It’s frustrating that the momentum Khabib Nurmagomedov builds up is always killed by weight-cutting mishaps. Because you know what? If not for him failing to make it to the cage to face Tony Ferguson, the Dagestani wrestling would likely be the interim lightweight champ right now.

It’s safe to say Nurmagomedov’s UFC 219 opponent Edson Barboza would agree.

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Things started off even enough, with the Brazilian striker taking advantage of his range and skill set by whacking Nurmagomedov’s legs with kicks and feeding him punches. But after about 20 seconds of that, Nurmagomedov started doing what he always does – utilizing relentless pressure to inflict maximum damage with punches against the cage and ground and pound on the ground.

Really, from then on, Barboza was smothered, and everywhere the fight went, Nurmagomedov kept him stuck there while feeding him enough leather to make an entire cow. By the end of the first round, Barboza looked like he’d been hit by a truck.

The Brazilian did manage to start firing off spinning wheelkicks, and one of them even landed on Nurmagomedov’s neck. But that didn’t even slow Nurmagomedov down, and it was Poundtown, population: Edson Barboza for the duration. To his credit, Barboza never broke, lasted all three rounds, and was trying to land bout-ending strikes right up to the final horn. But, yeah, it wasn’t close.


Results: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Edson Barboza via Unanimous Decision