UFC 288: Movsar Evloev Wins Decision Over Game Diego Lopes

Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes, UFC 288
Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes, UFC 288 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Stepping up on just a few day’s notice, Diego Lopes had the unenviable task of throwing down with former M-1 champ Movsar Evloev in a short-notice debut at UFC 288.

Lopes, who had previously appeared on the Contender Series, brought solid jiu-jitsu credentials with him, but was facing an undefeated opponent in Evloev, 16-0 to start the night, who many saw as a future champ.

The fight got underway and Lopes started strong. He landed a few heavy leg kicks and a nice right hand. Trying to get momentum back Evloev came forward in a flurry but Lopes caught him with a punch. Lopes wobbled Evloev and was coming for the finish until Evloev timed a nice takedown. Evloev was hanging around in the guard too long and Lopes quickly locked in an armbar. It was tight for a second but Evloev managed to escape and maintain the top position. Lopes was doing very good off his back shifting his hips and having Evloev watch his every move until the bell.

In round two they both traded hooks to start the round. As the round went on Evloev was finding his range, especially with the jab. Lopes was still dangerous in the pocket as he did land a good combo before Evloev got a takedown. Evloev was doing good work in the guard of Lopes landing some good ground and pound. He was able to control this round without having to escape any submissions.

In the final round it was a round both needed to make a big statement. Evloev found his range quickly as his right hand was finding home often. He was throwing the jab and doubling up on it then coming with the right hook. Evloev was doing fine on the feet but selected to take Lopes to the ground instead. Lopes quickly managed to get back to his feet. With Evloev still on his back Lopes used a kimura that was very dangerous but Evloev was calm and escaped. He tried again for the kimura and then switched to the leg. He had the kneebar extended but Evloev survived until the final bell.

Movsar Evloev stayed perfect at UFC 288, but Diego Lopes almost certainly gained some fans on Saturday night with a gutsy short-notice showing.

Official Result: Movsar Evloev def. Diego Lopes by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)