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UFC on ABC 6 ‘Whittaker vs. Aliskerov’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

Sherdog's live UFC on ABC 6 coverage will begin Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

Chang Ho Lee (136) vs. Long Xiao (136)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Xiao (-115), Lee (-105)

Round 1

The UFC’s maiden voyage to Saudi Arabia kicks off with the bantamweight final of “Road to UFC Singapore,” with Xiao and Lee set to go to work under the auspices of referee Thomas Fan. Xiao makes as though to touch hands, but withdraws the hand and launches a flying knee instead. It lands and knocks Lee backward off balance but does not do much actual damage. They clinch against the fence, with Xiao shoving Lee into the cage. Xiao is already bleeding heavily, perhaps from a clash of heads in the wild opening. Xiao persists in pushing Lee into the fence, as Lee works to land short knees inside and get into space. Two minutes in, Xiao elevates Lee and dumps him to the canvas near the base of the fence. Lee works his way back up and stands, but Xiao remains stuck to him and drives him right back into the chain link. Xiao drops levels for a single-leg takedown, but Lee sprawls and gets his hips out of the way. Ninety seconds left and Lee is chipping away with short knees while Xiao looks for the takedown. They exchange short, mugging uppercuts inside. Lee shucks Xiao off and tags him with a right hand on the break. Xiao dives right back in and they exchange punches in the center of the cage. Xiao clinches again and they are punching away in the phone booth when the horn sounds.

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Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Xiao
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Lee
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Xiao

Round 2

Somehow the two bantamweights come back out after the frenetic Round 1, and they go right back to work, swinging away in close quarters. This time it’s Lee dropping for a takedown attempt, but he doesn’t make much headway and Xiao quickly runs him to the fence once again. Xiao lands a pair of short hooks, and they separate for a moment before Lee goes for another takedown. Again, he isn’t close to securing it, and Xiao shoves him to the cage. They separate again, and Xiao nails Lee with a nice right kick to the body. Halfway through the round, Lee and Xiao are exchanging in space in the middle of the cage, and Lee lands a solid right hand before Xiao clinches. They separate, and Lee misses on a spinning backfist, allowing Xiao to close the distance once again. Xiao drives Lee to the fence. Lee reverses the position, they move away from the fence and Xiao hits him with a knee up the middle. They spill to the canvas during a takedown attempt, but both return to their feet quickly. Xiao again drives Lee to the fence, and they take turns smashing each other with knees to the midsection. Xiao drops for a takedown at the clapper, but can’t get it before the round expires.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Lee
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Lee
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Lee

Round 3

Lee and Xiao meet in the center of the cage, and Xiao tags Lee with a pair of inside low kicks before running him to the fence. Lee breaks away quickly and they return to the middle of the Octagon, where they exchange hard knees up the middle. Lee drives Xiao to the fence where he changes levels, then turns the corner and takes Xiao’s back standing. Xiao tripods and tries to shake him off the top, but Lee snares an arm and works for an armbar or triangle. Xiao slips out, takes Lee’s back and sinks both hooks. They go to the canvas at the base of the fence, Xiao in full back mount. Lee controls the arms of Xiao, preventing him from setting up a choke, and spins out of back mount. Lee returns to his feet and clinches Xiao against the fence. They separate and Xiao throws a tired-looking knee. Lee grabs a collar tie and smacks Xiao with a solid elbow. They separate with under a minute left and swing away, both men looking exhausted. They each grab a single collar tie and punch away with their right hands. The horn sounds on a grueling, close three rounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Lee (29-28 Lee)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Xiao (29-28 Xiao)
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Lee (29-28 Lee)

The Official Result

Chang Ho Lee def. Long Xiao via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Magomed Gadzhiyasulov (205) vs. Brendson Ribeiro (205)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Gadzhiyasulov (-325), Ribeiro (+260)

