UFC-Rotterdam results: Rustam Khabilov's aggression earns him win over Desmond Green

In a battle of two gifted wrestlers, Rustam Khabilov simply outworked Desmond Green en route to a unanimous-decision win.

The lightweight bout took place on the prelims of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 115 event, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The two wrestlers opened with a few spirited striking exchanges, but the inevitable clinch followed, and the ensuing scrambles entertained. However, both men refused to settle for an inferior position and reset to the feet. From there, Khabilov moved inside and scored a few powerful takedowns, but Green always worked back to his feet and reset to safety. Both men kept a high pace until the bell.

Khabilov opened the second with a big overhand right before the two settled in the pocket and again looked to trade. Some light bruising was evident on Khabilov’s lead leg, but Green largely preferred punches in his attacks. A straight left landed clean for Green, who seemed to gain confidence with each passing second and seemed to somehow be picking up his pace. Khabilov did get deep on a takedown attempt, but again, Green shrugged him off and popped back to his feet.

Following two competitive rounds, both men seemed fresh to start the third. Green remained up to the challenge of Khabilov’s takedowns but struggled to set the tone with much offense of his own. The two seemed closely matched in every exchange, but it was Khabilov who was generally the aggressor. Green did get a takedown and move to the back, but it was in the very final seconds of the contest, but it was too little, too late, and Khabilov took a decision win, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 on the judges’ cards.

Khabilov (22-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) now boasts a five-fight winning streak, while Green (20-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) sees his own five-fight run come to an end.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 115 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC Fight Night 115, where it's not just about 2 tall dudes

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Filed under: News, UFC

The UFC’s summer break is over. After nearly a month off, the promotion heads to the Netherlands for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 115 event. While this show might be light on big-name star power, it does feature some intriguing fights that should have fans tuning in at the start of the prelims.

In the main event, Stefan Struve and Alexander Volkov meet in a bout that could launch the victor into the top 10 of the heavyweight division.

In the co-main event, Siyar Bahadurzada returns from an extended time away from the octagon to face unbeaten UFC newcomer Rob Wilkinson.

The card also features three other UFC newcomers who are on lengthy winning streaks. Abdul-Kerim Edilov has won 10 straight while Alexsander Rakic and Zabit Mogomedsharipov are both unbeaten in their past eight fights.

UFC Fight Night 115 takes place at Ahoy Rotterdam, and the entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. More than just 2 tall dudes

Struve, ranked No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, has looked excellent as of late. In his past two fights, Struve knocked out Antonio Silva in the first round and submitted Daniel Omielanczuk in the second stanza. The 7-foot-tall Struve enjoyed significant height and reach advantages over those opponents.

Those benefits remain against 6-foot-7 Volkov, but they aren’t nearly as noteworthy.

While Struve has the edge in both height and reach over Volkov, those advantages could be negated due to inactivity. Struve (28-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) hasn’t fought in 11 months; No. 13-ranked Volkov (28-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has picked up two UFC wins, both via decision, since November.

Don’t be surprised if Volkov, with 15 first-round finishes to his name, looks to pressure Struve early, testing his readiness to return to action and his ability to deal with a similarly sized opponent.

2. A dangerous striker returns

In his UFC debut, Bahadurzada knocked Paulo Thiago out cold in 42 seconds. He then dropped decisions to Dong Hyun Kim and John Howard. After those losses, Bahadurzada was sidelined for 26 months while he tended to shoulder injuries.

He returned in March 2016 against Brandon Thatch and won that fight by submission. Not long after that victory, Bahadurzada was again bitten by the injury bug.

At UFC Fight Night 115, Bahadurzada fights for the first time in more than a year. His opponent in his first middleweight contest since 2010 is unbeaten UFC newcomer Wilkinson.

Bahadurzada is a dangerous striker with 11 knockout wins. Expect Bahadurzada (22-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) to attempt to his fight to his strengths and avoid the ground game of Wilkinson (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who has six submission wins on his record.

