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UFC 228 results: Zabit Magomedsharipov twists Brandon Davis into a pretzel, scores rare kneebar submission

With Yair Rodriguez forced off UFC 228, which took place inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, tonight (Sat., Sept. 8, 2018), Brandon Davis stepped up on just 11 days notice to battle one of the hottest Featherweight prospects in the sport right now, Zabit Magomedsharipov.

It was a bad idea, but at least he still has function in his left knee, which Magomedsharipov damn near tried to bring back with him to Dagestan.

Davis got the action started with a string of low kicks, but Magomedsharipov continued to plod forward, working to set up something behind his jab. Magomedsharipov didn’t do much in the early part of the round, content to let Davis chase him and burn energy. Davis landed a kick, which Magomedsharipov caught and then bounced his fist off his forehead. Moments later, Magomedsharipov landed a hard left hook with his back to the cage, but Davis was unfazed. Davis landed a nice uppercut, but Magomedsharipov didn’t skip a beat, either. Davis whiffed on a punch, leaving an opening for Magomedsharipov to shoot for a takedown, which he eventually secured, but Davis popped back to his feet and the round ended seconds later.

Magomedsharipov came out for the second stanza with a little more urgency. He was able to get behind Davis in the opening seconds and tripped him to the canvas to score his second takedown of the fight. Davis, though, was once again able to return to his feet, where the two battled for position along the cage. Magomedsharipov landed short shots from behind, but Davis was eventually able to squirm his way free ... only for Magomedsharipov to score another takedown and mount his back. Magomedsharipov angled for a rear-naked choke, but Davis defended well. Then they scrambled and Magomedsharipov was able to grab a hold of Davis’ ankle as he was getting dumped over the top. He rolled onto his back with Davis’ leg pinned above his head in a painful looking kneebar position. It was a rare version — only the third time the submission has been seen inside the Octagon (and the second time tonight).

It was a clinical, calculated performance from Magomedsharipov, who took his time and delivered and amazing submission. He did what he was supposed to do. Now it’s time for the UFC to do what it is supposed to do — match him up with a Top 10-ranked opponent next to see if he’s a legitimate 145-pound title contender or just another pretender.

For complete UFC 228: “Woodley vs. Till” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.

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