Round 1

Big light heavyweight hitters Gadzhiyasulov and Ribeiro go to work under the watchful eye of referee Jason Herzog. Both men are in orthodox stance, but Gadzhiyasulov switches freely in the opening moments as they feel out the range. They exchange low kicks, then Ribeiro throws a couple of front kicks up the middle. Ribeiro changes levels for a takedown and Gadzhiyasulov grabs the fence trying to stay upright. Herzog stops the action, warns Gadzhiyasulov and restarts them with Gadzhiyasulov on one knee. Ribeiro hops onto Gadzhiyasulov’s back and works to drag him back down. Gadzhiyasulov turns towards his man, and Ribeiro drops for a takedown. He can’t get it, and ends up pushing Gadzhiyasulov into the cage. Gadzhiyasulov reverses the position and puts Ribeiro’s back to the fence. Gadzhiyasulov throws knees up the middle. Under two minutes to go in the round and the action has slowed, Gadzhiyasulov still driving Ribeiro into the chain link, throwing knees to the thighs. They separate and go back to work in the center of the cage, and Ribeiro lands a good leg kick and jab. Ribeiro throws another leg kick and Gadzhiyasulov comes away hobbling. Ribeiro goes upstairs with a kick and Gadzhiyasulov ducks under to drive him to the canvas, where the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Ribeiro
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Ribeiro
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Ribeiro

Round 2

Gadzhiyasulov has switched to southpaw to open Round 2, likely to shield the leg that was compromised late in the first round, and he dips for a takedown in the opening moments. Ribeiro snares him in a guillotine choke, then rolls to mount. It looks threatening, but Gadzhiyasulov pops his head out and ends up on top in half guard. Gadzhiyasulov is heavy on top throwing short shots and looking to pass to side control. Ribeiro controls his posture, but otherwise does not look to be working to get back up. Gadzhiyasulov postures up and drops a big elbow from the top. Gadzhiyasulov sets up an arm-triangle choke, but Ribeiro defends quickly and Gadzhiyasulov gives up on it. They have scooted from the center of the cage all the way to the fence, and Gadzhiyasulov crams Ribeiro into the cage. Ribeiro sits up against the fence, but Gadzhiyasulov drags his hips away and flattens him back out. Gadzhiyasulov drops a couple of elbows from top position at the clapper, and they end the round on the canvas near the base of the cage.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gadzhiyasulov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Gadzhiyasulov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gadzhiyasulov

Round 3

Ribeiro tags Gadzhiyasulov with a solid right hand. Gadzhiyasulov plows him to the canvas with ease, setting right back up in half guard. Ribeiro is more active from his back than in Round 2, but Gadzhiyasulov moves out to the side and hits what looks almost like a cradle, kneeing him in the back and ribs. Ribeiro rolls to his hands and knees, with Gadzhiyasulov stuck to his back. Ribeiro stands, and Gadzhiyasulov hauls him right back to the mat, landing in side control. Gadzhiyasulov in total control halfway through Round 3, with Ribeiro surviving but not doing much to get back to his feet. Gadzhiyasulov sinks a hook and hammers Ribeiro with a half-dozen punches to the head. Ribeiro tries to get back to all fours, and Gadzhiyasulov flattens him back out. Ribeiro turns to his side, and Gadzhiyasulov hits him with several more hard punches from top position. Under 30 seconds to go, and Ribeiro regains full guard, but Gadzhiyasulov keeps dropping punches, standing up out of his guard right before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gadzhiyasulov (29-28 Gadzhiyasulov)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Gadzhiyasulov (29-28 Gadzhiyasulov)
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gadzhiyasulov (29-28 Gadzhiyasulov)

The Official Result

Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def. Brendson Ribeiro via Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

Muin Gafurov (136) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (136)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Gafurov (-155), Kang (+130)

Round 1

Bantamweights Kang and Gafurov lock ‘em up, with referee Marc Goddard overseeing. Both men are in orthodox stance, exchanging single strikes at range. Gafurov launches a calf kick that nearly takes Kang off his feet. Kang comes back with long jabs, and Gafurov nails him with another calf kick that does spill him all the way to the canvas. He pops back up, and seconds later, shoots for a takedown. Gafurov sprawls, spins and lands on top, going to work from half guard. Kang goes high with his hips, bringing his left leg all the way up for perhaps an omoplata attempt, but bails on it. Two minutes to go in the round and Gafurov is still on top, now in Kang’s full guard. Kang is active on bottom, looking for an opening to sweep or escape. Kang goes for another omoplata, and again there’s nothing doing. With under a minute left in the round, Kang shrimps, stands and moves to Gafurov’s back, sinking the hooks and wrapping up a choke as Gafurov stands. At the 10-second clapper, Gafurov arches and slams himself to the ground, trying to dislodge the Korean. He does not succeed, but loosens the choke enough to make it to the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov

