It was a striking showcase between Rashid Magomedov and Loik Radzhabov at PFL 2 2019, with the more defensive Magomedov taking the unanimous decision.
Rashid Magomedov was a standout in the UFC lightweight division, going 5-1 with wins over Anthony Rocco Martin, Gilbert Burns, and Bobby Green. After the Green win, Magomedov elected to sign with PFL. He snuck into the bracket as the seventh seed with a three-point regular season (an injury pulled him out of his first bout) and reached the finals. The former M-1 champion drew against Will Brooks but advanced then defeated another UFC veteran in Thiago Tavares to reach the finals. He came up short in a decision loss to Natan Schulte.
Loik Radzhabov is an undefeated Tajikistani fighter who will be fighting for the first time since 2017 at PFL 2 2019. The Germany resident has stopped 10 of his 11 opponents, and won the World MMA Association lightweight title in his last fight.
Loik Radzhabov opened the fight with a left hand that caught Rashid Magomedov. Magomedov responded with one of his own. Magomedov was backpedaling, but landing his left hand effectively. Radzhabov was pushing forward aggressively, but Magomedov was patient. A check left hand knocked down the advancing Radzhabov, but he was allowed back up. After a brief clinch, Magomedov drove his opponent across the cage, but could not get the fight to the canvas. Radzhabov continued to move forward, but Magomedov was showcasing great defense and patience, picking his shots and avoiding serious damage.
Radzhabov came out aggressively and hit Magomedov with a good shot to start the second round. Magomedov responded with a few snapping body kicks, and to the clinch they went. Magomedov was nearly thrown down, keeping his balance with an outstretched arm. The fighters separated, then Magomedov landed a beautiful trip to sent his opponent to his back. Radzhabov returned to his feet, only to get tripped again. Radzhabov aggressively came forward with strikes, but Magomedov bobbed and weaved to stay out of danger. Magomedov then got a bit fancy. He landed another trip, waited for Radzhabov to get back up, hit him with a side kick to the face, then a spinning kick to the body. A great round in what has been a great fight.
Radzhobov went to the clinch early in the final round, but nothing came of it. The pace of the slowed a bit, as Magomedov clinched up against the cage. After their separation, Magomedov landed a front kick, and Radzhobov responded with a spinning kick to the body. Magomedov had the cage control nearing the end of the final round, shooting a double-leg takedown and getting it to put a stamp on his performance.
Rashid Magomedov def. Loik Radzhabov by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)