Magomed Ankalaev broke Klidson Abreu’s nose with an early uppercut in this main card opener at UFC On ESPN+ 3 and from then on was in control of the fight en-route to a decision victory.
Abreu taking the center of the cage to start. It’s Ankalaev who steps into the first punch of the fight though. Ankalaev with a leg kick now.
Abreu goes into the clinch but is immediately reversed into the cage by Ankalaev. Knee to the thigh from Ankalaev. Abreu tries to trip Ankalaev, but fails to do so.
They break free and Abreu lands a hook that gets Ankalaev’s attention. Missed front kick from Abreu. Ankalaev gets clipped by an uppercut while coming forward and it breaks his nose and buckles him to his knee for a moment.
Soon afterwards Abreu decides to pull guard as blood starts to leak from his nose. Ankalaev working patiently in half-guard here and landing a little ground and pound.
Final 20 seconds of the round and Ankalaev lands a few elbows to the Abreu’s clearly broken nose.
Head kick from Abreu early in the second round does land, but Ankalaev takes it well. Leg kick for him now. Abreu comes piling forward looking to duck in for the takedown, but eats the uppercut again.
Ankalaev looking comfortable at this stage. He tries for a head kick that’s blocked. Front kick to the body from Ankalaev and then threatens with the uppercut again.
Leg kick for Abreu as Ankalaev fires out a counter punch. Jab lands for Ankalaev. Abreu presses forward quickly again looking for the takedown and this time Ankalaev’s uppercut misses and his opponent gets inside. Ankalaev does well to keep standing though as Abreu settles for getting him clinched up against the cage.
Ankalaev soon reverses that though. Abreu tries for a trip takedown, but Ankalaev doesn’t comply and ends up on top.
Half-guard for Ankalaev, but Abreu manages to get him back into his full guard. Ankalaev grinding his head into Abreu’s nose here in the closing stages of the round until the bell sounds.
Ankalaev misses with an uppercut. Abreu coming forward again and gets caught by a right hand. Ankalaev catches a kick and gets him to the mat, but he gets right back up.
Head kick attempt for Abreu is blocked. Spinning back kick now, but Ankalaev gets out of the way. Jab for Ankalaev.
Body punch for Abreu. Solid leg kick from Ankalaev, but Abreu checks it. Abreu clinches up and eats an uppercut, then Ankalaev walks him into the cage.
Solid elbow connects from Ankalaev. He tries for a single-leg momentarily then goes back to the clinch. Not a lot of action here and the ref seperates them.
Final 30 seconds. Ankalaev threatens with the upppercut yet again. As Abreu comes forward it’s Ankalaev who thinks about a single-leg then changes his mind and the fight comes to a close in the clinch.
No doubt about this one, Ankalaev earns himself a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).