main event, but similar to Ortega, Martinez was just consistently a step ahead of Almeida, outpacing him through most of the contest and landing clean, hard punches throughout.
How did that happen?: A lot of Martinez's success stemmed from a solid jab. It was constantly in Almeida's face, and every time he'd try to assert himself in the fight, he'd get popped with a jab that would disrupt his rhythm and keep him resetting, which was also similar to how the main event shook out. Martinez also kept Almeida at bay quite a bit with front kicks to the body, while Almeida made use of that range by working low kicks. Almeida had spurts of success in the fight with some pretty stout punches, including one in round two that caught Martinez off balance throwing (and landing) a knee and put him on his seat briefly. That brings us to the fact that while both men landed hard, Martinez definitely looked to have the better chin, and ate most of Almeida's shots without issue while Almeida was clearly stunned by some of the shots he ate.
Almeida was game, but it was clear who got the better of the exchanges.
Knowing he was down on the cards, Almeida turned up the pressure in round three, and while he was visibly rocked by a left hook, other than that he had a bit better of a round and actually outlanded Martinez in the stanza. The power differential just seemed too much in Martinez's to give him the round. Even after being rocked earlier, Almeida managed to stun Martinez with a 1-2, only to be stunned that much more by left hook over the top. Everything he gave, Martinez gave back better, and it made for quite an impressive performance in an already impressive run so far.
Other thoughts: I actually didn't think Almeida looked bad considering he'd been out nearly three years and hadn't won a fight in about four years. His striking was a bit tighter and not quite as wild, and although he didn't have any success with it, it was nice to see him at least try to break up the rhythm with takedown attempts. It's unfortunate for him that he's lost so much time and fallen so far; it's easy to forget that he was seen as a potential future champion in 2015, before he ran into eventual champion Cody Garbrandt. Now he's lost four of his last five, has been battling inactivity, and returned to a division that's pretty different than when he last fought in it, and not in a way that bodes well for him. It seems like he went from a fresh-faced young prospect to pushing 30 in a young man's division pretty quickly, and it's tough to see him clawing his way even near the top at this point.
On the flip side, Martinez has really looked like he's turned a corner. His footwork, distance management, his shot selections; all looked great, and took advantage of the fact that Almeida generally just stands in front of opponents and looks to trade. I actually had no idea he had as many UFC fights as he does, but he's definitely not under my radar anymore. He showed some great composure and smooth striking against Almeida and I think he needs to decent step up for his next fight.
Next for Martinez: I'd actually love to see him take on the winner of Casey Kenney vs Nathaniel Wood or Kyung Ho Kang.
Next for Almeida: Maybe Frankie Saenz, in a fight that would probably see the loser released. Otherwise, I dunno, Pingyuan Liu? Whoever it is, he needs someone far from the rankings.
Guram Kutateladze def. Mateusz Gamrot by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
We capped off the prelims with an electrifying bout between two UFC debutants who quickly showed that they could be fighters to watch out for in the lightweight division. Gamrot came in with much more fanfare as the undefeated KSW double-champ, holding titles at both lightweight and featherweight. This likely caused him to be favored a bit too much in the odds against Kutateladze, who was virtually unknown but had shown considerable striking power and acumen in previous fights. I'm sure with this win, and the fact that he's a main training partner of fast-rising UFC star Kamzat Chimaev, put him on many people's radars. The fight saw Kutateladze start off very hot and Gamrot take over down the stretch, but just a tad too late to earn the victory. More known for his dangerous striking, Kutateladze definitely surprised me not only with his takedown defense, but with how active and effective he was off his back. While he didn't put Gamrot in any significant danger with his submission attempts, he was constantly forcing him to work and created opportunities to better his situation and get back to his feet. Kutateladze immediately asserted himself in round two, dropping Gamrot with a big overhand left that essentially turned out to be the deciding factor in the round, as the rest of it was pretty back-and-forth. You could even argue that Gamrot got the better of it outside of being dropped. After a furious pace from both men, Gamrot proved to be the fresher man, upping his output and putting it on a fatigued, but still very wily Kutateladze.
It was a close, but relatively clear decision win for Kutateladze, but he surprised again with a display of considerable humility following the decision announcement. Feeling he didn't get the better of the fight, he made sure to let Gamrot and everyone else know that he felt Gamrot deserved the decision. That's something you never really see, even in decisions that are actually bad. That degree of self-critique was a breath of fresh air, and I'm sure it'll force Kutateladze to train that much harder and come back that much stronger. Gamrot likewise has nothing to hold his head down about. He may have lost his impressive undefeated record, but he still showed skills out there that outlined why he had some hype coming into the UFC. I'm looking forward to what both of these men can do in the future.
#15 Gillian Robertson def. Poliana Botelho by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
It broke her UFC finishing streak, but nonetheless it was wholesale domination for Robertson. All she needed was a takedown per round to completely shut down Botelho's game. The Brazilian started the fight pretty well, stuffing Robertson's initial takedown attempts and landing knees to the body. One of those knees got her in trouble near the end of the round though, as it led to a single leg takedown for Robertson that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the fight. Robertson was clearly leagues above her on the ground, and it showed even more in the following two rounds, as Robertson again used Botelho's offense against her for well-timed takedowns. On top she sneakily cut through Botelho's guard and achieved mount in both rounds. She seemed to prefer 3/4 mount to control Botelho and make it harder for her to explode out, and she was able to hold the position and punish her with elbows and punches for the better part of both rounds, racking up 8:42 of control in the final 10 minutes. She wasn't happy she didn't get the finish, but this was actually a dominant performance she needed to show that she could be patient when she needed to be and go a full 15 minutes.
