Paris, France – The UFC lightweight division continues to boast some of the best talent in all of MMA and that was on display when John Makdessi and Nasrat Haqparast clashed in the octagon on the main card of UFC Paris on Saturday.
Makdessi (18-7) was coming off a split-decision win over Ignacio Bahamondes in April 2021. With a layoff of over a year Makdessi was looking to make a statement upon his return to the cage at UFC Paris.
Haqparast (13-5) came in riding a two-fight losing streak with losses to Dan Hooker and Bobby Green respectively. Haqparast needed a win in order to stay off the bubble of possible cuts to the roster.
With both men needing to make a statement the stakes were high as they entered the cage on Saturday night at Accor Arena.
Round 1 both men were very wary of each other’s power. Makdessi got the early shots in, but Haqparast began to fire off the jab with a quickness. Makdessi attacked the body with kicks, and stabbing front kicks while Haqparast tried to employ his jab game while setting up high kicks. Both men used the round to feel each other out while battling with a restless crowd.
Round 2 brought more aggressive attacks from both, but the actions slowed back down again until a left hook from Haqparast dropped Makdessi. Makdessi recovered quickly and we were back to the same pace as before. End of the round and we could see Makdessi damaged in the eye with blood coming out. Cut happened in the first round.
Round 3 more of the same to begin the round, but Haqparast began putting more power into his shots. Makdessi continued to attack with kicks mainly, but Haqparast had his counter on a hair trigger. Makdessi clearly felt he was down on the cards as he doubled his pressure on Haqparast, but not much came of it. Haqparast’s movement was clean and effective to minimize any damage. Two takedowns for Haqparast, but the second one sealed the deal as he took Makdessi down and kept him there for the remainder of the fight.
Official Result: Nasrat Haqparast def. John Makdessi via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)