Leonardo Santos picked up a decision win over Roman Bogatov on the UFC 251 preliminary card.
One of four fighters making their promotional debut at UFC 251 was Roman Bogatov. The undefeated Russian had served as the M-1 lightweight champion, and was looking to extend a ten-fight win streak against Brazil’s Leonardo Santos.
Santos has not lost since 2009, the only blemish on his record a draw with Norman Parke in 2014. Yet despite being with the UFC since 2013, Santos had just seven octagon appearances. An average of one a year. With wins over Anthony Rocco Martin and Kevin Lee, the TUF Brazil 2 winner, at 40, had little time left to really make an impact.
Round one didn’t see a lot of action coming at as Bogatov was the one coming forward but Santos was the one landing. Bogatov threw a lazy spinning back fist that allowed Santos to take his back but did nothing with it. The Russian is pressuring and Santos did land a few kicks but not much action in the first.
Bogatov took little time shooting at the legs in round two but Santos defended against the cage like he should. Once they broke Santos hurt Bogatov with a knee and right hand and he swarmed. Santos landed punches and kicks as Bogatov was on the retreat. Santos took the back and tried to finish the fight. Santos tired himself out and Bogatov turned towards him and got top position for the remainder of the round.
The final round Santos is visibly tired and Bogatov is all over the takedown. Santos defending but took a knee to the groin to cause a pause in the action. As the action resumed Bogatov was back all over the takedown putting in on Santos hard. Santos is defending the takedown perfectly but isn’t having any resistance against the cage. Another pause to the action due to a groin strike from Bogatov but no point taken. Right as they resumed Bogatov finally completed a takedown. Now an illegal knee as Santos was grounded and Bogato was deducted two points. The fight ends with Bogatov chasing the finish but couldn’t get it.
Leaonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov by unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26)