Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov faced each other in a Flyweight clash tonight (Sat., Sept. 21, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 159 inside Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico, only on ESPN+. After a fun fight full of scrambles, the bout was ruled a split-draw!
The bout opened with some long, straight punches from Moreno. Askarov attacked the inside of the calf from the Southpaw stance and looked for a front kick. Just about a minute into the round, Askarov chained together a takedown attempt that resulted in a big slam. As Moreno attempted to stand up, Askarov slipped around to back mount and secured a body triangle. From that control position, Askarov landed some pretty hard punches and elbows. Moreno escaped and spun into top control at about the midway point in the round. From his back, Askarov landed some chopping elbows. Moreno returned the favor with a big series of left hands. With a minute remaining, Askarov stood back up and ate a heavy left hook in the process. Neither man landed anything too significant in the final 60 seconds, but Moreno seemed more comfortable with his punches than the Dagestani newcomer.
Moreno began the second with some lunging punches that landed strong, but he wound up in the clinch and was tossed down soon afterward. Once more, Askarov threatened a back take as Moreno moved to stand. This time, Moreno was able to escape back to his feet without getting trapped. He managed to land a hard left hook while briefly on his feet, but Askarov quickly jammed him back into the fence with a clinch. Another big toss introduced “Baby Assassin” to the mat. Moreno ate a few shots from his back but was able to kick his foe off with half the round remaining. Once more, Askarov landed a brief takedown from the clinch, but Moreno popped back up. Both men were breathing heavily from the incredibly high-paced grappling. Moreno landed a pair of big right hands in the center. Suddenly, Moreno landed a clean high kick, but Askarov ate it well and converted the strike into a takedown attempt that stalled out until the bell.
A big overhand scored early for Moreno, who then scored his first takedown of the fight! From his back, Askarov attempted an omoplata and ate a big punch for his efforts. Askarov was active from his back, but he wasn’t able to make much happen as Moreno landed small shots. With two minutes remaining, Askarov tried to stand and gave up his back in the process. Moreno quickly jumped at a rear-naked choke attempt, but Askarov managed to defend. Utilizing the body triangle, Moreno managed to control his foe until the final 10 seconds of the round, securing himself the pivotal third round.
In his first fight back inside the Octagon, Moreno absolutely impressed! His opponent’s takedown chaining ability was pretty incredible, but Moreno consistently fought to get back up, where he could make use of his kickboxing advantage. Personally, I would’ve given the decision to “Baby Assasssin,” but it was not a bad display from either fighter.
Result: the bout was ruled a split-draw
For complete UFC Fight Night 159: “Rodriguez Vs. Stephens” results and play-by-play, click HERE!