3. Defying the odds

Leon Edwards and Bryan Barberena, two under-appreciated welterweights, open the main card. Edwards is the more technical fighter of the two. He also enters this fight with more hype behind him.

Edwards (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is a fast and powerful striker, but he’s not overly aggressive, averaging just 2.17 significant strikes per minute. Aggression is not a concern for Barberena (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who nearly doubles Edwards’ striking output.

The odds favor Edwards in this fight, but let’s not forget that defying the odds is kind of Barberena’s thing. Three of his UFC victories came when he was the underdog.

4. New deal

A pro since 2013, Darren Till has not lost during his 15-fight career. The UFC recently rewarded the 24-year-old welterweight prospect with a five-fight contract extension. What’s noteworthy about the deal is Till (14-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) has fought only once since October 2015, and he entered that bout five pounds overweight. Till’s first opponent on his new deal is 28-year-old Bojan Velickovic (15-4-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC).

Instagram Photo

Till, an extremely confident fighter with a strong muay Thai base, blamed his flubbed May weight cut on a long layoff following shoulder surgery. Till cruised to a decision win over Jessin Ayari in that fight. With only three months between fights, expect Till, who made weight and is anxious to work his way up the rankings, to be more active against Velickovic.

Velickovic, a former RFA welterweight champ, knocked out Nico Musoke in his most recent fight.

5. Request denied

Mairbek Taisumov has knocked out his past four opponents. The problem is inactivity has prevented him from capitalizing on his stoppage streak. The first win of his run was in 2014; Taisumov’s most recent victory came in April 2016.

Taisumov is likely to have a chip on his shoulder when he faces Felipe Silva. Taisumov hoped to face a ranked lightweight in 2016. Having once again been denied his request, Taisumov (26-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has an opportunity to show the matchmakers their mistake in matching him up against the unbeaten, but unranked, Silva (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

Silva made his UFC debut in August 2016. He knocked out Shane Campbell in the first round of that bout.

6. Tough choices

Michel Prazeres trucked Josh Burkman in his most recent outing and landed 34 strikes before he submitted him via north-south choke at the 1:42 mark of the first round. The stoppage was the first of Prazeres’ UFC career.

Prazeres is a powerfully built lightweight. What he lacks in height and reach he makes up for with potent striking. He also possesses a strong takedown game. He’s racked up a whopping 31 takedowns in eight UFC fights.

Prazeres’ opponent, UFC newcomer Mads Burnell, who has five career submission wins, has some tough choices to make in this matchup. If Burnell (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) fights to his strengths, he could find himself in deep waters against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Prazeres (22-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who missed weight for the fight. On the other hand, a striking battle with Prazeres is also ill-advised.

7. The gas is on the right

Rustam Khabilov was 3-0 in the UFC when the organization matched him against former WEC/UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Khabilov lost that fight by fourth-round submission. Adriano Martins then defeated Khabilov by split decision.

Khabilov followed those losses with four decision victories. Despite his winning streak, Khabilov (21-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) hasn’t seen a main card since his loss to Martins. His fight against Desmond Green, a former Titan FC featherweight champ, is also on the prelims. Green (20-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has won five straight, including his April UFC debut.

Both these fighters have good wrestling and sound striking, but neither is very aggressive.

Khabilov and Green have the talent to move up the rankings, but that’s not likely to happen in the stacked 155-pound division until they become less risk-averse. With Khabilov and Green on winning streaks, this fight is the right time for them to step on the gas and make some noise.

8. Streaking 205er looks to make his mark

Rakic lost his debut fight in 2011. Since then he has run off eight straight stoppage victories, and six of those fights ended in the first round. Rakic, an Austrian light heavyweight with a kickboxing base, spent five weeks with American Top Team in Florida preparing for his fight against the more experienced Francimar Barroso.

Instagram Photo

Rakic (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) should have the speed and striking advantage over Barroso (19-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC). With those advantages, Rakic wants to keep the 37-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt on his feet.

