Azamat Kerefov Upends Kurban Gadzhiev in Title Rematch at ACA 113

By Tudor Leonte Nov 6, 2020

Azamat Kerefov remains on the Absolute Championship Akhmat flyweight throne after ACA 113.

In the main event, Kerefov (14-0) and Kurban Gadzhiev (16-3) clashed once again, this time for the 125-pound championship. In their first contest, Kerefov took a unanimous verdict over Gadzhiev after a three-round clash. Running it back two years later, the result was much the same after five rounds. The challenger started strong, inflicting visible damage to the body of the champion in the opening round. In the second stanza, Kerefov showed off some of his grappling skills as he dominated his opponent on the ground for most of the round. The third round was fairly even, with both contenders exchanging shots and attempting to impose their will on one other.

In the first championship round, Kerefov looked to be the fresher man as he outgrappled his seemingly fatigued opponent. The fifth and final round was as even as the third, with Kerefov pushing the pace while his opponent tried to counter. After the final bell, all five judges rewarded Kerefov with the unanimous decision win, with three scores of 49-46 and two of 48-47. The win on the scorecards was the unbeaten fighter’s ninth consecutive victory by decision.

The co-main event saw former divisional champion Shamil Shakhbulatov (12-3) lock horns with Walter Pereira Jr. (15-5) in a short-lived bantamweight clash. The Russian fighter put pressure on his opponent as soon as the bout started, pressing Pereira to the cage. After a prolonged clinch exchange where both fighters tested one other’s wrestling skills, Shakhbulatov landed a one-two combination that put Pereira down. The former champ finished his opponent off with a few follow-up punches before the referee stepped in to wave off the contest at 3:54 of the first round. With his win, Shakhbulatov eyed a rematch with Deivi Daniel Oliveira de Almeida, with the 135-pound belt on the line.

Elsewhere, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Professional Fighters League vet Rashid Magomedov (23-5-1) took home a unanimous decision over Artem Damkovsky (23-11) at lightweight, and Gadzhimurad Khiramagomedov (9-4) topped UFC alum Elias Silverio (17-5-1) via unanimous decision in a 170-pound battle.

Earlier on the card, Oleg Borisov (22-6-1) smashed Cleverson Silva (14-4) with a furious barrage of punches that ended the fight just 96 seconds into the opening round.
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