UFC Moscow Preliminary Card Results and Recap

UFC 222 CB Dollaway
CB Dollaway Credit: Mike Sloan/Sherdog.com

UFC Moscow marked the world’s top MMA promotion’s debut in Russia. With a horde of local talent, would Russian fighters steal the spotlight on Satuday?

The UFC made it’s long-awaited debut in Russia on Saturday. Marching into Moscow with UFC Fight Night 136, the promotion lacked its biggest Russian star, Khabib Nurmagomedov. It did, however, have plenty of talent from the region on the UFC Moscow card, which was topped by a heavyweight clash featuring Mark Hunt and Aleksei Oleinik.

To prepare for the four-fight main card, a preliminary card featuring eight bouts streamed on UFC Fight Pass (for Canadian viewers, the card was picked up by The Fight Network). Topped by C.B. Dollaway heading to Russia to take on local talent Khalid Murtazaliev, the undercard was set to shine a spotlight on the promotion’s growing roster of Russian fighters. From Rustam Khabilov taking on Canadian Kajan Johnson, to Merab Dvalishvili facing Terrion Ware, you know it was going to be a tough night for visiting fighters.

Adding to the drama, two fighters missed weight: Jin Soo Son, who was facing Petr Yan, and Mairbek Taisumov, who was taking on Des Green. For Green, it was the second time in three fights that an opponent had blown weight.

Check back come fight time (10:30 AM ET) for results and a recap of the action from UFC Fight Night 136, a.k.a. UFC Moscow, the promotion’s debut in Russia!

Merab Dvalishvili vs. Terrion Ware

Bantamweight action kicked off UFC Moscow, where Terrion Ware would make history as the first UFC fighter to set foot in the octagon there. Opposite him in the history-making fight was Merab Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili opened with a high kick, but it was Terrion Ware pressing forward — only to walk straight into a takedown. Merab Dvalishvili then went to work from inside Ware’s guard. Ware defended with elbows from the bottom, and tried to scramble up only for Dvalishvili to land a number of strikes and drive him back to the mat. This time, Dvalishvili moved to half-guard almost immediately. A flurry of short elbows began to hurt Ware, who turned and covered up in discomfort. Dvalishvili switched sides but remained in half guard, and continued to pound away with elbows and punches. Ware would finally escape with under two minutes to go in the round, only to have a leg caught and his other leg kicked out from under him. He’d make it back up again, only for Dvalishvili to connect with kicks then let his hands fly at the end of the round.

It was a one-sided first round, to say the least. The second looked like that would continue, with Dvalishvili connecting with a spinning kick upstairs early. He’d show off a number of creative and effective kicks before changing levels and landing a takedown past the two minute mark. Ware looked like a deer in the headlights, but was able to get to his knees and move back to his feet. Dvalishvili stayed on him, attacking with knees. Then, the Georgian hoisted Ware up and dropped him on his back with authority. The round would end with Ware on his back eating ground n’ pound.

Terrion Ware started a little more active in the third, attacking with kicks before Dvalishvili drove into him and scored yet another takedown. Ware appeared to have an injured hand, and struggled to find a way out from under Dvalishvili. That was the story of the bout, as Merab Dvalishvili dominated all three rounds on route to a unanimous decision win.

After the fight, Dvalishvili called out Contender Series star Sean O’Malley, saying “keep smoking, I will keep training, and we’ll see who’s better!”

Merab Dvalishvili def. Terrion Ware by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)

Ramazan Emeev vs. Stefan Sekulić

Emeev started out walking down his opponent, but ate a leg kick early. Sekulic looked to land a counter left, but wound up pressed into the fence after Ramazan Emeev closed the distance. Sekulic then reversed and looked for a takedown, only for Emeev to roll through it using a kimura grip. Emeev would later score a takedown of his own, only for Sekulic to look for an arm-in guillotine and use butterfly hooks to escape. However, back on the feet, Emeev connected with big right hand that wobbled Sekulic, followed by a knee that dropped him! Emeev pounced, landing more blows on his downed opponent, but Sekulic rolled, recovered, and survived the round.

Round two started off with Emeev on the attack, landing a face kick.  However, Sekulic would manage to get on top of Emeev briefly on the ground, only for Emeev to escape out. On the feet, it continued to be Emeev pressing forward, while Sekulic circled and backed away. The only answer Sekulic seemed to have was a series of leg kicks to the upper thigh. Emeev, however, remained in control.