Win or lose, this fight will be a good indicator of the potential upside of the 25-year-old Rakic.

9. He has some big-name fans

Magomedsharipov has earned high praise from the likes of Frankie Edgar, Mark Henry and Marlon Moraes. The 26-year-old Dagestani fighter surrendered the Absolute Championship Berkut featherweight title to sign with the UFC. He makes his UFC debut on the strength of an eight-fight winning streak with seven of those victories coming via stoppage.

Magomedsharipov is an aggressive and flashy striker with lightning fast speed. He also has strong wrestling and vicious ground-and-pound. In short, he could be a star in the making.

Magomedsharipov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) hasn’t fought in a year. Inactivity isn’t a problem for his opponent, Mike Santiago.

Santiago (19-9 MMA, 0-0 UFC) knocked out Mark Cherico on Dana White’s Contender Series event on Aug. 22. The first-round stoppage didn’t earn Santiago a contract that night, but an injury to Nick Hein, Magomedsharipov’s original opponent, provided an opportunity for Santiago, who enters this contest on a nine-fight winning streak. He earned stoppages in eight of those victories.

10. Long-awaited debut

Bojan Mihajlovic and Edilov both signed with the UFC on the strength of 10-fight unbeaten streaks. Mihajlovic inked his deal with the UFC in 2016; Edilov signed in 2015.

Since signing his deal, Mihajlovic is 0-2. Mihajlovic (10-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered TKO losses in both fights.

Edilov (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut in Rotterdam. An injury and a failed out-of-competition USADA drug test for meldonium delayed his promotional debut. Edilov is the cousin of controversial Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who was the focus of a recent MMA-themed episode of HBO’s “Real Sports.”

Edilov has finished each fight of his winning streak via first round stoppage. If Edilov, the biggest favorite on this card, earns an 11th straight victory, don’t be surprised if he faces a top-15 light heavyweight opponent in his next outing.

For more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 115 pre-event facts: Marion Reneau becomes UFC's first 40-year-old female fighter

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

After a nearly month-long break, the UFC returns to the Netherlands on Saturday.

UFC Fight Night 115 takes place Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

A heavyweight bout is featured in the main event: Stefan Struve (28-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) looks to improve to 2-0 as a UFC headliner when he meets former Bellator champ Alexander Volkov (28-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC).

For more on the numbers behind the first of four UFC events in September, check below for 35 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 115.

* * * *

Main event

Stefan Struve

Struve competes in his 18th UFC heavyweight bout, tied with Roy Nelson for fourth most appearances in divisional history behind Frank Mir (27), Andrei Arlovski (23) and Gabriel Gonzaga (22).

Struve’s 12 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Mir (16) and Arlovski (14).

Struve has earned 10 of his 12 UFC victories by stoppage.

Struve’s 10 stoppage victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Mir (13), Arlovski (11) and Gonzaga (11).

Struve’s five submission victories in UFC heavyweight competition are the second most in divisional history behind Mir (eight).

Struve’s 20 submission attempts in UFC heavyweight competition are the second most in divisional history behind Mir (21).

Struve’s 16-second knockout of Antonio Silva at UFC Fight Night 87 marked the third fastest knockout in UFC heavyweight history.

Struve has suffered five of his six UFC losses by knockout.

Alexander Volkov

Volkov is a former Bellator heavyweight champion.

Volkov is 4-0 since his final Bellator bout in June 2015.

Volkov has earned both of his UFC victories by decision.

Remaining main card

Marion Reneau

Marion Reneau (7-3-1 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC), 40, is the oldest of the 22 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Reneau becomes the first female fighter age 40 or older to compete in a UFC bout.

Reneau has earned six of her seven career victories by stoppage.

Reneau fought to the first draw in a women’s UFC fight against Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 106.

Siyar Bahadurzada

Siyar Bahadurzada (22-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) competes for just the second time since December 2013.

