Who’s going to challenge for the lightweight belt next? This bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Michael Johnson could decide that, especially if there’s a stellar performance involved.

For Johnson, that would likely mean bringing his killer boxing to bear on the Dagestani; for Nurmagomedov, that means putting his hands on Johnson and tossing him on his head. We’ll see ¬†which scenario plays out…

Round 1 opens with Nurmagomedov stalking Johnson down and Johnson utterly piecing him up with lefts and rights thrown from the outfield. This is seriously probably the most damage we’ve seen Nurmagomedov take, and the crowd is thrilled. But after two minutes Nurmagomedov gets a hold of Johnson and throws him down, and after putting him in a crucifix, secures top position and beats the hell out of him. The American struggles to cover up and wiggle free, yet the bombs keep dropping, and it’s a miracle that Johnson survives to the horn.

It’s a spent and depleted Johnson who comes out for Round 2, but after eating some fists he comes alive a little more and fires back, and even stuffs a couple takedowns. But when Nurmagomedov bangs him up with a combo, Johnson foolishly clinches, and that’s all the Dagestani wrestler needs to put Johnson down and resume battering him to death. With a top game that neutralizes all semblance of guard, and a relentless barrage of punching, Johnson is in hell pressed up against the cage, and when the horn sounds again, he’s the walking dead.

Nurmagomedov needs all of 20 seconds to get takedown and mount in the third, and, well, you know what happens next. The only mercy comes in the form of a kimura that Nurmagomedov secures from side-control, which forces Johnson to tap lest his arm come off.


Results: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Michael Johnson via Submission (Kimura) at 2:31, R1