Ismail Naurdiev UFC
Ismail Naurdiev Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Ismail Naurdiev executed his game plan perfectly at UFC Copenhagen, claiming a well-earned decision against Siyar Bahadurzada.

Welterweights Siyar Bahadurzada and Ismail Naurdiev threw down on the preliminary portion of UFC Copenhagen on Saturday. The UFC’s debut in the Danish capital had Naurdiev, ‘The Austrian Wonderboy,’ coming in off a loss to Chance Rencountre at UFC 239, and 1-1 in the UFC to date. Bahadurzada, a seven-fight UFC veteran, was looking to bounce back from a loss to Curtis Millender that snapped a three-fight win streak.

Naurdiev opted to walk Bahadurzada down in the early going of the opening round. The first ninety seconds or so were a feeling out process, but Bahadurzada accidentally poked his opponent’s eye, pausing the action. They didn’t stop for long, and Naurdiev fired a pair of low kicks as they got going again. Bahadurzada swung for the fences a couple of times, but hit air. However Naurdiev landed a number of strikes, not clean, but still connecting.

Sneaking a kick up high, Naurdiev just got over the hand of Bahadurzada. The blow wasn’t flush, but it was a sign of Naurdiev’s comfort. Moments later, he connected with a kick to the body that hurt Bahadurzada. Bahadurzada escaped, but Naurdiev caught him and launched a jump knee.

Whether Naurdiev could continue the attack was the question entering the second. He came out firing a few kicks and keeping Bahadurzada at length. Bahadurzada answered by firing a few big overhands, and after a couple more, Naurdiev opted to change levels and take his opponent down. A smart move to prevent any big shot from landing, since big shots would not be an issue with Bahadurzada flat on his back.

From side control, Naurdiev worked the body. He’d wind up in half guard, but was on top til the end of the round, sending them to the third with Bahadurzada likely down two frames.

Round three had the two trading, with Naurdiev staying wary of his opponent’s power. He chopped at Bahadurzada’s legs, both inside and out. Bahadurzada returned fire with some kicks of his own, but Naurdiev decided to shoot for a double leg takedown, landing it with ease. In side control again, he landed knees to the body and dropped elbows. Bahadurzada  could not escape, nearly giving up his back at one point, then thinking better of it. All the while eating blow after blow. End result, Ismail Naurdiev cruised to a unanimous decision.

Result: Ismail Naurdiev def. Siyar Bahadurzada by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)