Khabib Nurmagomedov yet again emerged victorious tonight at UFC 165 and in besting a gritty veteran like Pat Healy he proved that he’s a major force in the ultra-competitive lightweight division.
Both men throwing short 1-2 combinations to start this one off. Khabib is being more tenative, darting in and out, while Healy’s trying to stay in range and push the pace.
It’s Khabib who’s starting to land a little more effectively as we approach the mid-way point and he’s opened up a small cut to Healy’s left cheek.
Some body shots from Healy and a nice uppercut from Khabib in return. he’s using that uppercut quite often in the fight so far. Khabib tries a flying knee that connects somewhat akwardly. Healy responds with a couple of nice punches.
Khabib with a takedown, but Healy gets straight back up. Another takedown from him and this one’s a little more solid, yet Healy quickly crawls over to the cage and uses it to get up. Khabib is still on him though and unleashes a couple of hard shots just as the round ends.
Healy continues to try to push the pace early in the second round, but Khabib is moving well . It’s not long before Khabib scores with his first takedown of this frame though and he lands a few nice punches before Healy gets up.
Healy presses forward and Khabib catches him with a punch. Head kick from Khabib. Undeterred Healy continues to stalk his opponent. He connects with a nice left hand and that seems to give him a little more confidence and he’s moving forward with more urgency in his offense.
Khabib looks for the takedown and they get into a bit of a scramble that he just gets the better of, though it almost backfires at one point when he slipped to the mat and Healy almost secured top control.
Healy seems to have found his range now and Khabib doesn’t want to let him get the advantage in the striking so he’s working hard for a takedown against the cage. Not quite happening, but after they break apart he rushes Healy and does get him on his back in the final seconds of the round.
We’re into the final round then and as you might expect by now, Healy’s trying to be the aggressor and Khabib ducks in for a takedown that gets stuffed.
More strikes being exchanged by both men and then Khabib goes low and bull-rushes into Healy to get the takedown. Khabib moves into half-guard – this is most prolonged spell on the mat in the fight so far. Healy gets himself up against the cage and tries to get up.
He manages to do so, but then Khabib hoists him on to his shoulder and runs across the cage before dumping him hard to the mat!
Less than two minutes to go and Khabib is really gaining the upper-hand in this round. He postures up and lands some very nice ground and pound shots with plenty of venom behind his punches. Healy tries to get up, but can’t and Khabib moves to side control, but is put back into Healy’s half-guard.
A few punches and elbows land nicely for Khabib and despite Healy’s best efforts he keeps him down as the round ends.
So, a reasonably close fight up until the third round when Khabib Nurmagomedov really turned up the heat and dominated the action. The judges felt he had the edge in all three rounds and so he gets the unanimous decision win (30-27 x3).