Round 2

Gafurov throws out another calf kick to open Round 2, but comes up short. Gafurov throws a punch to the gut, but Kang plows right through it and drives him to the canvas. Kang set up in Gafurov’s half guard, passes quickly to mount, and flattens Gafurov’s hips. Gafurov is throwing short strikes from the bottom, but Kang is relentlessly setting up an arm-triangle choke. Gafurov realizes what’s going on and defends, then tries to slip out the back. Kang snares an arm, looking for an armbar from mount, but loses the arm and Gafurov takes Kang’s back, running him to the fence as they both stand. Kang draws a warning from Goddard for grabbing the fence, but Gafurov is making no headway towards getting him down. They separate with 90 seconds left, and Gafurov nails Kang with a body punch, then a leg kick that spins him nearly all the way around. Gafurov pounces with a tight standing guillotine. Kang extricates his head, and Gafurov tags him with another monstrous calf kick. Gafurov stuffs a takedown attempt, and smashes the kneeling Kang with a pair of punches before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov

Round 3

Gafurov marches forward and plunks Kang with a pair of punches. They clinch, and Kang drags him to the ground, working to turn the corner and take the back. Kang rides him expertly, landing in full mount. Kang is heavy on top, chest to chest, looking for an arm-triangle choke. Gafurov pops to his feet and they separate. Kang ducks under a punch and drags Gafurov right back to the ground, moving to the back. Gafurov escapes and stands, driving Kang to the fence. Gafurov takes the inside position, using his head and an underhook to trap Kang against the chain link. Under a minute to go, and Kang uses a nice body lock and trip to haul Gafurov to the canvas once again. Kang lands in side control, but when he tries to step over to mount, Gafurov stands. Gafurov throws a pair of punches, then nails Kang with a spinning wheel kick in the closing seconds. Kang goes down and Gafurov swarms, but can’t finish before the final horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov (30-27 Gafurov)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov (30-27 Gafurov)
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gafurov (30-27 Gafurov)

The Official Result

Muin Gafurov def. Kyung Ho Kang via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Nicolas Dalby (171) vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov (170.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Fakhretdinov (-355), Dalby (+280)

Round 1

The welterweights set up in orthodox stance and go right at one another, with referee Thomas Fan looking on. They exchange kicks at range before Dalby walks through a flurry of punches to shove Fakhretdinov into the fence. Dalby throws knees from the outside while Fakhretdinov answers with knees up the middle. Fakhretdinov gets off the cage and shucks Dalby away from him, and they go back to kickboxing at range. Dalby flicks a kick up top that is blocked, then a question mark kick. Fakhretdinov tags Dalby with a pair of punches, then changes levels for a single-leg. He hoists the leg and Dalby hops on one foot while continuing to punch the head. Fakhretdinov drives him all the way across the cage before losing the single-leg. He pushes Dalby into the cage, then gets reversed. Fakhretdinov shucks Dalby off of him and nails him with a single punch that drops Dalby to his knees. Dalby pops back up, but he’s hurt, and Fakhretdinov pushes him to the fence. They disengage and Fakhretdinov hits him with an elbow. Fakhretdinov lands a switch knee to the gut before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Fakhretdinov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Fakhretdinov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Fakhretdinov

Round 2

Dalby scores first, with a low calf kick. Dalby switches stances, and is backed off by a punching combo from Fakhretdinov. Fakhretdinov gets him to the fence, then changes levels and drives him to the canvas. Dalby gets right back up, his back against the fence. They break off and return to the middle of the cage. Dalby initiates the clinch and shoves Fakhretdinov to the cage. They exchange short strikes on the inside. Dalby releases the clinch and nails Fakhretdinov with a nice right hand. They move back towards the center of the Octagon, and Dalby marches forward, landing a kick and a pair of punches, then another kick. Dalby backs Fakhretdinov into the fence and holds him there with underhooks. Dalby digs his head under the chin of Fakhretdinov and hits him with knees to the thighs. They separate and Fakhretdinov lands a one-two, then changes levels for a smooth double-leg. He drops Dalby to his seat at the base of the fence, lacing the legs. He can’t flatten Dalby out, and they return to their feet seconds before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Dalby
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Dalby
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Dalby

