Deivi Daniel Oliveira de Almeida defended his 135-pound championship in spectacular fashion against Abdul-Rakhman Dudaev in the Absolute Championship Akhmat 112 headliner on Sunday.
It looked like Dudaev's time to shine in the early going, as the challenger put severe pressure on the champion in the opening stanza, scoring on multiple occasions with his notorious spinning shots. In the second round, Dudaev (25-5) continued to hit his opponent and nearly secured a finish after landing a left head kick. However, Oliveira (28-6-1) exploited his opponent's eagerness to end the fight and connected with a right overhand that dropped Dudaev in his tracks. The tune of the battle changed after that shot, even as Oliveira attempted unsuccessfully to close a rear-naked choke attempt.
Midway through the third round, the Brazilian champion landed a highlight-reel stepping knee to Dudaev's midsection that made the Russian fighter bend as he fell to the canvas. The referee stopped the action at the 3:33 mark of the period following the decisive blow.
The co-main event featured a welterweight tilt between Abubakar Vagaev (19-3) and Yasubey Enomoto (20-12). It didn't take long for Vagaev to impose his dominant wrestling skills over his Swiss opponent. Throughout the contest, the Russian fighter shifted the action on the canvas every time he sensed his opponent's striking might be a danger. Eventually, all five judges rewarded Vagaev with a decision victory. After the clash, Vagaev had a face-to-face encounter with divisional champion Murad Abdulaev. The pair appears destined to square off once again very soon.
In bantamweight action, former Ultimate Fighting Championship contender Magomed Bibulatov (17-2) rendered Rodrigo Praia (15-4) unconscious after landing a flashy spinning-back kick in the opening stanza. Bibulatov had already teased Praia's chin a couple of times before the highly-spectacular sequence ended the contest at the 1:11 mark.
Elsewhere, Salman Zhamaldaev (18-2) upended Alexey Polpudnikov (29-7-1) via unanimous decision in their featherweight battle; Ustarmagomed Gadzhidaudov (13-5) edged Beslan Ushukov via decision at welterweight and Diego Brandao (25-16) dropped a decision to Dzhihad Yunusov (17-5).