There was a simple reason Abdul Razak Alhassan, and Jacob Malkoun were paired up at UFC Vegas 24. And it all came down to their hands.
Just 4-1 to enter the night, Malkoun also had experience as a boxer. Alhassan, meanwhile, had ten KO/TKOs on his record. In ten wins.
Odds are the UFC’s matchmakers who were very aware of both men’s finishing potential and booked a stand-and-bang style affair for the UFC faithful on Saturday.
Alhassan threw out a high kick to start round one, but Malkoun ducked it. Malkoun took Alhassan down immediately, but he got back up and landed some nasty elbows. Alhassan was swinging wildly, and Malkoun ducked for another takedown. Malkoun landed a trip, but Alhassan got up quickly. Malkoun put Alhassan against the cage and was riding him. Malkoun finally got Alhassan on his back, but Alhassan was right back up. Malkoun grabbed Alhassan’s back, but nothing happened. Another takedown came for Malkoun with a minute left; he was holding him down. Malkoun left Alhassan up and immediately ate four body kicks in a row. Alhassan threw a head kick to end the round. Through one, it was not the fight fans had expected.
Both fighters took the middle of the octagon to start round two. Malkoun landed two takedowns within 45 seconds of the bell. Malkoun locked in a guillotine, but Alhassan turned out of it. Malkoun had another tight guillotine locked up, but Alhassan fought out of it as well. Really showing off his submission skills, Malkoun locked up an anaconda choke, but Alhassan survived, and Malkoun let it go. Alhassan made it back up with 1:30 left in round two. But he’d been controlled an awfully long time. With a minute left Alhassan started with the body kick again. With 20 seconds left, Malkoun connected with a right hand and shot in to end the round. Simply put, Alhassan needed a finish in the third.
Both fighters landed kicks to start round three. Malkoun landed a straight right and took Alhassan down again, one minute into the finale frame. Malkoun laid on Alhassaon for a minute, eating up clock, and Alhaassan exploded to his feet. Malkoun ducked a high kick. He connected with another right hand and shot in on Alhassan; Malkoun kept Alhassan against the cage for a minute and then took him down again. Alhasaan tried to get up, but Malkoun kept him down. With 12 seconds left, Malkoun let Alhassan up and dropped to his back. Alhassan tried for a literal last-second haymaker but missed.
A dominant performance by Malkoun. Alhassan might be back to the regional scene after that fight, as it marked his third loss in a row.
Official Result: Jacob Malkoun def. Abdul Razak Alhassan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)