An eye poke that caught Emeev halted the action early in round three. Back underway, he attacked with his right hand, but Sekulic began pushing forward. Emeev then missed with a spinning back elbow. Sekulic initiated a takedown only for Emeev to come out in top position. Sekulic, however, had no trouble escaping. He went back on the attack with kicks, while Emeev bizarrely turned away from his opponent to readjust his protective cup despite the ref not having called time. That could have been dangerous. Emeev, however, would get back in control, catching Sekulic with a right hand, attacking with a head kick shortly after only for it to be caught. They’d wind up going the distance, but there was never much question as to who would come out on top.

Ramazan Emeev def. Stefan Sekulić (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Yandiev

Jordan Johnson opened his middleweight clash with Adam Yandiev working his jab, but eating a hard leg kick in response. Johnson however was able to hurt Yandiev with an uppercut and essentially push him onto his back. Yandiev was then warned several times for fence grabs, but was able to make it back to his feet. Jordan then continued to walk Yandiev down, getting him to the ground and controlling the back while landing some heavy punches. Johnson then got into mount as Yandiev rolled onto his back. Yandiev scrambled, but Johnson got right back into control. A tight rear-naked choke saw Yandiev show enormous heart, turning in to escape the submission.

The second round was something Adam Yandiev had never seen before. And given he had not fought since 2015 (retiring for a time), how his cardio would hold up moving forward was a question. Yandiev took some big swings early, but missed by a country mile. Then he found himself taken down, and choked to submission moments later. An arm-triangle choke sealed the deal, and silenced the crowd in the process.

Jordan Johnson def. Adam Yandiev by submission, Round 2, 0:42

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Marcin Prachnio

Prachnio started on the outside, circling, but connected first with a leg kick. He’d need to be careful, as Ankalaev was backing him up, and soon attacked with a knee. Ankalaev then went upstairs with a kick, and things were starting to open up. Prachnio went high with a kick as well. However, he was getting touched by right hands, and getting the worse of the exchanges. Magomed Ankalaev sealed the deal moments later. Connecting with a counter right that stunned Pachnio, Ankalaev followed it up with a head kick that floored his opponent. A couple of follow-up strikes and Herb Dean was on the scene to wave the action off!

Magomed Ankalaev def. Marcin Prachnio by knockout, Round 1, 3:09

Mairbek Taisumov vs. Desmond Green

Taisumov opened with a kick that missed in this 161lb catchweight fight (Taisumov missed weight). Green would eat a couple of leg kicks moving forward, however. That said, the first half of the opening round was very much a feeling-out process. The kicks of Taisumov, to leg, body, and head, were the story of the round, which ended with a spirited exchange.

The second round saw Green on the outside, circling, trying to land a left hand. He didn’t quite have his range, however. And neither men were putting together combinations, but mostly firing off single strikes. Green then shot for a double leg only to come up short. Taisumov found himself under fire a short time later, however, but just as Green was coming on, a low blow stopped him in his tracks. Back underway, Taisumov would drop Green with a head kick followed by a right hand; Green latched on to a leg, buying time to recover. He’d come back at the end of the round, going on the attack again.

Des Green looked to press the action early in round three, but took another kick to the head. Green had his jab going, but the fight had become quite a back-and-forth battle. Taisumov went upstairs with a kick again towards the final minute of the fight. Green, despite showing damage on the lead leg, continued to be light on his feet, displaying excellent movement. Yet he couldn’t get off enough in terms of significant strikes to move ahead on the scorecards. In the end, Mairbek Taisumov won his sixth straight bout in the UFC by a unanimous decision.

Mairbek Taisumov def. Desmond Green by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Rustam Khabilov vs. Kajan Johnson

Canada’s Kajan Johnson was looking to bounce back from a loss at UFC Calgary against Islam Makhachev by taking on another Dagestani fighter in Rustam Khabilov. Johnson opened with leg kicks and threatened with a takedown.  He’d then connect with a straight right. Johnson moved between stances, and continued to attack the legs of Khabilov. Khabilov, however, caught Johnson with a left hook, then went to the body moments later. It appeared he was starting to find his range. The Russian would flash a spinning heel kick at round’s end, but Johnson would land a side kick to the face just before the buzzer.

Khabilov let his hands go right off the bell in the second. Johnson would attempt a Machida style crane kick, something his coaches called for between rounds. Khabilov, however, was pressing forward more as the round progressed. Khabilov would then take the fight to the ground, but Johnson wrapped up one of his legs. He then threatened with an arm-bar briefly until Khabilov forced him back. Another submission attempt, this time for a triangle, before Johnson got Khabilov back in full guard. Johnson would wind up bloodied, but managed to push Khabilov off at the end of the second, threatening with upkicks and even showboating a little.

