Khabib Nurmagomedov looked as fresh as ever, dominating Edson Barboza with ground-and-pound at UFC 219.
It’s been over a year since we last saw Khabib Nurmagomedov step into the Octagon and dominate Michael Johnson thoroughly. After weight-cutting issues stopped Khabib from entering the cage against Tony Ferguson, the Russian’s layoff extended to 13 months. Now he has a chance to improve his career record to 25-0 and solidify himself as the top lightweight contender at UFC 219.
Edson Barboza is one of the most thrilling strikers on the rosters. With stoppages due to leg kicks, body kicks, head kicks, and flying knees on his resume, he’s certainly a “don’t blink” fighter. Barboza enters this bout on a three-fight win streak.
Edson Barboza landed a pair of quick leg kicks early. Barboza narrowly missed with a heavy hook, then landed a few more leg kicks. Khabib missed a takedown rush and ate a leg kick as punishment.
Edson went to the body with his kicks, and Khabib rushed forward landing a hard straight into the clinch. Barboza was able to stay standing though. Khabib adjusted and rushed forward with straight punches and a flying knee. Nurmagomedov took down Barboza with ease and the smashing began. Constant ground and pound came Barboza’s way.
From side control to mount and everything in between, Khabib Nurmagomedov beat down Barboza with relative ease. Edson Barboza was slow to get up and return to his corner.
Khabib started the second round with a leg kick and pushed forward with more kicks and a flying knee. Khabib ate a punch but fired back with a combination and pushed Barboza against the cage. After escaping the cage, Edson fired a wheel kick that was deflected by Nurmagomedov. Khabib ate a body kick but avoided the punches, then relentlessly pursued a takedown.
On his third effort, Khabib finally took down Barboza and the onslaught began again. Barboza endured two minutes of damage to hear the final bell of the round.
Barboza fired a leg kick to start things off in the final round, and Khabib kept pushing forward. A heavy combination landed for Khabib, then another and Barboza found himself against the cage. Somehow Barboza defended the takedown and reset. Barboza then nailed Khabib with a wheel kick, but the Russian walked right through it and landed a takedown.
More unanswered shots landed for Khabib until Barboza stood up. Barboza landed a head kick but it was far from enough to slow down Khabib.
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Edson Barboza by Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-24)