After eleven months of trying to land a fight, Canadian bantamweight Aiemann Zahabi finally returned to action at UFC 289 on Saturday night — finally competing in his home country after several years away.
Opposite Zahabi for this homecoming was Mongolian Aoriqileng; both fighters entered the night on modest two-fight win streaks.
Aoriqileng began the fight on the front foot, landing a few heavy calf kicks straight away. Zahabi looked to make his way back into the center of the Octagon to try and impose some dominance of his own. The Mongolian once again looked to land a calf kick as he was slightly moving backwards, but this time it was caught by the Canadian. Zahabi caught the calf kick attempt and attempted to return a huge overhand right, narrowly missing the raised chin of Aoriqileng. Despite missing the heavy overhand, he landed a huge left hook on the end of it, starching the Mongolian with one huge punch.
In his post fight interview, the hometown fighter started the ‘ole’ chant, getting the Canadians onto their feet after the huge knockout. Zahabi admitted he didn’t think Aoriqileng would come in with a leg-kick heavy gameplan, he said: “I expected him to hang back and throw his counter right hand.”
As well as that, the Quebec born fighter called for his fellow countryman to gift him a special timepiece to mark his huge knockout win.
“I would like to fight in the fall would be perfect for me, and if Drake is listening, a nice 41mm Rolex would be perfect too.”
Official Result: Aiemann Zahabi def. Aoriqileng by KO (1:04, Round 1)