Leon Edwards’ (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied for the fourth longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (five), Santiago Ponzinibbio (four) and Colby Covington (four).

Edwards’ eight-second knockout of Seth Baczynski at UFC Fight Night 64 stands as the second fastest in UFC welterweight history. Duane Ludwig holds the record for his six-second finish of Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 3 in January 2006.

Bryan Barberena (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is 3-1 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in January 2016.

Barberena is one of seven fighters in UFC history to earn an arm-triangle submission from either half or full guard. He accomplished the feat against Northcutt at UFC on FOX 18.

Preliminary card

Darren Till

Darren Till’s (14-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) 15-fight undefeated streak in MMA competition is tied for fifth longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (24), Jimmie Rivera (20), Cris Cyborg (19) and Justin Gaethje (18).

Bojan Velickovic (15-3-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) is 1-1-1 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2016.

Velickovic has earned 12 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.

Mairbek Taisumov

Mairbek Taisumov (25-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Apr. 10, 2016. The 510-day layoff is the longest of his more than 10-year career.

Taisumov has earned 23 of his 25 career victories by stoppage. That includes four of his five wins under the UFC banner.

Taisumov’s four-fight UFC stoppage streak is tied for second longest among active fighters in the organization behind Francis Ngannou (five) and Stipe Miocic (five).

Felipe Silva (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned seven of his eight career victories by stoppage.

Michel Prazeres

Michel Prazeres (22-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has fought to a decision in seven of his eight UFC appearances.

Prazeres is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn a north-south choke submission victory. Rani Yahya, Jake Ellenberger and Jeff Monson have also accomplished the feat.

Prazeres has completed 31 takedowns in his eight UFC appearances. He’s landed at least one takedown against all eight of his UFC opponents.

Mads Burnell (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 23, is the youngest of the 22 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Rustam Khabilov

Rustam Khabilov (21-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) absorbs 1.53 significant strikes per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Khabilov is one of nine fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout victory stemming from a slam. He accomplished the feat at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.

Desmond Green (20-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned 14 of his 20 career victories by decision.

Francimar Barroso (19-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) lands 52.4 percent of his significant strikes in UFC light heavyweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Jon Jones (55.8 percent).

Mike Santiago (19-9 MMA, 0-0 UFC) enters the event on a nine-fight winning streak. He was 10-9 as a pro prior to his current run.

Abdul-Kerim Edilov (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut on a 10-fight winning streak. He’s earned all of those victories by first-round stoppage.

For more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 115 lineup set with 11 bouts in the Netherlands, led by Struve-Volkov

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The lineup is set for the UFC’s return trip to the Netherlands next month.

The card features 11 fights, including a heavyweight headliner. UFC Fight Night 115 takes place Sept. 2 at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The entire event, with four main-card fights and seven prelims, streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Alexander Volkov

In the main event, Dutch big man Stefan Struve (28-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) gets a home fight and takes on former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov (28-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC). Struve has won three of his past four fights, including a bonus-winning 16-secodn knockout of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the UFC’s first trip to Rotterdam in 2016.

Germaine de Randamie

In the co-feature, inaugural women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) moves back to bantamweight after having her 145-pound title stripped. She’ll be fighting in front of her home fans, as well, and will take on Marion Reneau (7-3-1 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC).

To fill out the main card on UFC Fight Pass, Siyar Bahadurzada (22-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) fights Rob Wilkinson (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a middleweight bout, and Bryan Barberena (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) takes on Leon Edwards (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at welterweight.

The prelims will feature seven fights on UFC Fight Pass. The featured bout is Darren Till (14-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) vs. Bojan Velickovic (15-4-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) at welterweight. There also are a trio of lightweight fights ahead of that: Felipe Silva (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Mairbek Taisumov (26-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Mads Burnell (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Michel Prazeres (22-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), and Desmond Green (20-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Rustam Khabilov (21-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

In addition, Francimar Barroso (19-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) meets Aleksandar Rakic (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at light heavyweight, Nick Hein (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) takes on newcomer Zabit Magomedsharipov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at featherweight, and 205-pounders Abdul-Kerim Edilov (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Bojan Mihajlovic (10-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will meet.

