Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises went to war tonight (Sat., July 17, 2021) in a main event Lightweight clash from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, at UFC Vegas 31. Makhachev is on one of Lightweight’s biggest win streaks, resulting in quite a bit of momentum for the Dagestani grappler. With his teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov out of the title picture, one major roadblock to Makhachev’s ascent is removed, and he was looking to capitalize right away ... though opponents have been hard to find. Fortunately, Moises was willing to step up, and the Brazilian saw his own big opportunity in taking on the divisional dark horse.
Though not a title eliminator, one man took one step closer to Lightweight gold. Strap in for tonight’s main event and follow along below for live updates and highlight clips:
The two trade kicks through the opening couple of minutes as Makhachev slowly cut off the cage. Unexpectedly, Moises initiates the clinch. They separate and return to kicking. Makhachev scores clean with a left. Makhachev wraps up a double collar tie and scores with some knees. That man looks STRONG from the clinch. Makhachev lands a big throw from the clinch and finishes in guard, where he picks his shots to the bell.
After a slow start, Moises lands with his first real combination of the fight, followed by a calf kick. Makhachev rips a left kick then pushes into the clinch. Moises reverses position and lands a takedown of his own! Makhachev quickly escapes out the back door and takes the back himself. Makhachev pokes at his foe with ground strikes for another strong round.
The third round began with more measured kickboxing exchanges until Makhachev fired a combination, which prompted another takedown attempt from Moises. Moises traded some knees for uppercuts, keeping his foe pinned to the cage. Makhachev reversed position along the fence, but he was able to force his foe down. Immediately, Makhachev threw both hooks in and took the back. Moises recovered guard and attacked the leg. Makhachev didn’t appear to be in a ton of danger as the round ended.
Both men land crosses in the opening exchange. Makhachev level changes into an easy takedown. Makhachev opens up with ground strikes and convinces Moises to give up his back again. Makhachev wraps up the neck and secures the rear naked choke finish!
Result: Islam Makhachev defeats Thiago Moises via fourth-round rear naked choke
For complete UFC Vegas 31: “Makhachev vs. Moises” results and play-by-play, click HERE!