Welcome to CagedInsider’s liveblog coverage of UFC Fight Night 89, which comes to us out of Canada and features karate man Stephen Thompson against cold-blooded killer Rory MacDonald in the main event.
First up are the Fight Pass prelims, with flyweight contender Ali Bagautinov facing hard-hitting Geane Herrera.
Herrera takes the center of the cage and adopts a low stance, indicating that he wants to counter the Bagautinov’s wrestling with a something mean and full of power. But Bagautinov builds tempo with successive punches and kicks, each one landing harder than the last, and when it seems like he’s got all the momentum, he changes levels and takes his foe down against the cage. There Herrera tries to threaten with heelhooks and leglocks – to which Bagautinov answers with some hellacious standing ground and pound. The horns sounds with the Dagestani owning him like a mule.
Bagautinov comes for Round 2 absolutely digging into Herrera with a kick to the body and punches to the face, and he follows it up with quick takedown. For the briefest of moments, Herrera seems to sink in a reverse triangle, but after some patient wriggling he escapes. Halfway through the round they scramble back up, and this time Herrera scores a takedown and takes Bagautinov’s back. The flyweight contender escapes that too, and for nearly the rest of the frame he’s on top pounding away on his opponent’s face. There’s no question Herrera is tough, but he’s getting outclassed.
The Dagestani native’s output is drastically reduced thanks to fatigue in the opening of Round 3, but of course he’s still landing hard kicks to the body and head that Herrera seems happy to eat. Bagautinov switches to wrestling, and though he sees some success in getting his foe down, Herrera comes perilously close to finishing him with a kimura. Bagautinov frantically rolls out of trouble, and rides out the clock shooting for more takedown attempts.
Result: Ali Bagautinov def. Geane Herrera via Unanimous Decision