Nassourdine Imavov got the better of a game Joaquin Buckley tonight over three rounds at UFC Fight Night 209, picking up a unanimous decision win.
Buckley with a body kick to start. Buckley with a head kick attempt against the much taller Imavov that doesn’t find the mark.
Inside leg kick for Buckley. Now a kick to the thigh from him as Imavov was looking for a punch. Constant movement back and forth from Buckley so far. Now he presses into the clinch against the cage, but soon backs up.
Front kick to the face lands from Imavov and Buckley’s mouthpiece comes out which forces a brief stoppage so he can put it back in. Imavov impatiently trying to get back into the action during that though and has to be held back by the ref.
back to it they go. Kick attempt from Buckley is caught and he goes to the mat but is straight back up.
Side kick to the body from Buckley. Body punch for Buckley. Jab from Imavov. Straight punch lands for Buckley as Imavov was backing up.
Imavov constantly taking the canter of the Octagon as Buckley opts to circle on the outside. Body kick from Imavov.
Imavov in close and looking to strike but Buckley fires off a few strikes. Imavov able to get Buckley down in the closing stages of the round and almost has him flattened out face down on the mat as the round ends.
Imavov marching down Buckley to start the round. Buckley with an inside leg kick. Hard counter from Imavov as Buckley was coming forward trying to land punches.
Side kick to the knee from Imavov. He pumps out with the left hand as Buckley is trying to get into range. Eye poke from Imavov forces a brief stoppage for Buckley to recover.
Imavov gets a stern warning from the ref and they go back to work. Buckley attempts a head kick behind a couple of punches but it’s blocked.
Head kick attempt again as Imavov is pressing forward but it doesn’t pay off either. Hard right hand from Imavov. Buckley pressing forward and lands a heavy punch of his own that snapped Imavov’s head back.
Imavov times another hard right hand on the counter. Grazing right hand from Buckley.
Imavov suddenly in on a takedown and lands it. Buckley gets his back to the cage, but before he can stand Imavov secures top position. He lands a couple of punches and Buckley looks uncomfortable.
Imavov taking Buckley’s back now and looks to sink in the rear-naked choke while securing the body triangle. Buckley defending for now though.
A minute to go in the round as Imavov attempts the choke again and then quickly lets go. A few light punches now to soften up the target and then a heavier blow that draws some blood.
Imavov goes for a rear-naked choke again but Buckley manages to survive until the end of the round.
Leg kick for Buckley. Now a side kick to teh body. Back to the inside leg kick. Imavov steps in with a nice right hand.
Buckley swings and misses, allowing Imavov to get his back and drag him down to the mat. Buckley does well to scramble up to his feet. Imavov backs off for now.
Jumping knee from Imavov doesn’t connect and Buckley lands a punch afterwards. Hard uppercut from Imavov. Right hand from Imavov and Buckley hurls big blows back at him.
Front kick to the body from Imavov. Buckley missing with punches and a kick. Another hook whistles past Imavov’s head.
Right hand for Imavov. He goes for an uppercut again and misses. Buckley swinging for the fences again as Imavov starts to slow down.
Imavov into the clinch. Buckley pushes him away. Right hagnd for Imavov. Imavov steps back from a punch coming his way and then swings Buckley into the cage.
Buckley back to striking range again and Is throwing big punches again. Imavov motions him on. In close Buckley throws a knee.
Buckley into the clinch now. They jockey for position. Solid right hand from Imavov and then has to block return punches from Buckley.
Buckley lands a punch of his own. He’s really putting everything into this and has a tired looking Imavov on the back foot with a final flurry of punches.
Buckley gave his all in the fight and seemed to be turning the tide in the final round as his opponent began to tire, but Imavov had the better of the earlier rounds, including a big front kick to the face in the opening round, and it’s he who emerges with a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x2, 30-27).