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Roman Dolidze had an Octagon debut to remember.
The 32-year-old Georgian earned an emphatic first-round stoppage of former M-1 Global champion Khadis Ibragimov in a light heavyweight contest at UFC Fight Night 172 at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night. Dolidze struck the decisive blow while attempting a left high kick late in the opening stanza. Instead of landing the kick, Dolidze’s knee connected directly with Ibragimov’s chin, sending his dazed foe to all fours on the canvas.
From there, the RD Sport product landed a few more follow-up punches before referee Herb Dean could step in to save Ibragimov (8-3, 0-3 UFC) at the 4:15 mark of Round 1. Dolidze (7-0, 1-0 UFC) has finished all seven of his professional conquests inside the distance.
Dawson Dominates Narimani
Grant Dawson remained unbeaten in UFC competition, as he cruised to a unanimous decision triumph against Team Alpha Male export Nad Narimani in a 150-pound catchweight affair. Cageside judges submitted tallies of 30-26, 30-27 and 29-27 — all in favor of Dawson, who has won six consecutive professional fights.
The Dana White’s Contender Series alum built up a significant lead on the scorecards in the first 10 minutes, when he took Narimani (12-4, 2-2 UFC) down, landed ground-and-pound and threatened with rear-naked chokes from back control. Dawson (16-1, 4-0 UFC) relied on his striking in Round 3, utilizing an arsenal of calf kicks, knees and punching combinations to keep his opponent at bay. An aggressive Narimani landed some powerful punches in the waning moments of the final stanza, but by then it was too little, too late.
Alvarez Guillotines Duffy
When Joseph Duffy elected to shift gears from striking to wrestling, Joel Alvarez made him pay in short order, tapping his foe with a guillotine choke in a lightweight clash. The Spaniard brought the contest to a close 2:25 into Round 1, giving him 15 career submissions.
For much of the bout’s opening two minutes, the combatants were content to stand and trade. Both men landed hard leg kicks and punching combinations, but when Duffy (16-5, 4-4 UFC) changed levels for a takedown, Alvarez (17-2, 2-1) swiftly trapped his man in the fight-ending maneuver. The Irishman resisted the squeeze for as long as he could before asking out of the match. The 32-year-old Irishman has dropped his last three UFC appearances.
Johns Ekes Past Jackson
Brett Johns embraced the grind, and it was enough to carry him to a competitive unanimous decision triumph over DWCS alum Montel Jackson in a bantamweight encounter. All three cageside judges submitted 29-28 scorecards in favor of the former Cage Warriors and Titan Fighting Championships titlist.
Johns (17-2, 5-2 UFC) was relentless in his pursuit of the takedown for the duration of the fight. While that didn’t always result in Jackson (9-2, 3-2 UFC) on the mat for extended periods of time, it made for an ugly affair that played right into the Welshman’s hands. During moments of separation, Jackson enjoyed success — including a knockdown in Round 1 — but those were few and far between as he spent much of the contest with his back against the fence trying to free himself from the John’s clutches.
Johns has won two straight in the Octagon, while Jackson had a three-bout winning streak snapped in defeat.
Albazi Triangles Fellow Newcomer Gordon
London Shootfighters representative Amir Albazi secured a triangle choke submission of Malcolm Gordon in a bantamweight matchup of promotional newcomers. The 26-year-old Swede brought a halt to the contest at the 4:42 mark of the first round — his eighth career triumph via tapout.
Albazi (13-1, 1-0 UFC) enjoyed some success on the feet early, but he really took control upon taking his Canadian foe to the canvas. From there, Albazi passed to mount and dropped ground-and-pound before Gordon (12-4, 0-1 UFC) reversed into top position. Albazi quickly transitioned to a triangle from his back, adjusted the choke and forced Gordon to ask out of the fight in a matter of moments. In victory, Albazi authored the first triangle choke submission in UFC competition this year.
“I’ve been doing this triangle choke since I was 14. This is just another day for me,” Albazi said.
Tsarukyan Picks Apart Ramos
Russian prospect Arman Tsarukyan authored a well-rounded performance against Davi Ramos to capture a unanimous verdict in a lightweight clash. All three judges saw the fight for Tsarukyan: 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Just 23 years old, Tsarukyan (15-2, 2-1 UFC) kept his foe off balance with punching combinations, kicks to all levels, the occasional takedown and a variety of spinning attacks. Though Ramos (10-4, 4-3 UFC) flashed the power in his hands periodically, he struggled to match his opponent’s varied arsenal and precision. By Round 3, Tsarukyan was picking his spots with ease, and he opened a sizable gash over Ramos’ right eye before the final horn.
Ramos has now dropped back-to-back bouts in the Las Vegas-based promotion.
Spivak Throttles Felipe, Takes Majority Decision
Sergey Spivak gave Carlos Felipe a rude welcome to the Octagon, winning a majority decision in a heavyweight contest. Two judges submitted 29-27 scorecards in favor of the 25-year-old Moldovan, while a third saw the fight as a 28-28 draw — sending Felipe to the loss column for the first time in his professional career.
Felipe (8-1, 0-1 UFC) threw everything with murderous intent at the outset, but his power punches rarely found their way through the guard of his opponent. Spivak (11-2, 2-2 UFC), meanwhile, worked well behind a stiff jab, while occasionally mixing in elbows in close quarters and kicks to the body. “The Polar Bear” put his stamp on the bout in Round 3, as he grounded Felipe repeatedly, advanced to mount and peppered his foe with a consistent barrage of short punches to the head.
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