Jun Yong Park def. John Phillips by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)
In an even more dominant display, Park leaned on his the same new wrinkle in his game that won him his last bout against Marc-Andre Barriault: wrestling. It was the smartest thing to do, as Philips showed to be a one-dimensional striker with horrendous takedown defense. Park got takedowns whenever he wanted them, and only once early in the fight was Phillips able to make it to his feet without the help of the horn. Park kept it conservative and really didn't entertain striking with Phillips, racking up a whopping 13:11 of control time, and spending the majority of the fight landing ground and pound while Phillips looked completely stumped as to how to improve his position. While Park was only credited 10 significant strikes the entire fight, he landed 260 total strikes, and a record-breaking (in a three-round fight) 258 of them were on the ground. Oddly enough, Park was the one who looked worse for wear after the fight, courtesy of being sliced open by one of the five significant strikes Phillips landed in the bout. There isn't a ton else to say about it other than that Park was smart to take the easiest route possible to victory, and Phillips needs to train nothing but wrestling ahead of his next fight, no matter who it's against.
I guess there's a reason people don't give Phillips the chance to hit them.
Fares Ziam def. Jamie Mullarkey by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
What card would be complete with a controversial decision? And this one has the added bonus of dredging up the "control vs damage" argument as well. Purely looking at the stats, it's easy to call the fight for Ziam; he outlanded Mullarkey in every round by notable to considerable margins. But when you look at the much less flashy control time numbers, you see that Mullarkey controlled more than half of both the second and third rounds. Much like the naked striking stats, control time doesn't necessarily mean winning time, and if a fighter does nothing significant with that control then it's pretty easy to negate with good strikes landed. There is always going to be a balancing act there that draws on the subjectivity of judging fights. Some are going to weigh taking your opponent down and controlling the fight higher than others, and some are going to argue that controlling your opponent just doesn't compare to the damage of landing on your opponent, even if there really isn't significant damage being done.
Additionally, there is definitely room for biases, such as people sort of "spite scoring" strikes more heavily than they normally would against a fighter who banked control time without doing notable damage. In this fight I fell on the side of the reversal and few strikes Ziam landed in the last minute of round three not being quite enough to negate the nearly four minutes of control Mullarkey had in the round. That's not to say it wasn't close, but I just didn't think Ziam's striking did much in the way of damage, and if you're going to steal a round after losing four minutes of it, in my opinion your offense should be pretty significant. Ultimately, I didn't agree with the decision (and apparently neither did 15 of the 17 media outlets reported on MMADecisions.com), but it wasn't a robbery, and it sort of shows just how much the judges favor a bit of late offense when the rest of the round wasn't particularly dominant.
Maxim Grishin def. Gadzhimurad Antigulov by TKO via strikes (4:58, R2)
The UFC made sure to point out that these two had trained together in the past, and the early going of the fight definitely looked like it, with both men doing a lot of measuring and respecting each other's power. This was uncharacteristic of Antigulov, who normally sells out on his offense early, often leaving him fatigued. It worked out for him early; Grishin seemed mostly at a loss for what to do, probably expecting Antigulov to be a lot more aggressive. In round two he did get more aggressive, rushing in for a takedown and getting it, not being able to do much with it before being taken down himself and giving up mount. He was able to escape back to his feet and land a nice right hand that stunned Grishin before they clinched up against the cage. With the time winding down in the round, Grishin exploded into a flurry teeing off on Antigulov, who was just covering up but maybe wasn't significantly hurt, and the referee saw enough to step in and stop the fight with two seconds left on the clock. When the fight was stopped he looked confused, as if he thought it was the end of the round and not the fight. It was a bit of an odd stoppage, and it appeared that Antigulov was likely just aware of the time and covering up to ride out the clock, but the referee thought he just wasn't able to intelligently defend himself.
Said Nurmagomedov def. Mark Striegl by KO via strikes (0:51, R1)
The Nurmagomedov that actually isn't related to Khabib got back on the winning track with a blistering 51-second knockout of Streigl. The newcomer wanted to make an immediate impression, pressuring the Dagestani fighter from the outset, but an overly-aggressive 1-2 saw him cracked with an awkward, off-balance left hook that probably wouldn't have hurt him as badly if he didn't run directly into it. He attempted to recover quickly by grabbing a single leg, but a volley of right hooks forced him to drop to his back, where Nurmagomedov removed him from consciousness with follow-up punches. You can't do much worse as far as UFC debuts go, so the good news is that he can only go up from there! As or Nurmagomedov, it was a quick and impressive win, and I see no reason he shouldn't get right back in there.
And that does it for UFC Fight Island 6! All in all it was a pretty decent card to keep us satisfied before the real main course: next week's UFC 254, where reigning undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on surging interim champion Justin Gaethje in one of the most anticipated lightweight fights in UFC history. I'll see you then. Sado, out!