UFC Vegas 87: Umar Nurmagomedov Survives Knockdown, Decisions Bekzat Almakhan

Umar Nurmagomedov and Bekzat Almakhan, UFC Vegas 87
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 02: (L-R) Umar Nurmagomedov of Russia kicks Bekzat Almakhan of Kazakhstan in a bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 02, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Bekzat Almakhan is a very talented bantamweight out of Kazakhstan, and was set to make his debut at UFC Vegas 87 on Saturday. The only problem? That debut was against Umar Nurmagomedov.

The undefeated, 16-0 Umar Nurmagomedov. A heck of a test for a seasoned UFC athlete, but with no one willing to fight Umar, cousin of retired UFC lightweight champ Khabib, it was a newcomer stepping up.

Round one started and they both traded kicks. Out of nowhere, Almakhan dropped Nurmagomedov with a huge overhand right. Nurmagomedov recovered fast and got the single-leg takedown. As Almakhan was moving he allowed Nurmagomedov to take his back. From the back, Nurmagomedov was actively softening up Almakhan with punches. Eventually, Almakhan was able to roll to his back but was unable to get any space. Nurmagomedov was staying busy with short elbows and punches to the end of the round.

In round two Nurmagomedov was heavily feinting the takedowns until he committed and got it down. As Nurmagomedov tried to step over to mount Almakhan exploded and got back to his feet. Right away though, Nurmagomedov completed a single-leg takedown. That time he transitioned right into the mount. Nurmagomedov landed a ton of ground and pound until Almakhan scrambled back up. Like a dog on a bone, Almakhan was back on his back with Nurmagomedov in mount. More grounded punches were being landed from Nurmagomedov but Almakhan kept moving and surviving to the bell.

In the final round, Almakhan was in need of a finish. Again Nurmagomedov landed a perfectly executed single-leg takedown. Throughout the fight Nurmagomedov was landing those short elbows. Also throwing punches, he was staying very busy when on top. Never complacent Almakhan would work to a position but Nurmagomedov was all over him. He’d give up his back but get right back out. Nurmagomedov never let up with the ground and pound no matter what position he was in. Nurmagomedov would end the fight on top in mount landing punches.

Official Result: Umar Nurmagomedov def. Bekzat Almakhan by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)