Of all the fighters who’ve come to the UFC from Bellator, Marcin Held has had the rockiest transition.
As a Bellator fighter, he was among the elite – not quite a champ, but one of the best thanks to his aggressive and insanely creative jiu-jitsu. But in three Octagon fights, he’s been a total washout, falling to the likes of Diego Sanchez, Joe Lauzon and Damir Hadzovic. As a Polish native, Held was a must-have for this card, but who would he face? Enter: Octagon rookie Nasrat Haqparast.
Once the bout began, it was obvious Haqparast had watched tape on Held, as he did everything possible to keep the fight standing. And he was largely successful for the first half of Round 1, banging Held up with kicks and punches while stuffing all takedowns. When Held finally did get him down, Haqparast tied him up.
Round 2 saw more time on the ground for both men, but only because Haqparast felt the need to get some takedowns of his own – a befuddling idea, given how much Held thrives on working from the bottom. Eventually, Held wound up on top after a scramble, and the round ended with him on top.
The final round saw Held work a bit more on the ground, and threaten with submissions from top and bottom, and though it ended with both men throwing heat on the feet, it seemed like Held had done slightly more by way of general offense.
Results: Marcin Held def. Nasrat Haqparast via Unanimous Decision