The complete UFC Fight Night 115 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Germaine de Randamie vs. Marion Reneau
  • Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Rob Wilkinson
  • Bryan Barberena vs. Leon Edwards

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 11:30 a.m. ET)

  • Darren Till vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Felipe Silva vs. Mairbek Taisumov
  • Mads Burnell vs. Michel Prazeres
  • Desmond Green vs. Rustam Khabilov
  • Francimar Barroso vs. Aleksandar Rakic
  • Nick Hein vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
  • Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Bojan Mihajlovic

For more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Trio of fights, including Desmond Green vs. Rustam Khabilov, set for UFC's return to Rotterdam

The UFC’s return to the Netherlands has started to build with the reported addition of a trio of bouts.

According to reports from Dutch news outlet MMADNA.nl, the UFC’s “Fight Night” event in Rotterdam in September will feature Desmond Green (20-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Rustam Khabilov (21-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Islam Makhachev (14-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Michel Prazeres (22-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at lightweight, plus Abdul-Kerim Edilov (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Bojan Mihajlovic (10-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) at light heavyweight.

The UFC’s “Fight Night” event in Rotterdam in the Netherlands takes place Sept. 2 and is expected to stream in full on UFC Fight Pass. The card is headlined by Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov.

Desmond Green

Green, a Bellator veteran and former Titan FC featherweight champion, made his promotional debut earlier this year against Josh Emmett at UFC 210 in Buffalo and took a split decision, giving him five straight wins. His most recent loss came in September 2015, when he was outpointed by Andre Harrison in an attempt to reclaim Titan’s 145-pound title.

After starting 3-0 in his UFC tenure with wins over Vinc Pichel, Yancy Medeiros and a “Fight of the Night” decision over Jorge Masvidal, Khabilov dropped two straight for the first time in his career. He was submitted by Benson Henderson in the UFC Fight Night 42 main event, then lost a split call to Adriano Martins. But since then, he has bounced back with four straight unanimous decision victories over Norman Parke, Chris Wade, Leandro Silva and most recently Jason Saggo at UFC 206 this past December – though Khabilov missed weight for that fight.

Islam Makhachev

Makhachev has won back-to-back fights since suffering the lone loss of his pro career, a knockout against Adriano Martins at UFC 192. In his lone fight of 2016, he took a decision from Wade in Texas. And at UFC 208 in February, he cruised past Nik Lentz, including a pair of 30-25 scores.

Michel Prazeres

Brazil’s Prazeres has won four straight and six of his past seven. Five of those six wins have come by decision against Jesse Ronson, Mairbek Taisumov, Valmir Lazaro, J.C. Cottrell and Gilbert Burns. But in March, he picked up a “Performance of the Night” bonus for a north-south choke submission of Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 106.

Bojan Mihajlovic

Serbia’s Mihajlovic is in need of a rebound after dropping his first two fights in the UFC. He faced a tough test in his promotional debut at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago nearly a year ago and was knocked out by Francis Ngannou in 94 seconds. At UFC Fight Night 103 in January, he was stopped by a Joachim Christensen TKO in the third round. Mihajlovic had come to the UFC on a 10-fight winning streak on the heels of an 0-3 start to his pro career.

Edilov will make his UFC debut on the strength of a 10-fight winning streak that five rear-naked choke stoppages and five TKOs. The 25-year-old Russian has 15 finishes in his 16 career wins with a near-perfect split of eight knockouts and seven submissions. He hasn’t lost in more than four years.

With the additions, UFC “Fight Night” in Rotterdam now includes:

  • Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Islam Makhachev vs. Michel Prazeres
  • Desmond Green vs. Rustam Khabilov
  • Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Bojan Mihajlovic

For more on UFC Fight Night in Rotterdam, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie