UFC 280: Muhammad Mokaev Snags Late Armbar Finish vs Malcom Gordon

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Muhammad Mokaev and Malcolm Gordon, UFC 280
Muhammad Mokaev and Malcolm Gordon, UFC 280 weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Abu Dhabu, UAE – Undefeated Muhammad Mokaev looked to get his third UFC win against Malcom Gordon at UFC 280. Mokaev, owner of the greatest amateur MMA career of all time, has received a lot of praise since his UFC debut earlier this year and a win against Gordon would put him in line for a ranked opponent next. After a rough start to his UFC career, Gordon came in on a two fight winning streak and as a high level BJJ player he represented a good test for the wrestler, Mokaev.

Malcom Gordon came out swinging but Mokaev avoided him and landed a big body kick. The fight became chaos right away as Gordon landed a right hand, ate a flying knee, and then got taken down by Mokaev, who landed in top half guard against the cage. Mokaev dropped a few elbows from the top while Gordon struggled to stand up. Mokaev attempted a guillotine but Gordon got out and got to his feet. Mokaev attempted another one and then switched to single leg takedown which he completed, ending up on top in full guard. Mokaev maintained top position but was unable to do much ground and pound. Muhammad attempted a third guillotine, this time from top half, but it was never all that tight. Gordon was able to smother most offense from Mokaev as the round drew to a close but it was clear that Mokaev had dominated the round with his top control.

The second round started with more forward pressure from Gordon as Mokaev showboated a little. Some fancy strikes like a spinning kick and a flying knee missed from Mokaev. Gordon then charged forward and landed a right hand, which made Mokaev choose to shoot a takedown. Gordon seemed to almost sit down instantly, giving up the takedown with no resistance against the fence. Now in full guard, Mokaev worked to land short punches, then built to bigger punches and went body, body, head – the old classic ground and pound combo. Gordon struggled to his feet but Mokaev maintained a body lock. Gordon went for a Granby roll, trying to escape, but Mokaev rolled with him and stayed on top. Mokaev then passed to side control. As Gordon tried to escape Mokaev went for a d’Arce but Gordon rolled away from it to escape. Mokaev overextended in trying to get an arm triangle and Gordon reversed the position. Mokaev went for a triangle from bottom  but it was not quite locked in and he could not complete it, eventually giving up. Gordon took the back in the last ten seconds and snaked his arm under Mokaev’s chin, but it was the last second of the round and the bell ended any chance he had of finishing.

Gordon came out of the gate running forward with punches but Mokaev easily avoided them and got a reactive takedown to put his foe on the mat in full guard. Gordon got to a knee but Mokaev slid to his back. However Gordon was able to slip to the back of Mokaev and then slam Mokaev to the ground and take the back with both hooks in. Mokaev cleared one hook and then rolled, got out temporarily, and then ended up in bottom full guard. Mokaev hip escaped and came up on the single leg against the cage, switched to a double, and picked up Gordon to dump him to the mat. Gordon tried to get up and Mokaev tried to get to the back. As Mokaev appeared to be about to fall over the top of Gordon, he suddenly switched to an armbar and almost out of nowhere, he forced the tap with less than a minute left to finish the fight after a mostly dominant performance.

Official Result: Muhammad Mokaev def. Malcom Gordon via R3 4:26 submission (Arm bar)

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