Islam Makhachev — widely regarded as one of the most promising Lightweight prospects in mixed martial arts (MMA) — looked to crack into the Top 10 at the expense of Davi Ramos this afternoon (Sat., Sept. 2019) at UFC 242, which took place inside The Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. But he had his hands full with Ramos, a decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist who was on a four-fight win streak.
Indeed, after a super slow and cautious start, Makhachev was able to flip a switch down the stretch to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Ramos.
Ramos got the action started with some low kicks, while Makhachev jabbed off his back foot, sizing up his opponent and looking for an opening. Makhachev uncorked a solid one-two combination, but Ramos was able to block most of it. It was essentially a stalemate midway through the opening round until Makhachev finally scored with a crowd-pleasing hard left hook. Makhachev reeled off another looping shot, but Ramos moved out of harm’s way and countered with a hard kick. Ramos landed with a looping right hand toward the end of the round, which was for the most part action-free.
Ramos came out aggressive to start the second frame, but allowed Makhachev to throw the first punch. Ramos countered with a flurry, pinning Makhachev up against the fence, but let him off the hook moments later. The staring match continued thereafter, with the crowd eventually voicing its collective displeasure. Ramos scored with a solid jab, but not much else. Makhachev kept busy pumping a jab, then landed a nice hard cross that opened up a cut over Ramos’ right eye. Makhachev started to get in a groove, building off the success of his jab to win the round.
Ramos really needed to let his hands go in the third and final frame if he had any chance of pulling out a win. But it was Makhachev’s knee that did damage almost immediately — flooring Ramos seconds in and drilling him with unanswered punches on the ground. Ramos was able weather the early blitz, but Makhachev rode him the entire rest of the way en route to a decision win.
It wasn’t the most impressive performance from Makhachev, but a win is a win is a win. And it was his fifth straight inside the Octagon, which must count for something.
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