Welterweight action on the UFC Fight Island 7 preliminary card had Ramazan Emeev and David Zawada both looking to build modest win streaks.
Emeev and Zawada each entered the fight off single wins, with Zawada having submitted Abubakar Nurmagomedov in November 2019. He’d been out all of 2020, after bouts with Anthony Rocco Martin and Mounir Lazzez fell through. Emeev, meanwhile, had won a unanimous decision against Niklas Stolze last July, in the Russian’s only fight of 2020.
To open the affair, third fight in on the UFC Fight Island 7 card on Saturday, Emeev threw an awkward looking right hand. He made up for it moments later, catching Zawada with another right. After some back-and-forth, Emeev managed to score a takedown, but Zawada was back up quickly, and throwing hands. The pair then clinched, trading knees. Eventually, Emeev would take the fight back down, while Zawada defended with a kimura.
The kimura wasn’t to be, and Emeev landed some heavy shots as Zawada climbed back to his feat. Those unanswered, undefended shots were heavy, but Zawada seemed to eat them without issue.
Opening the second, Emeev changed levels and put Zawada on his back with a textbook takedown. Zawada stayed busy off his back, while Emeev worked inside the guard. Emeev wound up back on his feet, and came close to eating an upkick. Zawada fired a nasty kick to the outside of Emeev’s lead leg — the type of kick that can quickly change the course of a fight. Emeev would need to keep an eye on those; he had eaten a couple in the opening round as well, and he leg was starting to look a little worse for the wear.
A seemingly accidental late blow, immediately after the buzzer to end round two, opened up a gushing cut near the eye of Zawada. Emeev opened the third with an immediate takedown, perhaps recognizing that his opponent was compromised. Zawada powered back up, but risked exposing his neck. Emeev wound up holding onto a choke a little too long, and found himself on his back, Zawada in side control. In his best sequence of the fight, Zawada worked his way to mount — only for Emeev to scramble free. That likely dashed any hopes of a Zawada victory, although the bout was close, and a split decision in the end.
A former two-time M-1 Global middleweight champion, Emeev was highly touted upon entering the UFC. Despite coming up short against Anthony Rocco Martin in 2019, big things were expected of him. With two straight wins under his belt, it appears the Russian is back on track.
Official Result: Ramazan Emeev def. David Zawada by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)