UFC Saudi Arabia: Nasrat Haqparast Takes Narrow Decision Over Jared Gordon

Nasrat Haqparast and Jared Gordon, UFC Saudi Arabia
Nasrat Haqparast and Jared Gordon, UFC Saudi Arabia ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Lightweights Nasrat Haqparast and Jared Gordon closed out the UFC Saudi Arabia preliminary card at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The promotion’s debut in the Middle Eastern nation saw the main card on broadcast network ABC, though Haqparast and Gordon had to settle for airing their business on ESPN. Both men were coming into the fight off wins, but it was Harparast with a full head of steam, having won three straight.

The first round started with both men measuring each other out before Gordon quickly closed the distance and clinched up. Gordon was able to pick up a single leg attempt, but Nasrat regained his footing. Jared was able to land a couple of punches in transition.  Haqparast landed some punches as Gordon again regained the single and looked to land punches while his opponent was off balance. Two minutes into the round, and Gordon was walking down Haqparast, and ate a left hand before attempting yet another takedown. Nasrat was able to successfully defend the takedown and return to the feet moving around on the outside and popping his jab.

With 90 seconds left in the round, Gordon shot another unsuccessful takedown but continued to apply pressure on his opponent. Haqparast was able to again land some shots on the feet before again having to defend a takedown. Nasrat landed some nice short shots on the way up from defending the takedown. In the last 30 seconds of the round, Nasrat really showed off his hand speed land landing punches from a variety of angles and stunning Gordon.

To open the second round, Haqparast got right to work landing a huge left hand. Gordon returned with a high kick of his own, as the two men began to really start engaging. Gordon winged a few shots towards his opponent, landing a big shot, which Nasrat wore well. Gordon again tried a takedown but disengaged, obviously more interested in landing punches and moving forward. Gordon continued to walk forward and was able to corner his opponent against the cage and land some short strikes. Midway thru the round there was a momentary break in the action, due to exposed tape on the hands of Gordon.

When the action restarted, Gordon lost his footing on a high kick but got up and continued to move forward. With 90 seconds left in the round Gordon was still moving forward landing punches on Haqparast. Nasrat began to wilt a little bit under the pressure. With a few seconds left in the round the two men were standing in the center exchanging punches. They both looked fatigued.

To open the final round, Gordon landed a head kick as the two men exchanged jabs. Gordon looked for a single leg but immediately released it. Both fighters continued to exchange on the feet a crazy rate. Gordon continued to walk his opponent down throwing mostly his lead hand and eating punches from Nasrat.

With two minutes left in the round, both men had accumulated a lot of damage on their faces. Nasrat was able to get his jab to work a little better as Gordon began to get backed up a little bit. In the last seconds of the fight both men continued to throw down in the center of the octagon. Clearly a fight of the night and fight of the year contender in a true barn burner, with a questionable decision on the scorecards, with many scoring the fight for Gordon, but Nasrat Haqparast taking the win.

Official Result: Nasrat Haqparast def. Jared Gordon by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)