No. 14-ranked flyweight Raulian Paiva was able to score a decision win over Zhalgas Zhumagulov at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.
Raulian Paiva was one of two fighters who missed weight for Saturday’s UFC 251 card. The Brazilian flyweight came in at 129lbs for the event, where he was set to face newcomer Zhalgas Zhumagulov.
Paiva was looking to make it two in a row against the Khazakstani fighter, and was a slight favorite with the oddsmakers heading in. “Zhako” meanwhile had won four straight outside the promotion, including wins over former UFC fighter Ali Bagautinov, and current UFC athlete Tyson Nam.
Round one saw a heavy kickboxing attack from Paiva. Paiva was going to the head, legs, but was ripping a few of them to the body. Zhumagulov landing a few leg kicks of his own but was having problem getting on the inside. All Zhumagulov could do was wing that wild overhand right but Paiva is keeping the fight at his range with his kicks perfectly. Zhumagulov pushed Paiva to the mat at the end of the round but nothing was done with it.
Zhumagulov came out aggressive in round two coming out forward with a combination ending with a nice body kick. Zhumagulov started to get some success with his leg kicks and slipping punches and coming over with the right hand. “Zharko” even of his back foot is the one landing leg kicks and attack the body well. Zhumagulov ended the round with a beautiful judo throw.
Paiva not having the same success with his kickboxing as he did in round one not landing as much. Zhumagulov is countering Paiva early on as he was coming in. Paiva against would get taken down but he did get right back to his feet quickly. The biggest significant shot came from a left hand from Zhumagulov that barely fazed Paiva. The fight was paused from a nasty kick to the groin. The fight closed out with Zhumagulov trying to get the fight down but Paiva defended.
Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)