In an active, entertaining bout, Jason Knight proved to have the heavier hands and a fantastic guard, but Makwan Amirkhani used takedowns to earn top control, stealing a split decision from ‘Hick Diaz.’
In main card action at UFC Liverpool on Sunday at the Echo Arena, ‘Hick Diaz’ a.k.a. Jason Knight was back in action against Makwan Amirkhani. The fight promised to be plenty violent, as Knight had told Cageside Press ahead of the bout that he had no plans on changing his approach despite being 0-2 heading into the bout.
While Knight opened with some kicks and kept Makwan Amirkhani on the outside, it was the Finnish fighter landing hard first. They’d to the ground after Amirkhani barely missed a jumping knee. While on top, Amirkhani stuck out his tongue, goading his opponent. Back on the feet, Amirkhani connected with a right, and Knight was already showing damage just three minutes into the bout. Knight threw a spinning kick which Makwan avoided with ease; Knight, however, refused to back off, adding a push kick. Moments later Knight dropped Amirkhani with a right uppercut! Amirkhani was hurt, but Knight looked to latch onto a submission instead of attacking with his hands. Makwan Amirkhani managed to escape, and even land a blow of his own, but Knight landed another short right, dropping Amirkhani again! Yet again, Knight looked for the submission, eventually trying to a triangle, but the round would come to a close.
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A flying knee from Amirkhani sailed wide early in round two; the pair were jawing back and forth, no love lost between them. Knight had clearly loosened up; his jab was working, and he began adding leg kicks into the mix. He slipped a punch and fired a counter, and a right hand led to Knight grabbing the neck, only to have it backfire as he wound up on his back with Amirkhani on top. It wasn’t long, however, before Knight was back up, threatening with upkicks. Amirkhani, however, would score a big takedown with roughly a minute remaining. Knight displayed an incredibly active guard, threatening an inverted triangle before the end of the round came.
In the third, Makwan Amirkhani scored a takedown early, with Knight looking for a triangle. He had Amirkhani trapped, and Amirkhani simply wasn’t moving. Knight actually lifted his hands at one point, to signal that his opponent wasn’t actively trying to improve position. The ref finally got the message, standing them up. Knight soon tagged Amirkhani with a right, then rolled for a leg but couldn’t get it. The move may have been his crucial mistake. Despite Knight being more active on the ground than Amirkhani, throwing up submission attempts and displaying incredible flexibility and creativeness, Amirkhani was, well, on top. That earned him 29-28 scores from two judges, while the third gave all three rounds to Knight.
Makwan Amirkhani def. Jason Knight by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)