Round 3

Dalby flicks out a jab, but Fakhretdinov wastes no time in changing levels and running him to the fence. Fakhretdinov tries to lock his hands and pick Dalby up, but Dalby has an underhook and keeps his hips back. They break away from the fence and Dalby grabs a front headlock, then lands a single punch before Fakhretdinov launches another double-leg. Dalby tries to hit an inside switch, but can’t get it. Fakhretdinov has his arms around the waist of the kneeling Dalby, working to finish the takedown as Dalby tries to stand. Halfway into the round, Dalby gets to his feet in a wide-leg stance against the fence, and he separates. Dalby wades forward with punches, and Fakhretdinov drops for another takedown. He gets Dalby to his seat against the fence, but Dalby gets right back up and gets on Fakhretdinov’s back. Fakhretdinov escapes and runs Dalby back to the cage. Dalby reverses the position and throws knees to the thighs of Fakhretdinov. Under a minute left and Dalby separates, then tags Fakhretdinov with a head kick at short range. They swing away at short range until the final horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Dalby (29-28 Dalby)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Dalby (29-28 Dalby)
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Dalby (29-28 Dalby)

The Official Result

Rinat Fakhretdinov def. Nicolas Dalby via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Felipe Lima (145.5) vs. Muhammadjon Naimov (145.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Naimov (-110), Lima (-110)

Round 1

Naimov and Octagon newcomer Lima engage under the watchful eye of referee Thomas Fan. Naimov is switching stances early, Lima orthodox, and they exchange a flurry of kicks. Lima launches a flying knee that catches Naimov and hurts him. He pursues, throwing punches as Naimov staggers to the fence, but Naimov recovers quickly and they go back to work. They clinch in the center of the cage and Lima throws several knees up the middle. They make their way to the cage, trading short blows on the inside, and then separate. Lima lands a combination, including a hard body shot. The Brazilian’s speed is giving Naimov all kinds of trouble through the first half of Round 1. Naimov goes for a takedown, bowls Lima all the way over and is forced to defend from a leglock. He spins into Lima’s guard. Lima is active from his back, throwing elbows and moving his hips constantly. With a minute to go, Naimov settles into Lima’s guard, trying to land ground-and-pound, and stands over him at the clapper. A frenetic round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Lima
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Naimov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Naimov

Round 2

the final horn. Naimov and Octagon newcomer Lima engage under the watchful eye of referee Thomas Fan. Naimov is switching stances early, Lima orthodox, and they exchange a flurry of kicks. Lima launches a flying knee that catches Naimov and hurts him. He pursues, throwing punches as Naimov staggers to the fence, but Naimov recovers quickly and they go back to work. They clinch in the center of the cage and Lima throws several knees up the middle. They make their way to the cage, trading short blows on the inside, and then separate. Lima lands a combination, including a hard body shot. The Brazilian’s speed is giving Naimov all kinds of trouble through the first half of Round 1. Naimov goes for a takedown, bowls Lima all the way over and is forced to defend from a leglock. He spins into Lima’s guard. Lima is active from his back, throwing elbows and moving his hips constantly. With a minute to go, Naimov settles into Lima’s guard, trying to land ground-and-pound, and stands over him at the clapper. A frenetic round ends. Lima’s throws a high front kick up the middle that misses just short. Lima lands a hard leg kick, but Naimov steps forward and clinches, looking to change levels. Lima backs out of the clinch. Naimov scores with a body kick, then a punch upstairs. Naimov with a sharp leg kick. Lima whiffs with a spinning wheel kick. Lima lands a calf kick, then counters a Naimov kick with a right hook. They clinch in the center of the cage and Naimov lands a knee before they break. Two minutes to go in the frame, and Naimov and Lima exchange single punches to the head. Lima throws a switch kick high, but it falls short. Naimov drives Lima to the cage, dropping for a single-leg, but can’t finish the takedown. Lima returns to the center of the cage and they exchange sporadic single kicks and punches. The pace has slowed from the manic Round 1 as the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Naimov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Naimov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Naimov

Round 3

Naimov tags Lima with two hard leg kicks to open Round 3. Lima wades forward with a torrent of punches, but most glance or fall short. They clinch, and Lima drives Naimov to the cage. He slips behind the “Hillman,” takes his back, slips in a rear-naked choke and after a few seconds’ struggle, Naimov reluctantly taps. Sensational debut for Lima, who stepped up on just days’ notice and has now notched the first UFC finish in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



