Movsar Evloev earned a unanimous decision over Enrique Barzola at UFC Singapore, but the fight was a lot closer than it looked on paper.
Movsar Evloev was looking to continue the undefeated run to start his career at UFC Singapore. The 25-year-old Russian was 11-0 before the bout, and 1-0 since joining the promotion. The move to the UFC followed an impressive run as the M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion. He’s joined the featherweight division in his time in the UFC, defeating Seung Woo Choi by unanimous decision in his promotional debut in April.
Looking to end Evloev’s run was eight-fight UFC veteran Enrique Barzola. Barzola joined the promotion in 2015 after winning The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 as a lightweight. The 30-year-old Peruvian was 6-2 in the UFC, going 1-1 in 2019 with a loss to Kevin Aguilar and victory over Bobby Moffett.
A fit of a feeling out period opened up Barzola vs. Evloev. Barzola got his jab going, and fired a leg kick. Evloev answered with a crisp jab of his own, and it appeared the feeling out process was complete. Evoloev’s jab continued to hit the mark, and when it hit, it hit hard. The jab was also setting up other attacks for Evloev, who was looking strong on the feet. Despite that, roughly two minutes in, he secured a takedown. As Barzola got back to his feet, he nearly gave up his neck. But Enrique escaped, and cracked Evoloev with a punch, halting his momentum momentarily. Evolev would catch Barzola with a right at the one-minute mark, then catch a kick and drag his opponent to the ground.
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Entering the second, Barzola had a bit of swelling around the left eye. Evloev got a little sloppy moving in, and nearly paid for it, but he’d drag Barzola to the ground. They didn’t stay there, with Brazola immediately back up, back to the fence. The pair would trade combinations, both men landing. Barzola was far more aggressive in the second, and seemed to have found his rhythm. For all Evloev’s success in the takedown department, he couldn’t keep Barzola there. That seemed to translate to a confidence boost, as Barzola began attacking with more fervor. In the final minute, he hoisted Evloev up and slammed him down for a takedown of his own! Barzola ended the round on top, working in some ground n’ pound at a frantic pace.
In the third, Barzola looked to punch his way in, shooting for a single. But Evloev beat him to the punch, looking for a single leg takedown of his own. They essentially cancelled each other out, moving back to center and trading, both men landing. Evloev changed levels for a takedown, but Barzola scrambled and took control. Later in the round, Barzola would catch his opponent with a left. Evloev answered with a 1-2 combo, but moments after, a low blow connected, as Barzola’s foot landed low on a jump knee.
More strikes than you could count populated the final two minutes, with both men landing. They’d battle it out to the bell, leaving it up to the judges to decide whether Barzola’s comeback in the second and third was successful. It was, but there were no losers in this one.
Official Result: Movsar Evloev def. Enrique Barzola by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)