Nurmagomedov claims first UFC title for Russia

Al Iaquinta could have used the dolly that Conor McGregor tossed at a bus the other day to defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov in their hastily put together bout for the UFC lightweight championship.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the new UFC lightweight champion after earning a one-sided unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in New York.

As the fight advance, Iaquinta grew wise to further takedowns and forced Khabib to switch up tactics; rounds 4 and 5 were dominated by stand-up manoeuvres by both fighters.

With Nurmagomedov's original opponent, Tony Ferguson, pulling out a week ago due to a knee injury and replacement Max Holloway withdrawing for medical reasons during his weight cut, Iaquinta stepped in on Friday and agreed to take the fight.

The 29-year-old Nurmagomedov once wrestled a bear as a child and he had no trouble busting open a clearly overmatched Iaquinta.

"Give me Georges St-Pierre at Madison Square Garden", he said in the cage after the fight. It's a test he passed with flying colors.

Also on the main card Renato Moicano similarly defeated Calvin Kattar, and Zabit Magomedsharipov also took the decision against Kyle Bochniak.

McGregor and his hotheaded posse were banned in Brooklyn and - as UFC would hope - presumably not lurking in the bowls of Barclays Center looking for a brawl.

"Give me 30 minutes and I'll come back with anybody", he said "Tony [Ferguson], Conor, it doesn't matter". He was released on bail but must return for a hearing on 14 June. Jedrzejczyk's right eye was about swollen shut in the fifth but she still landed some jabs that kept her hope alive of regaining her championship.

The unbeaten Russian won with scorecards of 50-44 50-43 50-43 but showed some of the striking deficiencies he has displayed in the past.

Now unbeaten in 26 professional fights, including 10 in the UFC, Nurmagomedov didn't waste any time in calling out his next opponent and having a crack at Conor McGregor. Moments after the fight, Ferguson scoffed at the switch of gold (via Twitter). Clark won the fight.

UFC needed a fresh face in the women's division with former champ and box office draw Ronda Rousey engaged in faux fighting in WWE.

Jedrzejczyk, who was undefeated prior to her title defence against Namajunas at UFC 217, has now dropped two consecutive losses.

After one of the UFC's most chaotic weeks - with McGregor led from a police station in handcuffs and charged with throwing a hand cart at a bus - the promotion got down Saturday night to what it does best: Put on a show.

"Ridiculous considering the week we had", White said.


Popular

CONNECT