Abdul-Aziz Abdulvakhabov Claims Vacant Lightweight Championship at ACA 111

By Tudor Leonte Sep 19, 2020
“The Lion” once again reigns on the Absolute Championship Akhmat lightweight division.

The ACA 111 main event on Saturday in Russia pitted Abdul-Aziz Abdulvakhabov (18-2) against Alexander Sarnavskiy (37-8) for the 155-pound championship vacated by former titleholder Ali Bagov following his move to the welterweight division. Sarnavskiy started working Abdulvakhabov’s body early in the fight, and, for a while, it seemed the strategy was paying its dividends. Right before the end of the third round, Abdulvakhabov hit Sarnavskiy with a violent series of elbows that changed the fight’s direction.

Entering the championship rounds, Abdulvakhabov made the most out of his experience as former Absolute Championship Berkut champion, hunting his opponent across the cage with several vicious shots that transformed Sarnavskiy’s face into a bloody mask. During the last seconds of the fight, both fighters brawled and exchanged wild shots. Eventually, all five judges rewarded Abdulvakhabov with a unanimous decision.

In the co-main event, Artem Reznikov (22-6) upended Yusuf Raisov (16-2) in their lightweight clash. It took one round for Reznikov to find his opponent’s distance, with the first round that may have gone to both contestants. However, once Reznikov’s takedowns started landing, he proved to be the better wrestler by pinning his opponent to the canvas for most of the fight. In the third stanza, both “Borz” and Reznikov stung each other with their jab, but it was the latter who landed the most meaningful shots. Eventually, Reznikov took home a decision and now rides an eight-bout winning streak.

Elsewhere, ACA light heavyweight contender Aleksei Butorin (16-4) rendered Asylzhan Bakhytzhanuly (11-2) unconscious with a violent overhand right at the 0:27 mark of the third stanza. Butorin had already clipped his opponent once earlier in the fight, but it seemed as though Bakhytzhanuly had recovered from the shot and was arguably winning the contest prior to the knockout.

In a featherweight clash, Tural Ragimov (20-5) made a massive comeback at the expense of Bekhruz Sukhurov (14-4) and landed an unexpected third-round TKO victory at the 1:23 mark. The main card opened with Azamat Amagov (11-2) trashing Arseniy Sultanov (7-1) via TKO a few seconds into the first stanza of their middleweight encounter.

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