The Official Result

Felipe Lima def. Muhammadjon Naimov R3 1:15 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Jared Gordon (156) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (156)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Haqparast (-238), Gordon (+195)

Round 1

Haqparast and Gordon do not touch gloves before going at it. Rich Mitchell is your referee. Haqparast is southpaw, Gordon orthodox, and Gordon shoves Haqparast to the fence, picking up a single-leg. He elevates the leg, but instead of finishing the takedown, uses his free hand to punch Haqparast’s face. Gordon lets the leg go, but scoops up another single-leg seconds later, and again uses the chance to land strikes rather than bring the fight to the floor. He loses the leg and Haqparast sticks him with a hard left. Haqparast lands another hard left, and Gordon drops levels for a takedown. This time it looks like a serious attempt, as he runs Haqparast to the fence, but Haqparast keeps his feet under him. They disengage and return to the center of the Octagon. Gordon shoots for another takedown, and again they end up against the fence. Haqparast again defends ably, and after they break, he nails Gordon with a solid right jab. Gordon shoves Haqparast to the fence and they trade shots up the middle. Haqparast gets the better of it, smacking Gordon with a three-piece that hurts him. Gordon seems to recover, and the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Haqparast
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Haqparast
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Haqparast

Round 2

Haqparast scores first, with a hard overhand left that glances off the shoulder but still gets some of Gordon’s head. Gordon marches forward, but his face is showing the wear of trying to get past Haqparast’s righty jab. Gordon drops for a takedown, but Haqparast defends capably. Gordon marches forward, backing Haqparast to the cage, and nails him with two good punches before Haqparast can slide out the side. Gordon walks Haqparast down against the fence and mugs him with punches again. Haqparast is bleeding from under the left eye. There is a brief break in the action as Gordon’s left glove is losing tape. They go back to work, and Gordon feints a level change to open him up for a pair of punches upstairs. Haqparast returns fire, and both men are getting their shots in. Gordon backs Haqparast up to the fence and blasts him with punches to the body. Haqparast tries to get back to space, but Gordon’s pressure is stifling him. With 30 seconds to go, they clinch against the fence. They separate and Haqparast lands a good right to the chin before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gordon
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Gordon
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gordon

Round 3

Haqparast and Gordon do not touch gloves before going at it. Rich Mitchell is your referee. Haqparast is southpaw, Gordon orthodox, and Gordon shoves Haqparast to the fence, picking up a single-leg. He elevates the leg, but instead of finishing the takedown, uses his free hand to punch Haqparast’s face. Gordon lets the leg go, but scoops up another single-leg seconds later, and again uses the chance to land strikes rather than bring the fight to the floor. He loses the leg and Haqparast sticks him with a hard left. Haqparast lands another hard left, and Gordon drops levels for a takedown. This time it looks like a serious attempt, as he runs Haqparast to the fence, but Haqparast keeps his feet under him. They disengage and return to the center of the Octagon. Gordon shoots for another takedown, and again they end up against the fence. Haqparast again defends ably, and after they break, he nails Gordon with a solid right jab. Gordon shoves Haqparast to the fence and they trade shots up the middle. Haqparast gets the better of it, smacking Gordon with a three-piece that hurts him. Gordon seems to recover, and the horn sounds. Haqparast scores first, with a hard overhand left that glances off the shoulder but still gets some of Gordon’s head. Gordon marches forward, but his face is showing the wear of trying to get past Haqparast’s righty jab. Gordon drops for a takedown, but Haqparast defends capably. Gordon marches forward, backing Haqparast to the cage, and nails him with two good punches before Haqparast can slide out the side. Gordon walks Haqparast down against the fence and mugs him with punches again. Haqparast is bleeding from under the left eye. There is a brief break in the action as Gordon’s left glove is losing tape. They go back to work, and Gordon feints a level change to open him up for a pair of punches upstairs. Haqparast returns fire, and both men are getting their shots in. Gordon backs Haqparast up to the fence and blasts him with punches to the body. Haqparast tries to get back to space, but Gordon’s pressure is stifling him. With 30 seconds to go, they clinch against the fence. They separate and Haqparast lands a good right to the chin before the round ends. Neither man gives any quarter in the opening moments, standing toe-to-toe and swinging away. Haqparast’s fast hands show out, as he tags Gordon with a clean southpaw one-two. Gordon changes levels and drags Haqparast to the floor, but Haqparast refuses to concede the takedown, popping right back to his feet. Gordon marches forward, landing his jab on Haqparast and backing him up. Gordon is relentless, walking down the younger man, and mixing in level changes to keep him guessing. Haqparast lands a clean jab and Gordon returns fire with a hook to the head. Haqparast hits Gordon with a short punch to the body. Gordon comes back with a left hand upstairs. Under a minute to go and it still feels like anyone’s fight. Both men are battered and exhausted. They clinch and Haqparast scores with a short elbow inside. They separate and exchange a flurry of punches. The final horn sounds on what is, so far, easily the best fight of the night.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gordon (29-28 Gordon)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Haqparast (29-28 Haqparast)
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gordon (29-28 Gordon)

