TMT’s Makhmud Muradov discussed his finish of Trevor Smith following a performance that at the very least put him in the running for a bonus.
Washington, D.C. — Makhmud Muradov’s sophomore appearance in the UFC was nothing if not money. The Floyd Mayweather fighter — the only mixed martial artist represented by Mayweather’s The Money Team — went the better part of three rounds with a game Trevor ‘Hot Sauce’ Smith.
Then, late in the third, a Muradov right hand came over the top. Smith had been dropping his left all night. The punch landed clean, Smith went down, slumped face-first on the canvas. His night was over. For Muradov, the celebration was just beginning.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the Capital One Arena, the European fighter said his team had identified Smith’s vulnerability in dropping his left prior to the bout.
“Of course we were analyzing the opponent before the fight, so we knew that this was his weakness, that his left hand is very often lower,” Muradov said post-fight. However, he chose to bide his time, rather than try to push for a finish early.
“I didn’t want to hurry up, I didn’t want to risk it in the first round for example,” he said. “I knew that this is the way, but I prefer [to have him] a little bit more tired, then finish the fight.”
As for how his second trip to the octagon differed from his first, Muradov said simply that “I enjoyed it again, as I had huge support from both countries that I’m fighting for, Czech Republic and Uzbekistan. So I was looking forward to this fight, and I enjoyed it.”
Asked where the finish falls on his list of career finishes, Muradov, now 24-6, chose not to rank it. “I like every one of my knockouts and every fight,” he said instead. But, he added, “I’m really happy that my first fight in America had this finish.”
Watch the full UFC DC post-fight press scrum with Makhmud Muradov above!