One of the most promising Featherweight mixed martial arts (MMA) prospects on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster, Zabit Magomedsharipov, looked to prove that the hype is real at the expense of Kyle Bochniak tonight (Sat., April 7, 2018) at UFC 223, which took place inside Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, New York.
Bochniak came out super aggressive, looking to close distance and land something early to nullify Magomedsharipov’s length advantage. Magomedsharipov was calm as can be, though, standing his ground and countering with laser-like shots and hard kicks. Bochniak responded with haymakers, but Magomedsharipov’s composure kept him out of danger. Bochniak slowed his roll a little but as the round progressed, but he continued to be the aggressor. Unfortunately for him, though, Magomedsharipov had all the answers, mostly with his legs, landing all sorts of creative and dynamic kicks from all sorts of weird angles.
Bochniak came out throwing bombs to start round two, but Magomedsharipov was unimpressed, calmly avoiding each shot and eventually getting behind his opponent and scoring the first takedown of the fight. Magomedsharipov did a little damage on the ground before Bochniak was able to spin out and get back to his feet. Then, for whatever reason, Bochniak stood in the center of the Octagon and let Magomedsharipov drill him in the face about three times while he stuck out his tongue and screamed. He’s definitely a tough dude, but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Magomedsharipov scored another slick takedown, but Bochniak got back to his feet and continued to plod forward and eat shots.
Bochniak couldn’t wait to get off his stool for the third and final round — he might be a little bit crazy. He was doing the Ric Flair, “WOOOO!” and then Magomedsharipov nailed him with a spinning heel to the throat that he just walked right through. Magomedsharipov got to his back once again and Bochniak defended well along the fence, ultimately succumbing to a body lock takedown. Bochniak bucked and rolled and eventually got back to his feet, somehow figuring out a way to get behind Magomedsharipov along the fence. Magomedsharipov was able to spin out and land a nice spinning head kick, but Bochniak was still right in his grill, nailing him with hard shots as Magomedsharipov looked at the clock. Bochniak, a straight up animal, put his hands by his side and roared, daring Magomedsharipov to trade shots with him as the last 20 seconds ticked off the clock. And Magomedsharipov — who appeared to be the more exhausted of the two — was more than willing to oblige, letting his hands go as Bochniak stood right in front of him and took everything he could dish out.
Magomedsharipov ultimately earned a unanimous decision win, but Bochniak was more than game. It was an incredible effort — he never backed down. But, Magomedsharipov was just too good, polished and technical to drop a decision to a gritty, tough dude like Bochniak. His future is bright. And it wouldn’t be a shock to see him locked inside a cage with division champion, Max Holloway, sooner rather than later.
And it will be amazing.
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