Bellator Dublin: Ramazan Kuramagomedov Weathers Late Surge by Jason Jackson, Claims Welterweight Gold

Jason Jackson and Ramazad Kuramagomedov, Bellator Dublin
Jason Jackson and Ramazad Kuramagomedov, 2024 Bellator EUROPE 3: Dublin at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Jose Peñuela / Bellator Europe 3)

Jason Jackson looked to make the first defense of his Bellator welterweight title at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday.

“The Ass-Kicking Machine” was paired up with a credible threat in Ramazan Kuramagomedov, and it wasn’t long before the Russian had the fight to the ground, with Jackson seated against the fence. Kuramagomedov tied up the champ’s legs, leaving Jackson unable to do much more than sit up and throw short, ineffective punches. It wouldn’t be until the end of the ground that Jackson could return to his feet, and Kuramagomedov was right back on him- if Jackson’s night was to continue like that, it was going to be a long one.

Round two found Jackson showing some improvements in his takedown defense. Any time Kuramagomedov looked to change levels, Jackson retreated at an angle, rather than moving straight back. He still had to contend with the Russian’s leg kicks, however. Action was then briefly halted when Jackson’s hair tie came loose, though it was quickly rectified. Kuramagomedov turned up the heat as the round wore on, and despite champ Jackson having a better showing in the second frame, there was a big question as to whether he had done enough to win the round.

In the third round, Kuramagomedov’s inside leg kicks continued to hit their mark. While Jackson had adjusted to stymie Kuramagomedov’s takedowns for the time being, he didn’t seem to have a solution to those kicks. Jackson, meanwhile, moved forward, hands high, looking to work his jab and combos. The Russian challenger’s movement, however, meant he often wasn’t there to be hit. In a clinch with roughly 2:45 on the clock, Jackson was able to fight off another takedown attempt. Defense, however, does not score points, and Jackson soon had to scramble and use a whizzer to keep Kuramagomedov from landing his next attempt.

Jackson, who had won his title off the previously perfect Yaroslav Amosov, appeared to be getting flat-footed, struggling with range and the movement of his challenger. He would have just two rounds to solve the puzzle the Russian presented.

Jason Jackson went to the body with a punch early in round four. Kuramagomedov had his back to the fence, circling, with Jackson working to cut him off. Flipping the script, Jackson shot in for a takedown, driving Kuramagomedov into the fence. The champ tied up a leg with his own, trapping Ramazan there. If nothing else, Jackson was perhaps boosting his morale, proving he could control a fighter known for his own grappling prowess. With over two minutes on the clock, Jackson looked to grab the neck, but wasn’t in position for a guillotine. A bit of readjusting, however, and Jackson had it in, but not for long. A tired-looking Ramazan Kuramagomedov appeared to be fading just a little, however, as Jackson made a second attempt on the choke. When that didn’t work, Jackson pushed Kuramagomedov back, getting on top for a bit of ground n’ pound. Another loose guillotine attempt followed.

In round five, it was Kuramagomedov’s turn to try for a guillotine, jumping the gilly (h/t Dusin Poirier) but losing it. That allowed Jackson to get some more time on top, pursuing a d’arce choke. Jackson let go of the choke in a scramble, and Kuramgomedov got back in the driver’s seat, with half the round remaining. Another scramble, and Jackson freed himself, stuffing a takedown in the process. Jackson might have been eyeing another guillotine, and as time wore down, he may have done enough to win another round- though even with four and five in his pocket, there was a big question as to whether he had done enough to win any of the first three rounds. Jackson’s corner, at the very least, were urging him to find a finish. A final guillotine attempt in response to a Kuramagomedov takedown closed out the action, with the judges in wait.

No surprises there: as expected, all three sided with Ramazan Kuramagomedov, the new Bellator MMA welterweight champion.

Official Result: Ramazan Kuramagomedov def. Jason Jackson by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)