Ruslan Magomedov was simply the superior fighter.
Vicious kicks to the head, legs, arms and body carried the American Kickboxing Academy heavyweight to a one-sided unanimous decision over onetime Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Josh Copeland at UFC Fight Night “Edgar vs. Swanson” on Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Magomedov (13-1, 2-0 UFC) earned 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 nods from the judges.
Copeland (9-1, 0-1 UFC) brought power to the table but lacked the volume necessary to give the Dagestani kickboxer pause. Magomedov answered single shots from the Denver-based Idaho native with three-, four- and five-strike combinations, often punctuating them with shin-to-stomach contact. Copeland’s midsection was grotesquely discolored by the time the 15-minute matchup came to an end, as he was forced to resort to a duck-and-punch approach.
Magomedov, 27, has won eight fights in a row.
Related: UFC Fight Night Play-by-Play
Narvaez Upsets Favored Barnatt
Legacy Fighting Championship alum Roger Narvaez sprang the upset, as he claimed a split decision from Alliance MMA’s Luke Barnatt in an undercard tilt at 185 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Narvaez (7-1, 1-1 UFC).
Barnatt (8-2, 3-2 UFC) was sluggish out of the gate and struggled to find a rhythm. He seemed to turn the corner in the second round, where he upped his pace behind a stiff jab, stuffed a takedown and opened a cut above the Texan’s left eye with a clubbing right hook. However, Barnatt squandered the momentum in the third, as Narvaez dazed him with a head kick, dropped him with a subsequent punch and bludgeoned him with ground-and-pound.
A graduate of Season 17 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Barnatt has lost back-to-back fights, both by split decision.
Undefeated Vick Outduels Hein
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 graduate James Vick kept his perfect professional record intact with a unanimous decision over Nick Hein in a preliminary lightweight scrap. Vick (7-0, 3-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 marks.
Hein (11-2, 1-1 UFC) twice floored the Lloyd Irvin protégé with left hands in round one but did little else to impress the judges. Vick pecked away with jabs, kicks and multi-punch bursts in the second round and staggered the German judoka with a straight right in the third, all while steering clear of clinches along the fence.
The loss snaps Hein’s five-fight winning streak.
Arreola Armbar Submits Edwards
Akhbar Arreola submitted American Top Team’s Yves Edwards with a first-round armbar in an undercard battle at 155 pounds. Edwards (42-22-1, 10-10 UFC), who has not won a fight in nearly two years, conceded defeat 1:52 into round one.
Arreola (23-8-1, 1-1 UFC) was aggressive from the outset, as he fired away with heavy punches and kicks. He floored Edwards with a blistering right uppercut and pounced for a potential stoppage. The Bahamian-born Texan recovered briefly, only to be taken down and mounted. Arreola dropped an elbow from the top and transitioned to the armbar for the tapout.
The 31-year-old Arreola has won four of his past five bouts.
VanZant Topples Unbeaten Curran
Paige VanZant put away Reign MMA representative Kailin Curran with third-round ground-and-pound in a preliminary women’s strawweight affair. Curran (3-1, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to punches 2:54 into round three, as referee Kerry Hatley intervened on her behalf.
VanZant (4-1, 1-0 UFC) utilized a damaging and exhausting clinch game, employing short punches, sharp knees, standing elbows and foot stomps at close range. Curran enjoyed success with her takedowns -- she executed five of them -- and ground-and-pound, but her 20-year-old counterpart met her with an active guard from the bottom. The Hawaiian faded down the stretch, as VanZant drove her to the mat and unleashed with punches at the base of the fence for the finish.
Prospect Choi Scores 18-Second Stoppage
South Korean wunderkind Doo Ho Choi took care of Juan Manuel Puig with an overhand right and follow-up ground strikes in the first round of their undercard clash at 145 pounds. Choi (12-1, 1-0 UFC) closed the deal 18 seconds into round one, as he recorded his 10th consecutive victory.
Puig (11-4, 0-2 UFC) never had a chance. Choi countered a loose jab from the Mexican with a crushing overhand right, dropping him where he stood. The 23-year-old did not waste time, as he pounced on the fallen Jungle Fight veteran and put him away with unanswered punches on the mat.