Islam Makhachev had to work hard for his unanimous decision victory tonight against Armna Tsaruykan at UFC Fight Night 149.
Makhachev misses with a head kick to start. Spinning kick from Tsarukyan but he slips from that after missing and Makhachev moves in for a takedown.
They work in the clinch and Tsarukyan is the one who goes for the single leg, but Makhachev stays upright for now and then manages to reverse the position, pressing Tsarukyan back up against the cage.
Makhachev gets the takedown. Back up and Tsarukyan has a tight guillotine choke here, but Makhachev is able to shrug it off despite it looking tight.
Tsarukyan working for a takedown now and he’s almost getting it repeatedly, but Makhachev’s scrambling is keeping him from landing it fully. Eventually he does finally get his opponent down, but Makhachev is soon back up again. They work in the clinch and then break free.
Makhachev stuffs a takedown and then defends a single leg attempt to end a competitive first round.
Head kick attempt from Makhachev almost gets through. Missed leg kick from Tsarukyan. Makhachev stuffes Tsarukyan’s latest takedown attempt.
Leg kick from Tsarukyan. Head kick attempt from Tsarukyan. He goes for a spinning back kick that doesn’t land. Tsarukyan tries to shoot in for a takedown under a punch, but Makhachev stops it and stays in the clinch. Makhachev lands a knee. Body punch and knee from Tsarukyan.
Nice trip takedown from Makhachev, but Tsarukyan is immediately back up. Makhachev continuing to work for a takedown though, against the cage now.
Makhachev does get the takedown, but Tsarukyan is trying for a kimura. 90 seconds of the round remaining. Makhachev gets free of the submission and settles on top in his opponents guard, then quickly passes to half guard. Tsarukyan muscles his way back up though and presses Makhachev against the cage.
Makhachev stuffing a takedown and from their knees lands a solid elbow to the head, then they go back upright with Makhachev now pushing Tsarukyan up to the cage.
Hard right hand for Tsarukyan to start the third. Now a kick to the body and one upstairs. Punch from Makhachev now. Short combo of punches and kicks from Tsarukyan.
Makhachev with a kick upstairs. Tsarukyan tries for a takedown that Makhachev sprawls on top of. Tsarukyan continues trying for it as they get upright, but Makhachev gets out and lands a knee, then presses him up against the cage. Tsarukyan walks him away from the cage and then lands a strike as they separate.
Now Makhachev is going for a takedown and Tsarukyan has to scramble to stay up. However, then Makhachev lands the most decisive takedown yet.
Credit to Tsarukyan though as he figures his way back up to his feet. They jockey for position against the cage. Tsarukyan lands a knee but then Makhachev takes contronol of the clinch and lands another takedown.
Into the final minute here with Makhachev in his opponents guard. Now he locks up his legs in the final seconds and that’s the final action of the fight.
Two terrific grapplers here then and that made for a close fight, but in the end it’s Makhachev who does enough to earn a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).