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UFC 219 results from last night: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza fight recap

MMA: UFC 219-Nurmagmedov vs Barboza Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza collided last night (Dec. 30, 2017) at UFC 219 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The UFC loves undefeated fighters; they’re easy to promote and quick to earn title shots. Nurmagomedov is an extreme example, entering this bout with an immaculate 24-0 record that was bolstered by a few key wins over top-tier Lightweights. Last night, Nurmagomedov looked to add one more to list and finally earn his title shot.

Hoping to play spoiler was Barboza, who entered on an excellent three-fight win streak of his own. A brutal kickboxer with some excellent takedown defense, the Brazilian was a pretty ideal match up to throw off the Dagestani athlete.

As expected, Nurmagomedov came out trying to trap the Brazilian along the fence. Barboza jabbed, low kicked, and circled, but Nurmagomedov was soon able to get in on a shot along the fence. It looked dangerous, but Barboza was able to escape and fire off a body kick.

Unfortunately for Barboza, Nurmagomedov’s second takedown attempt was successful. He immediately began to drop brutal ground strikes, hammering away from within the guard. It was an immediate mauling from “The Eagle,” who transitioned with Barboza will smashing him repeatedly with heavy shots. Barboza tried to defend himself, but the Dagestani’s answer to ever one of his moves was to stay heavy and drop hard shots.

Barboza survived until the bell... barely.

Nurmagomedov charged forward into the second, firing hard strikes on his feet. Keeping Barboza on his back foot, Nurmagomedov stayed in his face and landed heavy shots. Despite obviously being worn down from the first five minutes, Barboza tried to hang tough with body shots and kicks. He defended a couple takedowns, but Nurmagomedov eventually dragged him to the mat once more. His ground strikes weren’t quite as dominant this time around, but it was still a brutal round for the Brazilian.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was utterly dominating yet another opponent.

Nevertheless, the third round began with both men on their feet, giving Barboza the proverbial puncher’s chance. It didn’t work out that way, as the Russian clubbed him with some hooks before driving into yet another takedown. Barboza showed a lot of heart by fighting back to his feet successfully, and he actually managed to return to the center of the Octagon.

Barboza fired and landed a spin kick to the face, but Nurmagomdeov continued forward undeterred and landed another takedown. He battered his foe until the end of the round, although Barboza was able to escape back to his feet with just seconds remaining.

The Brazilian needed the knockout, and it just didn’t come.

This was yet another dominant performance from Khabib Nurmagomedov. Early in his UFC career, he was chaining together beautiful power takedowns and then controlling opponents. In his last three bouts, however, his ground strikes have been terrifyingly powerful. There are a handful of positions where Nurmagomedov just batters his opponents, and he’s routinely able to force fighters into them.

He’s such a uniquely dominant fighter, 25-0 is a ridiculous accomplishment. The Dagestani athlete deserves a title shot more than any other fighter I’ve ever seen, and he should not have to fight Tony Ferguson for an interim strap.

Strip Conor McGregor, and match Ferguson and Nurmagomedov up for the real thing.

As for Barboza, I don’t have any disparaging comments. He worked damn hard to strike and angle off, doing his best to avoid the fence and the takedown. Nurmagomedov’s pace was just relentless, and there was no room for error. After the first takedown, Barboza was battered so thoroughly that he was a shell of his former self. That’s not an insult — Barboza fought valiantly — but he simply didn’t have the same energy about him after absorbing so much damage.

Last night, Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated his opponent and remained undefeated. Will the Russian finally receive his title shot?

For complete UFC 219 “Cyborg vs. Holm” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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