Makhachev Stays Perfect in Octagon Debut

Islam Makhachev’s stablemate Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t able to compete in UFC 187 action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night due to injury, but the debuting Makhachev impressed in his own right, submitting Leo Kuntz in the second round of their lightweight preliminary bout.

Makhachev was the aggressor to start, but it was a patient aggression until he threw Kuntz to the canvas with a little over two minutes left and then took his back. Kuntz was cool under pressure, getting out of trouble and back to his feet, where he did good work at range.
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The Dagestan native looked even more comfortable in round two, landing short counters and then taking Kuntz’ back again when the bout strayed to the canvas. This second time around, Makhachev sunk in a rear naked choke, and it was game over, with the tap coming at the 2:38 mark.

Makhachev ups his record to 12-0; Kuntz falls to 17-2-1.

Entertaining flyweight prospect Justin Scoggins broke a two-fight losing skid in the opener, winning a shutout three-round unanimous decision over Josh Sampo.

All three judges saw it 30-27.

Sampo ate a lot of kicks in the first round, and while no significant damage was done by the dynamic offensive attack of Scoggins, the points piled up as Sampo was unable to close the distance or get the bout to the mat.

Scoggins began to deliver the damage in the second, scoring a flash knockdown early in the frame with a hook kick to the head and tagging his foe with a front kick to the face midway through the round. Sampo did get the bout briefly to the canvas with a little over two minutes left, and though he didn’t keep Scoggins there, his success did propel him to get a little closer in the scoring late in the round.

Returning to his first round form, Scoggins built on his lead in the final round, even trading takedowns with Sampo to secure his win on the scorecards.

With the win, Scoggins improves to 10-2; Sampo falls to 11-5.


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