Revenge between Ankalajev and Cutelab, a struggle for the right to challenge the middleweight champion between Whittaker and Cannonier, or a duel between two newcomers Malkoun vs. Hawes, it all happened before the main game.
At the end of the evening, undefeated Chabib and interim champion Justin Gaethje finally faced each other.
UFC 254 main card results:
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje – submise 2. kolo
The first minute was almost without strikes, but then the battle for the lightweight title started at full speed. Chabib (29-0) did not try to takedown and chased Gaethje in position. The American defended himself with torn hooks, which, however, found their goal. The end of the round took place on the ground, where Chabib tried to tighten the lever on his hand, but Gaethje (22-3) survived the pressure. Already in the first round, the champion was successful in strategy – to tire his opponent.
In the second round, the match was brought back to the ground. Chabib made an attempt at a takedown and quickly took a position in the mesh, put on a triangle choke and Gaethje had to knock.
Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier – and body
The former middleweight champion has taken another step on the way back to the title. With the basic boxing technique, front-back or front direct, he gradually took over the reins of the match. Cannonier (13-5) attacked the front leg and tried to keep up with his rival, but he simply could not find an answer to his speed.
The match gained momentum in the third round. Whittaker (23-5) shook the opponent and he jumped to the ground. It already looked like it was after the match, but Cannonier survived the hard times. He even resisted the attempt to strangle and was able to get back on his feet. Just before the end, the roles were reversed for a while, but Whittaker survived the conclusion and defended the number one challenge.
VIDEO: Whittaker took another step after the title:
Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris – KO./TKO. 2. kolo
Volkov (32-8) entered the heavyweight match better. He worked better with distance and repeatedly got Harris (13-9-1NC) into trouble. Difficult moments were known to the opponent and by the end of the first round he was already very exhausted.
Volkov followed up on the great first five minutes in the second round. The decisive moment came at 1:15, when Harris kicked directly at the solar. He ran his thumb under the opponent’s ribs and Harris immediately grabbed his stomach. A few strokes followed and the referee ended the match.
VIDEO: Alexander Volkov’s well-aimed thumb:
Phil Hawes vs. Jacob Malkoun – KO./TKO. – 1. koloIn the middle weight, two UFC newcomers faced each other. According to pre-match statistics, it was already clear that there would be no point decision.
Hawes (9-3), nicknamed Megatron, decided after 18 seconds. He shook the Australian wounder with an innocent blow to the cage and then completed his work with a series of hard blows.
VIDEO: 18ti vtěřinový debut Phila Hawese:
Lauren Murphyová vs. Lilija Šakirová – submise 2nd round
In a single women’s main card duel, five weightlifters welcomed Murphy (14-4), debuting with Shakir (8-2). From the beginning, the 29-year-old Uzbekistan was pulling for a shorter end and did not significantly endanger her opponent in the attitude. Although she has many years of experience in wrestling, it was the ground that eventually became fatal for her. In the second round, Murphy brought the fight to the ground, where she created a position for the rear naked choke and, after a few seconds, reached the victorious end.
VIDEO: Murphy forced her opponent to knock:
Magomed ankalajev vs. Ion Cutelaba – KO./TKO. 1. kolo
The Russian beater confirmed the controversial victory of February 2020. He sent the Moldovan Hulk to the ground several times in the first round of the retreat, and when he knocked down his opponent for the fourth time, he ended the match with a hard ground and pound. Ankalajev (14-1) scored his fifth victory in a row and consolidated his position in the TOP 15 semi-heavyweight.
VIDEO: Summary of the first match of the main card: