PFL 3: Magomed Umalatov Stays Undefeated, Wins Decision Over Andrey Koreshkov

PFL 3, Magomed Umalatov
Magomed Umalatov, 2024 PFL 3: Chicago Weigh-Ins at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Russian welterweights Magomed Umalatov and Andrey Koreshkov stepped into the PFL SmartCage in Chicago for the main event of PFL 3 on Saturday.

Despite being undefeated and competing in three different PFL seasons, Umalatov has never won their championship or even fought in the playoffs due to a bizarre string of bad luck including injury and visa issues. His well-roundedness makes him a constant threat to win it all, however. The 14-0 fighter faced a much more experienced fighter in kickboxing specialist Andrey Koreshkov, one of the longest tenured Bellator fighters ever with a 16-4 record in the promotion. Koreshkov is known for his wild, exciting spinning kicks, which have generated many a highlight-reel knockout. When the dust settled, Umalatov stayed undefeated

The underdog Koreshkov came out focused on leg kicks, but when he threw his first back kick Umalatov timed it perfectly and got a rear body-lock. He pushed Koreshkov to the fence and drove for a takedown but Andrey kept his hips up and was able to turn into Magomed to create an over-under clinch. Umalatov was still not to be denied though, as he threw Koreshkov to the ground and got in full-guard. Koreshkov used rubber guard and set up an Omoplata, entangling Umalatov’s arm awkwardly. However, Magomed circled around and freed the arm before settling back in full-guard, then passing to half. Koreshkov continually threw short strikes off his back. Although Umalatov stayed on top the rest of the way and Andrey’s punches did little damage, Magomed did no damage from top position, which potentially lost him the round.

The start of the second round saw Umalatov land his best blows of the fight, dropping Koreshkov to his knees with two consecutive right hands. Andrey shot a takedown to survive but Umalatov defended and forced him back to striking range. They clinched up again soon after and this time Magomed landed a trip just like the first round, then established side control. Andrey re-guarded briefly and butt-scooted to the fence but Umalatov passed again with ease. Koreshkov tried to use the fence to get up but Umalatov floated over the top of the position to maintain control, and may returned Andrey when he did stand up. Finally, with one minute left, Koreshkov was able to get to and stay on his feet. They swung, slightly tiredly, for the final twenty seconds of the round in the highest pace striking exchange of the fight.

Umalatov had to bite down and seal his victory as he had the momentum going into round three. Koreshkov shot an early takedown but was put in a front headlock and forced to his back. He got back up but got may returned by Magomed, who settled on top in Andrey’s guard. Both men were tired and could do little on the mat, though Umalatov did pass to half-guard and tried to punch. The crowd began to chant, “Stand them up,” prompting a warning from the ref, which in turn prompted Umalatov to open up and punch more. Koreshkov tried to scramble up but gave up his back in the process. Umalatov could not get both hooks in, though, and eventually settled for being in full-guard again. The crowd did not like it after a card full of action, but Umalatov landed short ground strikes for the final thirty seconds to deal his victory.

There was no surprise when the scorecards were read out as Magomed Umalatov improved to 15-0 with all three judges scoring it 29-28 in his favor. He moved into a tie for third place with Goiti Yamauchi in the welterweight standings after the first round of fights.

Official Results: Magomed Umalatov def. Andrey Koreshkov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)