The Official Result

Nasrat Haqparast def. Jared Gordon via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Volkan Oezdemir (206) vs. Johnny Walker (206)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Walker (-115), Oezdemir (-105)

Round 1

The main card opens up with light heavyweight knockout merchants Walker and Oezdemir, who go to work with referee Jason Herzog in charge of the proceedings. They touch gloves and set up in matching orthodox stances. Walker leads with a low kick, and Oezdemir responds with one of his own. Walker goes back to the calf kick. Oezdemir throws a kick to the lead leg, then another to the inside of the rear leg. A little over a minute in, and not much has landed other than the steady stream of low kicks. Oezdemir wades forward and sticks Walker with a pair of body punches. Oezdemir goes upstairs with punches and Walker backs off, breathing heavily. Walker throws a couple of wide hooks to the head. Oezdemir hurts Walker with a couple of punches to the head. Walker surges forward, trying to get his hands on Oezdemir, to retaliate or recover. Oezdemir separates, rocks Walker with a left hook, drops him with a right uppercut, and then absolutely ices him with another right hand before Herzog manages to get between them. Brutal finish by Volkan Oezdemir.

The Official Result

Volkan Oezdemir def. Johnny Walker R1 2:28 via KO (Punches)

Sharabutdin Magomedov (185.5) vs. Antonio Trocoli (185.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: N/A

Round 1

The roller coaster ride that brought “Shara Bullet” and “Malvado” to this middleweight matchup has finished, but only one man will get off with his hand raised. In charge of making sure that there are no further unpleasant surprises will be referee Marc Goddard. Magomedov is southpaw, Trocoli orthodox, and Magomedov quickly flicks out a question mark kick that falls just short of Trocoli’s chin. Trocoli wades forward and stings “Bullet” with two punches to the head, then drives him to the fence with dual underhooks. Magomedov defends the takedown with a raised knee and overhook, but Trocoli eventually hoists the leg. Goddard breaks them up, warning Trocoli for grabbing the fence, and returns them to space, away from the fence. Magomedov takes advantage, throwing kicks to the head and lead leg, trying to keep the taller man at bay. Trocoli wades in again, backs Magomedov to the fence, but Magomedov slides out of the pocket rather than be backed into the fence again. Trocoli clinches, drives Magomedov into the cage, and drags him down to one knee. Magomedov posts with one hand, then stands back up, interposing his knee once again to keep Trocoli away from his hips. Trocoli tries to lock his hands, but they are still in that position when the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Trocoli
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Trocoli
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Trocoli

Round 2

Magomedov backs Trocoli up with a spin kick to the chest. Trocoli marches forward with kicks of his own, looking to cut off the cage and back “Bullet” into the fence. Magomedov lands a couple of lightning-quick kicks to the legs. Trocoli shoots a slow takedown from way outside and Magomedov is all over it. A minute and a half in, Trocoli is inching forward, with Magomedov flicking out sporadic kicks as he slides around the outside. Magomedov tags Trocoli with a one-two and a pair of kicks to the lead leg. Trocoli shoves Magomedov to the cage, where Magomedov once again uses a knee and overhook to shield himself. The crowd lets its displeasure be heard, and Goddard warns them to work. Trocoli looks about to haul Magomedov down, but Magomedov saves himself with a blatant fence grab. Goddard warns Magomedov, but does not intervene otherwise, a stark contrast to Trocoli’s fence grab in Round 1. Magomedov goes to work with low kicks again, and keeps it up to the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Magomedov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Magomedov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Magomedov

