Using his creative striking to keep the much taller, longer Ricky Rainey at bay, Muslim Salikhov sealed the deal with a right hand in the second round.
Bellator MMA veteran Rick Rainey made his short notice UFC debut at UFC Glendale on Saturday. Appearing on the televised preliminary card on FOX Sports 1, Rainey took on Muslim Salikhov at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ. Could Rainey, without a full camp, solve the puzzle of Salikhov’s flashy, kick-heavy attacks?
Salikhov mixed up leg kicks with his attacks to open his welterweight battle against Ricky Rainey at UFC on FOX 29 in Glendale. However, an early eye poke by Rainey, who had a considerable reach advantage, halted the action as it was barely underway. After a brief inspection by the doctor, the action got going again, and Salikhov went right to the body with a spinning kick. Rainey answered back with a snapping leg kick; Salikhov looked for a takedown off a left hand by Rainey, but couldn’t finish it. As the fight progressed, Rainey used his reach as best he could, but Salikhov’s creative striking allowed him to make his way inside. Towards the end of the round, however, Salikhov seemed to have his opponent’s timing down.
To start the second, Salikhov scored an early takedown, throwing Rainey to the canvas. He allowed his opponent to get back up, however, opting not to engage him on the ground. Rainey had the clear size advantage, and tied his opponent up, but couldn’t seem to score much in the way of significant strikes. Salikhov then fired off a spinning back fist that was blocked. An overhand right followed. Rainey appeared hesitant on his attacks, but finally went high with a kick that at least partially connected. Salikhov returned fire with a leg kick. Salikhov landed a spinning back kick to the mid-section, followed by a side kick to the body. Then a big right hand connected for Salikhov! Rainey, caught behind the ear, went down, and Muslim Salikhov followed up with just a trio of strikes before the ref waved it off.
Muslim Salikhov def. Ricky Rainey by knockout, Round 2, 4:12