Usman Nurmagomedov aimed to defend his title and progress in the tournament against former champion Brent Primus.
Nurmagomedov entered the bout as a heavy favorite, and he lived up to expectations.
The champion initiated the action with a series of leg kicks while Primus attempted to stay aggressive. Nurmagomedov showcased his versatility by switching stances and landed a knee that stunned Primus. He followed this with a spinning back kick, narrowly missing its target. They clinched along the fence, and Nurmagomedov landed an elbow before they separated. Primus retaliated with a low kick, but Nurmagomedov responded with one of his own.
As the first round neared its end, Primus attempted a spinning back fist that was partially blocked. Nurmagomedov demonstrated his superiority by securing a takedown with ease, ending the round in control.
The second round saw Primus trying to close the distance and initiate a clinch, but Nurmagomedov continued to dominate on the feet. Nurmagomedov’s effective use of kicks and his ability to maintain distance troubled Primus. While Primus landed occasional strikes, he couldn’t establish a rhythm.
Primus made an unsuccessful takedown attempt in the second round, highlighting Nurmagomedov’s superior wrestling skills. Nurmagomedov’s striking was on display as he led with elbows and connected with a kick to the midsection, forcing Primus to retreat. Nurmagomedov demonstrated excellent defense and landed clean shots on Primus, who appeared unable to shift into a higher gear.
As they entered the championship rounds, Nurmagomedov had likely secured a clean sweep on the scorecards. For Primus to win, he needed a finish or two 10-8 rounds. However, against the nearly flawless Nurmagomedov, this seemed improbable. Early in the round, Primus attempted a takedown, which backfired as Nurmagomedov reversed the position. Despite being caught by the referee, the action was restarted. Nurmagomedov regained control and secured another takedown.
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With plenty of time to work on top, Nurmagomedov inflicted some damage on Primus, who was left bloodied. The fifth round appeared almost formality, with Nurmagomedov in firm control. Primus, who was now desperate, managed to land a hail Mary attack. Still, the outcome was clear.
Usman Nurmagomedov won with a unanimous decision, with all judges scoring it 50-45. He improved his record to 18-0, retained his lightweight title, and advanced to the final of the lightweight grand prix. In the final, he will face the winner of the upcoming Alexander Shabliy vs. Patricky Pitbull card, with a million-dollar prize at stake.