“And NEW”… Khabib Nurmagamedov is the UFC Lightweight Champion of the World!

With all the drama of this week, you’d be forgiven if you forgot that there was actually a UFC event on this week. UFC 223 turned out to be a brilliant event, despite the fact that four fights were lost off the card. Most importantly we have a new lightweight champion.

Khabib Nurmagamedov seized the lightweight championship last night with a dominant performance over stand-in opponent Al Iaquinta. The Russian was a class above his opponent for the entire fight. Now Conor McGregor has been officially stripped and the ‘Eagle’ is the new face of the division.

It was always an uphill task for Iaquinta to put it up to Khabib on such short notice. No UFC has been able to present him with a competitive challenge. With this victory, Nurmagamedov extended his ludicrous win streak to 26-0. He’s truly an MMA phenomenon.


This was as good a performance by Khabib as any of his previous 25 wins. His oppressive sambo style is just so brutal and effective. He was on top for the first two rounds but had to face a resurgence from Iaquinta in rounds 3 and 4. It wasn’t to be the Americans day, spending most of round 5 underneath the world’s most famous Dagestani.

The first couple of rounds were absolutely draining for Iaquinta. He constantly found himself being dragged down to the mats, desperately trying to get back to his feet, when all the while he was dealing with heavy punches coming down on his face and body. Not fun. Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, Khabib kept talking to him.


Rounds 3 and 4 saw more of a challenge from our last minute challenger. He managed to keep the fight standing, landing a few shots on Nurmagamedov. However, it has to be said that ‘the Eagle’ still managed to get the heaviest punches in.

The 4th round went similarly, with Iaquinta landing strong solid single punches, but unable to make them count as Khabib used his ringcraft to his advantage. This was a good display from the Russian who has had to deal with a lot of issues outside the ring this week.

Iaquinta went wild looking for the finish in the 5th, but Nurmagamedov survived, taking him down and let the clock tick down on Iaquinta’s lightweight championship dream. The decision went to the judges’ scorecards with Khabib winning by 50-44, 50-43, 50-43. A great win for a great fighter.

Worthy Winner

This belt has been a long time coming for the Russian. He was due to face Tony Ferguson at this event. However, that fight was canceled for an insane fifth time after the Californian tore his LCL when he tripped over a wire at a UFC press event.

It went from bad to worse when Max Holloway was not allowed to complete his weight-cut by the NYASC on Friday. This left the UFC desperately scrabbling to find Nurmagamedov a last-minute opponent, to keep him on the card. He didn’t let them down, taking down Iaquinta to win 10 UFC fights in a row and maintaining his unbeaten streak.

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