Movsar Evloev and Hakeem Dawodu were tasked with opening up the televised prelims for Saturday’s UFC 263 card. The featherweight pair were an interesting match-up on paper, with ex-M-1 champ Evloev expected to have the edge in wrestling. Canada’s Dawodu, meanwhile, was likely the better striker.
Ahead of the fight, however, Evloev had suggested he was the better striker as well — something that came as music to Dawodu’s ears during the event’s media day.
Whether looking to make a statement or not, Evloev threw a nasty looking overhand haymaker early in the opening round. Dawodu took a more measured approach. Soon enough, Evloev landed his first takedown, but Dawodu was quickly back up — only to find the Russian on him like glue. Evloev ragdolled his opponent, throwing him down and staying all over him. Dawodu managed to make it back to his feet along the fence, only to be dragged back down. From there, the former M-1 champ looked for a rear-naked choke, but wasn’t in position. Still, by the time he sat back and got both hooks in, there was still two minutes left in the round. Plenty of time to work. Dawodu at least survived to see the second.
Evloev went right back to the well to open round two. An immediate takedown, and though Dawodu made it back up, he ate several punches while tied up along the fence — and was then dragged right back down. Evloev took a similar approach to the opening round, getting hooks in from the back, controlling throughout the frame.
The Canadian entered round three in need of a finish. He’d manage to keep things standing, though nothing was doing until close to the final minute. Then, Dawodu managed to stun Evloev. The comeback was short lived, however, as Evloev landed a key takedown, stalling the Canadian’s momentum.
Dropped him! 😳
— UFC (@ufc) June 13, 2021
There were no surprises on the scorecards in this one. Evloev took home a clear decision win.
Official Result: Movsar Evloev def. Hakeem Dawodu by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)