UFC 223: 5 takeaways from Saturday night's outstanding event in Brooklyn

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Whereas Conor McGregor’s damaging antics stole the headlines in the course of the week, the primary event wasn’t made official till a couple of hours earlier than Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins and the cardboard went from that includes 12 bouts to a tidy 9 fights, UFC 223 remained crammed with thrilling matchups carrying a ton of intrigue.

Again contained in the Barclays Middle for the primary time since final February’s uninspired UFC 208 pay-per-view, the gang in Brooklyn obtained an entertaining night time of motion contained in the cage that ought to set the stage for a number of huge contests in the second half of the yr.

Right here’s a take a look at the most important speaking factors and takeaways popping out of UFC 223.

Khabib Time

Khabib Nurmagomedov has been targeted on climbing to the highest of the light-weight division since they day he first stepped into the Octagon. After 10 fights and three totally different opponents in the final seven days, “The Eagle” has reached the summit.

Saturday night time, the Dagestani grappling machine mauled Al Iaquinta in the primary event of UFC 223 to say the light-weight title — or a portion of the title — and push his report to a staggering 26-zero. It took him lower than a minute to place Iaquinta on the canvas in the primary and whereas the final-minute alternative was capable of reduce the injury, he might muster a lot offense, as Nurmagomedov pressured him to be defensive and easily struggle to outlive.

Within the third, the 2 stood in the middle, buying and selling and speaking, with Nurmagomedov crashing residence a collection of unpolluted rights and lefts that turned Iaquinta’s nostril right into a crimson faucet. He did the identical in the fourth, slowly a bit of, however persevering with to completely out-tempo Iaquinta in 5-minute increments. Iaquinta related with some strong photographs early in the fifth, however Nurmagomedov ate them and went again on the offensive, opening up the Lengthy Islander and spending the ultimate two minutes grinding him out on the bottom.

Opposite to Joe Rogan’s commentary, this was a lopsided contest that carries Nurmagomedov to the highest of the division. His standing there’s disputed and each Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson want to argue their respective instances, however tonight, the title belongs to Nurmagomedov.

And Nonetheless…

Rose Namajunas shocked the world in November by dethroning Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Saturday night time, she turned in one other outstanding efficiency, defending her title in the rematch and incomes the victory with scores of forty nine-forty seven throughout the board.

Early in the battle, Namajunas showcased the poise and footwork that led to the end in the primary encounter, slipping punches and touchdown photographs of her personal, taking an early lead. As Jedrzejczyk began to push again, Namajunas did not cede any floor. She stood in the pocket and exchanged with the previous champion and when the ultimate spherical began, it was the titleholder who took pressed ahead and landed the larger blows.

Some individuals questioned if the primary end result was a fluke. These questions have been answered with a powerful “No” at Barclays Middle, as Namajunas appeared even higher the second time round, cementing her place atop the ladies’s strawweight division.

Don’t sleep on Moicano

There have been so many terrific fights and breakout performances in the featherweight division as of late that there are occasions when gifted fighters slip from reminiscence just because they haven’t had an opportunity to step into the Octagon these days.

Renato Moicano is a type of guys.

Out of motion since UFC 214, individuals appear to have forgotten that Moicano said his UFC profession with three straight victories, together with a cut up determination win over Jeremy Stephens, earlier than getting into his struggle with Brian Ortega because the betting favourite. In that summer time conflict with “T-Metropolis,” the gifted Brazilian entered the ultimate spherical forward on the scorecards earlier than Ortega did what he fairly steadily does and located a end in the third, however dropping to the No. 1 contender is nothing to hold your head about.

Saturday night time in Brooklyn, Moicano made like Jay-Z and reintroduced himself to the plenty with a exact, technical efficiency towards Calvin Kattar, beating up the Bostonian’s lead leg en path to a unanimous determination victory.

Featherweight is on hearth proper now ( I feel somebody predicted that at first of the yr ) and Moicano is in the thick of issues after his efficiency at UFC 223.

Magomedsharipov shines once more

Heralded as one of many prime prospects in the game, Zabit Magomedsharipov continued to point out why on Saturday night time. Teaming with Kyle Bochniak to ship a Battle of the Night time-profitable conflict, the Dagestani upstart picked up his third UFC win and eleventh consecutive victory general to proceed his ascension in the featherweight division.

The items that make Magomedsharipov such a extremely regarded newcomer have been on full show, as he showcased his numerous putting and wonderful grappling talent, hitting Bochniak with a number of heavy kicks and placing him on the canvas with quite a lot of takedowns, together with a slick little journey into aspect management.

Bochniak will get full marks for his toughness and skill to attract one of the best out of Magomedsharipov, however the shaggy-haired 27-yr-previous member of New Jersey’s “Iron Military” proved he was a degree or two above “Crash” and will get a ranked opponent subsequent day trip.

If it finally ends up being the person he referred to as out, Yair Rodriguez, circle the date in your calendar as quickly as it’s introduced as a result of that might be super. 

The continued evolution of “The Canadian Gangster”

Olivier Aubin-Mercier arrived in the UFC after only a handful of fast fights on the regional circuit, dropping a cut up choice to fellow Canadian and Tristar Health club teammate Chad Laprise in the TUF Nations welterweight finale.

Within the 4 years since then, the promising judoka has developed into an all-round menace at light-weight, proving it Saturday night time by amassing the most important win of his profession with a blistering first-spherical end of Evan Dunham.

After feeling a ton of strain to be “The Subsequent GSP” and carry the flag for Canada, the awkwardly charismatic Aubin-Mercier not feels burdened by these unfair comparisons and has began transfer up the ladder in the one hundred fifty five-pound weight class. By operating his profitable streak to 4 and taking out a ranked fighter in the midst of a very good run of outcomes, “OAM” has confirmed himself to be one to observe in the second half of 2018 in the light-weight ranks.