The main card of the UFC 165: "Jones vs. Gustafsson" pay-per-view (PPV) tonight (Sat., Sept. 21, 2013) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, kicked off with a lightweight battle pitting Strikeforce veteran Pat Healy, in his first bout since having his victory over Jim Miller overturned thanks to a positive drug test for marijuana, against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
What way to kick off a show.
The two engaging 155-pound brawlers lived up to their reputations, unloading on each other with heavy punches and combinations throughout a busy opening round. Neither took the advantage, however, not really. Healy was cut on his cheek but generally, both appeared to be none the worse for the wear.
"Bam Bam" was more aggressive early in the second round but Nurmagomedov avoided taking too much damage and let Healy wear himself down enough that a late takedown was far too easy to achieve.
Still, it was relatively close.
Then, in the third, Nurmagomedov found the takedown in just over one minute, leading to Healy's corner begging for him to get back to his feet. The Canadian crowd may not have liked it, but it was an effective point-scoring strategy in a close fight where every little bit counts.
The high point of the fight came when Nurmagomedov picked Healy up, walked him all the way across the cage, and slammed him to the mat. Despite the fact that there were two minutes left, that pretty much sealed the deal for the round.
But the fight, overall, was incredibly close.
Ultimately, Nurmagomedov was awarded the decision on scores of 30-27 across the board.
For complete UFC 165 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.