Round 3

The middleweights embrace to open Round 3. Magomedov lands a hook kick to the body, then a low kick. Magomedov with another leg kick. Trocoli is offering nothing back. Magomedov throws a lead hook upstairs that glances. Magomedov goes back to the low kick, then another. Magomedov with a question mark kick that slaps off of Trocoli’s head. Trocoli is standing still as a statue in the center of the cage. Magomedov with a hook kick to the head. Trocoli tries a molasses-slow takedown, bending from the waist. Magomedov simply steps out of the way, then crushes him with a knee to the chin. Trocoli staggers away, with “Shara Bullet” in pursuit. He pours on the punches and Goddard is there in a flash for the TKO stoppage.

The Official Result

Sharabutdin Magomedov def. Antonio Trocoli R3 2:27 via TKO (Knee and Punches)

Kelvin Gastelum (184.5) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (184)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Gastelum (-250), Rodriguez (+205)

Round 1

What was scheduled to be a welterweight feature now takes place at 185 pounds, thanks to the reliably unreliable Gastelum reminding us all why the UFC forced him up a weight class in the first place. Rich Mitchell is the third man in the cage. They set up in orthodox stance and immediately get to work boxing. Gastelum comes forward, with Rodriguez throwing his jab and giving ground. Neither man lands solidly in the frenetic opening moments, but Gastelum gets his hands on Rodriguez and shoves him to the cage, with a possible clash of noggins taking place along the way. Rodriguez breaks the clinch quickly and they return to the middle of the cage. Gastelum bounces into range with overhands and right crosses that come up just short of Rodriguez’s chin, while “D-Rod” returns fire with his own jab. Rodriguez goes southpaw, and a moment later Gastelum clocks him with an overhand left, his best shot of the round so far. Half the round is gone, and Rodriguez is still working to keep Gastelum on the end of his punches. Gastelum crashes the pocket and tags Rodriguez with a left-right combo before Rodriguez can slip out the side. Rodriguez spins Gastelum’s head with a left hook-right cross combination, but Gastelum shakes it off and keeps moving forward. Gastelum reaches out and hits the body. Gastelum backs Rodriguez into the fence and nails him with several more punches right before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum

Round 2

Gastelum surges forward again, throwing punches in pairs, and just barely slips a murderous counter from Rodriguez. They exchange combinations in the center of the cage, some of which glance, but plenty connect for both men. Rodriguez stops Gastelum’s forward movement with a jab to the body. Gastelum walks Rodriguez into the fence, but “D-Rod” circles away before he can do any work there. Gastelum changes levels and plows Rodriguez to the canvas with ease. Gastelum sets up shop at the base of the fence from top position, but Rodriguez stands quickly and they separate. Both men are in southpaw stance now, boxing at close range. Rodriguez catches Gastelum cleanly with a three-piece, but Gastelum shakes it off and returns fire. Gastelum lands a calf kick that makes Rodriguez stumble. Rodriguez tags Gastelum with a long righty jab, and Gastelum punishes him with another low kick. Rodriguez catches Gastelum with a clean one-two at the 10-second clapper. Gastelum secures a takedown right at the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 3

Gastelum once again comes out as if shot from a cannon, throwing his jab and one-two. Rodriguez is ready for them, but Gastelum’s first calf kick of the round stumbles him. Rodriguez seems to have no answer for those kicks, limited only by Gastelum’s sparing use of them. Gastelum changes levels for a possible takedown, but gives up on it almost immediately. They’re back to boxing at middle-to-close range, both men getting their licks in. Gastelum breaks things up by shooting for a double-leg near the fence, hoisting and depositing Rodriguez on the canvas. Gastelum moves quickly to side control and starts grinding his elbow into Rodriguez’s face, keeping his weight squarely on Rodriguez’s chest. “D-Rod” regains one-quarter guard, slipping one butterfly hook in between them. He gets half guard, and Gastelum stands out of his guard, raining down a couple of punches before letting Rodriguez return to his feet. Gastelum promptly drops for another takedown, which he gets with ease. He is on top, throwing short strikes from top position, when the final horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum (29-28 Gastelum)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum (29-28 Rodriguez)
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum (29-28 Gastelum)

