UFC 271: Bobby Green Puts on Inspired Performance Against Nasrat Haqparast

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Bobby Green and Nasrat Haqparast, UFC 271
Bobby Green and Nasrat Haqparast, UFC 271 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Dave Noseworthy/Cageside Press

Opening up Saturday’s UFC 271 PPV card were lightweights Bobby Green and Nasrat Haqparst.

Green, 4-2 in his last six fights, had three post-fight bonuses in that span, including both a Performance of the Night and a Fight of the Night in his last two outings. Haqparast, meanwhile, had seen a two-fight streak snapped by Dan Hooker back in September, but not for lack of effort.

In other words, fireworks could be expected. It certainly seemed like that from the outset. There was plenty of intensity in Green vs. Haqparast even before the fight got underway, with the duo nearly coming together before Bruce Buffer had even introduced them.

Once things did get underway, Green’s mouth was as active as his hands. Green walked forward, hands low, trash-talking Haqparast. Green fired a kick, as Haqparast kept his guard high and circled. But in little more than a minute, Haqparast had landed a nasty eye poke that halted the action.

Moments later, the fight resumed, only to be halted again due to a Green eye poke. An eye for an eye, such as it was, after which ref Mike Beltran admonished the fighters to keep it clean.

Back underway, Green double-pumped his jab. And seemingly never stopped talking. But Haqparast punctuated a combination with a right hand over the top that forced Green back. He returned fire with a 1-2, and the crowd was solidly behind Bobby Green, who continued to find success with his jab. Better movement, and plenty of feints, seemed to have Haqparast frozen at times; at others, he simply looked a step behind.

Round two saw Green’s boxing continue to be the difference maker. His movement was also superior, head rarely to be found where Haqparast expected. Green was the faster fighter, with the more varied arsenal, and he was splitting the guard with ease. Haqparast finally opted to mix in a leg kick, near the midway mark of the round. He’d need more of those, given how badly he was being out-boxed.

A left hand finally found the mark for Harparast, but he wasn’t able to follow it up. Green fired a couple of kicks, then let his hands go again. Nasrat Haqparast was showing significant damage about his face, but was able to land another big left on Green. In the final minute Haqparast fired a high kick that was blocked; at the end of the round, the pair exchanged words once again.

The second was unquestionably a better round for Haqparast, but he was still trailing Green. In the third, Haqparast was wobbled early. A body shot followed. Haqparast just wasn’t active enough in the final round to make up the distance, as Green’s movement was making him miss. They’d go to the final bell, and if you weren’t sure who won, Nasrat Haqparast’s face had the answer written all over it. An inspired performance from Bobby Green, which the Houston crowd most certainly appreciated.

Official Result: Bobby Green def. Nasrat Haqparast by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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