Austin,TX – The UFC lightweight division continues to show off high-level talent and two returning fighters faced-off on the main card portion of UFC Austin as Damir Ismagulov took on Guram Kutateladze on Saturday night.
Ismagulov (23-1) returned after a year-long layoff looking to continue his undefeated UFC stint. He came into Austin coming off a decision victory over Rafael Alves in May 2021.
Kutateladze (12-2) last fought in 2020 where he took a split-decision victory over Mateusz Gamrot. Following his UFC debut the Georgian fighter withdrew from bouts due to a knee injury and surgery that followed.
Round one began with both men measuring each other up, but it took no time for Kutateladze to begin a barrage of combinations. Each combo ended with a leg kick in true Muay Thai fashion. Ismagulov employed a jab-heavy attack in order to see what Kutateladze was throwing. Kutateladze was hurt Ismagulov at one point going off with combinations and forcing his opponent to shoot and clinch. After a couple scrambles both men finishes the round on the feet.
Round two was a high-level striking battle as Ismagulov took on a sense of urgency after likely dropping the first round. This time he did not allow Kutateladze to lead the dance and chose to continue to use the jab to set up attacks. Kutateladze began to have trouble setting up his own attacks with the jabs landing at a high rate for Ismagulov. By the end of the round Kutateladze was wearing the damage caused by Ismagulov.
Round three began fast and furious with Kutateladze going after Ismagulov again, but it did not last very long. Ismagulov took control of the dance once again, but with both men knowing how close the fight was they put on a high-level striking battle. With 8 seconds left Herb Dean called time out for what looked like a knee to the head after a scramble on the ground from Kutateladze. Ismagulov took about 30 seconds and then said he was ready to go. 8 seconds left on the clock and both men fired off until the horn sounded.
With such a close fight nobody envied the judges entrusted with deciding the winner.
Official Result: Damir Ismagulov def. Guram Kutateladze via Majority Decision (28-28, 29-28, 30-27)