UFC Saudi Arabia: Compromised Leg Leads to Magomed Gadzhiyasulov Out-Wrestling Brendson Ribeiro

Magomed Gadzhiyasulo and Brendson Ribeiro, UFC Saudi Arabia
Magomed Gadzhiyasulo and Brendson Ribeiro, UFC Saudi Arabia ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Undefeated light heavyweight and Contender Series winner Magomed Gadzhiyasulov made his promotional debut at UFC Saudi Arabia, opposite Brazilian Brendson Ribeiro.

Like Gadzhiyasulov, Ribeiro had entered the UFC via the 2023 edition of Dana White’s Contender Series, only to drop his own debut fight against Mingyang Zhang.

Ribeiro fired off a couple of kicks early, low and high, while flashing stance switches. The Brazilian then mixed it up, shooting a takedown, only for Gadzhiyasulov to blatantly grab the fence. The ref halted the action, warning Gadzhiyasulov and forcing him to put his knee back on the mat, but any head of steam Ribeiro had built was at least temporarily stymied.

Brendson Ribeiro would go back to his wrestling moments later, clinching up, getting a body lock, and briefly dragging Gadzhiyasulov down. When they came up, it was Gadzhiyasulov with his back to the fence, but he reversed, then landed a punch and a knee to the thigh of his opponent. It was back at center, however, where the complexion of the fight changed. Ribeiro landed another low kick, as he had earlier in the frame. Gadzhiyasulov immediately reacted, limping, clearly compromised. He landed a key takedown to buy himself some breathing room, but the round closed out moments later.

Round two saw Ribeiro lock up a guillotine about a minute in, and it was in tight. From the mounted guillotine, however Ribeiro was forced to his side as Gadzhiyasulov managed to defend, eventually freeing himself. Gadzhiyasulov then wound up on top, in half guard, which was again key given the damage his leg had endured in round one.

Ribeiro would eventually work his way to the fence, but by the time he got there, there was all of a minute left in the round. To start round three, Ribeiro found himself in a similar spot, taken down about 30 seconds in. Gadzhiyasulov was on top, in side control, and again in the middle of the cage. Ribeiro would work to his knees, eating a few shots for his troubles, then power up- only to be dragged back down again.

With Magomed Gadzhiyasulov heavy on top, Ribeiro would never return to his feet, still smothered, back to the canvas as the fight came to a close. The biggest surprise on the scorecards, meanwhile, was a 28-28 score from a single judge, while the remaining two awarded the fight to Gadzhiyasulov.

Official Result: Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def. Brendson Ribeiro by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)