Khabilov and Johnson opened round three trading, with Johnson going back to his kicks. Johnson connected with a knee near the midway point, then another as Khabilov came in for a takedown. Khabilov would get the takedown but couldn’t hold Johnson down. The Canadian landed another knee as the pair came back up. Khabilov would then catch a kick and fire off a spinning back elbow. The Russian was then able to land a takedown in the final minute, only to contend with Johnson’s active submission game off his back. The buzzer would sound with Johnson latching on to a leg. What would the scorecards say? Not what many predicted, with something of a home town decision for Khabilov.

Rustam Khabilov def. Kajan Johnson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Petr Yan vs. Jin Soo Son

Petr Yan immediately went to work against South Korea’s Jin Soo Son, in a fight that was contested on the fight early. However, as Son moved in after about two minutes, Yan’s extended fingers caught Son in the eye. That led to a break in the action and a warning for Yan. Back underway Son moved for a takedown, and while Yan fought it off, Son had control of the back. They then exchanged knees; Yan, who displayed lighting quick speed, later connected with an elbow. Yan missed with a spinning back fist, and things were getting wild. In the final minute, they’d begin exchanging on the feet, with both fighters landing.

Having proven to be a game opponent, newcomer Son wound up drawn into a firefight early in the second round. Son was bleeding by his left ear, having eaten several heavy blows. Yet he was able to feint with a jab and connected with his right hand often. Yan was frequently covering up, effectively, then firing back and landing. However with just over two minutes remaining Jin Soo Son landed a key takedown. Yan attacked with elbows off the back. Son nearly took mount, but Yan forced him back to guard. Petr Yan would manage to reverse and move to the top just before the round closed.

The firefight continued in round three. Yan’s right hand was still his best weapon. Son refused to quit, despite eating a number of crisp shots. He’d connect with an overhand, but a spinning back elbow from Yan rocked Son! Somehow he kept right on going. Back-and-forth, rock ’em sock ’em style, the fight went on. Yan would connect with a kick to the body that dropped Son, but it was more being thrown off balance than anything. And through it all, Jin Soo Son was smiling.

A clear Fight of the Night candidate, Yan won it on the scorecards, but for a short notice, debuting fighter, Jin Soo Son certainly made an impression.

Petr Yan def. Jin Soo Son by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Khalid Murtazaliev vs. C.B. Dollaway

In Saturday’s featured preliminary fight in Moscow, CB Dollaway took on Khalid Murtazaliev in the middleweight bout that saw the pair trade leg kicks early. Dollaway went to the body with his hands, eating a kick in return. He then shot for a takedown, landing it on the second attempt. Murtazaliev tried to hook onto a leg, and scrambled free in an impressive sequence. Dollaway then ate a heavy body kick the appeared to hurt him. The Russian landed a takedown, but wound up caught in a guilltoine. Murtazaliev would pull free, but Dollaway was able to escape, only for his opponent to stick to his back. Murtazaliev would land a knee along the fence, then take Dollaway back down.

In the second, Murtazaliev landed a spinning back kick, only for Dollaway to land a takedown shortly after. He passed to guard in short order, and Murtazaliev gave up his back momentarily. Looking for a choke, Dollaway seemed in control only for Murtazaliev to break free and reverse, moving to mount himself. Dollaway scrambled free, but Murtazaliev took his back. He landed a hard knee to the head as Dollaway got up; Murtazaliev took him right back down. Dollaway was bloodied, and tiring. Murtazaliev nearly landed an illegal knee. Dollaway was simply covering up, eating strikes, yet Herb Dean, taking a close look, urged Dollaway to continue. Then urged Murtazaliev to continue. For some reason, he allowed the fight to continue, with Dollaway face down covering up. The round ended, but Dollaway didn’t get off his knees. Between rounds, Dean told Dollaway if he didn’t get up, the fight was over — and with Dollaway staying put, he called off the fight.

A clearly late stoppage. But Murtazaliev earned a hard-fought win.

Khalid Murtazaliev def. C.B. Dollaway by TKO, Round 2, 5:00

UFC Moscow Preliminary Card Results:

Khalid Murtazaliev def. C.B. Dollaway by TKO, Round 2, 5:00
Petr Yan def. Jin Soo Son by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Rustam Khabilov def. Kajan Johnson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mairbek Taisumov def. Desmond Green by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Magomed Ankalaev def. Marcin Prachnio by knockout, Round 1, 3:09
Jordan Johnson def. Adam Yandiev by submission (side choke), Round 2, 0:42
Ramazan Emeev def. Stefan Sekulić (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
Merab Dvalishvili def. Terrion Ware by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)