The Official Result

Kelvin Gastelum def. Daniel Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Sergei Pavlovich (260) vs. Alexander Volkov (258)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Pavlovich (-218), Volkov (+180)

Round 1

The high-stakes, all-Russian, heavyweight co-main event kicks off, with Jason Herzog on referee duty. Volkov immediately goes to his front kick up the middle, trying to keep the shorter power puncher at bay. Pavlovich stalks, flicking out his long jab and looking for opportunities to spring into range on his towering foe. Pavlovich comes inside and is met by a hard jab, then lands on of his own. Volkov plants a kick on the liver, and ducks a vicious overhand counter. Volkov throws a jab to the body and Pavlovich comes back with a right high kick that lands on the shoulder. Under 90 seconds to go in the round, and everything is still tense, tentative; it feels as though either man might land a fight-ending blow at any moment. Volkov reaches out with a southpaw left cross and slips the counter. The horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Volkov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Volkov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Volkov

Round 2

Volkov is again mobile, throwing single and double jabs while sliding around the outside of the cage. A huge overhand right from Pavlovich misses just short. Volkov switches stances freely, using kicks to disguise them. Pavlovich throws a high kick that bounces off Volkov’s shoulder as he turns. Pavlovich is stalking, trying to cut off the cage. He is bleeding from the bridge of the nose, thanks to the reliable jab and one-two of Volkov. Volkov reaches out with a slow kick that slaps off the arms, then retreats as Pavlovich surges forward with punches. Volkov throws his teep up the middle, the ball of his foot connecting with the midsection of Pavlovich. Pavlovich catches Volkov with a big right hand that causes him to stagger. Volkov seems to recover, however, moving laterally and avoiding any follow-up. Volkov connects with a standing hammerfist. Pavlovich continues to follow, but can’t land anything of consequence before the round expires.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Volkov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Volkov
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Volkov

Round 3

Round 3 opens as the first two did, with Volkov in southpaw, moving laterally around the outside as orthodox Pavlovich gives chase. The face of Pavlovich is showing the wear of two good rounds of patient, methodical jabs and crosses from his countryman. Pavlovich eats a jab and lunges in with a big right hand that doesn’t quite land squarely. Volkov sticks Pavlovich with a lead right hand and eats a three-piece combo in return. Volkov looks loose, throwing hard punches and willingly engaging, despite likely being ahead on the cards. His corner is audibly screaming at him. Halfway through the round, the pace has settled back down, and Pavlovich is plodding forward, walking right into the push kick and jab of Volkov. Pavlovich explodes forwards with a pair of punches that are mostly parried. Pavlovich dips and drives Volkov to the cage, perhaps looking for a takedown, but gives up on the attempt with 30 seconds to go. Pavlovich comes forward and punches the body, and catches Volkov cleanly on the shin at the 10-second clapper. Volkov eats it like a blini, returning fire with a head kick. The final horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Volkov (30-27 Volkov)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Volkov (30-27 Volkov)
Devin Tejada scores the round: 10-9 Volkov (30-27 Volkov)

The Official Result

Alexander Volkov def. Sergei Pavlovich via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Robert Whittaker (186) vs. Ikram Aliskerov (184)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Whittaker (-142), Aliskerov (+120)

Round 1

The main event of “UFC Saudi Arabia” sees former middleweight champ Whittaker looking to stay in the title picture, as he faces short-notice opponent Aliskerov, who stepped up for the ailing Khamzat Chimaev and finds himself with the opportunity of a lifetime, in position to jump the line at 185 pounds. Drawing the final referee assignment of the evening is Marc Goddard. They touch gloves and set up in matching orthodox stances, and Aliskerov reaches out with a high front kick that comes up short. Whittaker scores with a right leg kick. Aliskerov throws a body kick that Whittaker parries with his arm. Whittaker ducks into range with a double jab. Whittaker blisters Aliskerov with a short right hand, then a left. The Dagestani goes staggering back and Whittaker follows up with a head kick that doesn’t land perfectly, but does damage as well. “The Reaper” lives up to his name, claiming Aliskerov’s soul with a crushing right uppercut. Aliskerov drops in place, and only one or two follow-up blows get through before Goddard is there for the stoppage. Fantastic work from “Bobby Knuckles.”

The Official Result

Robert Whittaker def. Ikram Aliskerov R1 1:49 via KO (Punches)
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